The Spicewood Elementary Chess Club is having a party at the Spicewood Elementary school on Saturday November 2nd from 10:00 to 2:00pm. The event is for 4 hours with pizza arriving around noon. We know Saturday’s are a busy day with lots of sports and other activities, so this event is designed for you to come and go as you please. Swing by for only 30 minutes or stay the whole time.
We will be playing Chess and having fun with our friends. We will have coaches available to work with the students. This is the week before the Casis Elementary Scholastic Chess tournament, so we will be helping the kids prepare for the tournament as well as have fun with our special chess sets including our light up chess boards, our 4 player chess sets, our Musketeer variant chess pieces (elephant, unicorn, dragon, leopard, etc)
We have also invited some of our friends from other local elementary Chess clubs as well as local chess teachers and experts.
The club will be providing Pizza and we ask parents to signup to bring other items needed for the party such as drinks, plates, utensils, etc. This is also a potluck, so we encourage parents to bring cookies, snacks, etc. There is a signup sheet for Parents to RSVP and let us know what item/items you can volunteer to bring. Please remember no food containing nuts!
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Here is a nice animated video that talks about the origins and history of Chess. We recommend all students watch this and it is only five minutes long.
We had 14 students from Spicewood Elementary participate in the Meridian Scholastic Chess tournament on September 14th, 2019. The tournament consisted of 5 rounds of games each worth 1 point. In total, our kids scored a total of 35 out of a possible 70 points. (50%)
This tournament kind of snuck up on us as we did not do a great job of promoting it in the weeks leading up to it. We will do a better job for the next tournament at Casis Elementary.
We got FIRST place in the K-1 under 400 section with 2 students getting a total score of 8 points!. Congratulations to Yashas Veerapaneni for winning all 5 of his games and getting 1st place in the section (Trophy). Benjamin Yu came in 6th with 3 wins (Medal). This two person team received the 1st place trophy at the awards ceremony and you can see it at our next club meeting.
We got FOURTH place in the K-3 under 700 section with 3 students gaining a total score of 5 points. (Devin Liu, Julian Joseph and Tiffany Teoh)
We got THIRD place in the K-5 under 1000 section with 2 students gaining a total score of 8 points. Joyce Song came in 3rd place with 4 wins and Gavin Wang came in 5th place with 4 wins each getting a trophy!
For the individual awards:
We had three students receive trophies for 4 or more points in their sections: Yashas Veerapaneni, Joyce Song and Gavin Wang.
We had 1 student receive a medal for scoring between 3.0 and 3.5 points in their sections: Benjamin Yu.
Congratulations to all of our students who competed at this year’s Meridian chess tournament. Each student will get $5 chess bucks for their participation.
We also note that Canyon Vista Middle school got first place in the K-12 Any rating section. We were happy to see many Spicewood Elementary chess club alumni in the group that won!
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Our third meeting of the year went smoothly as the Pawns continued lessons with James on the basics of controlling the center while Chris reviewed how Forks are a powerful tactic to use in the middlegame with the Knights, Rooks and Kings. A video from Chesskid.com was shown that outlined the fork principles and you can watch it here:
Parents are in the process of completing registration. We had a number of fees and forms turned in. If you haven’t finished the six registration steps yet, please do so as the deadline for completion is September 27th. We have a few students who are still attending our club to see if they want to continue on as members, so remember to be helpful to anyone who is new.
We will be testing students next week to see if they are ready to move up in Skill groups, so look forward to that next week.
The first scholastic tournament of the year is happening NEXT WEEKEND, September 14th. Us coaches highly encourage everyone to attend at least one tournament this year. You can find details on how to register at this link: Meridian School Tournament.
The second scholastic tournament of the year will be held at one of our favorite locations, Casis Elementary on November 9th. You can register for that tournament here: Casis Elementary Tournament. (It is my favorite location because there is a Starbucks DIRECTLY ACROSS THE STREET!!!)
We held our last Chess store event as well as our last Chess club meeting today. 71 students participated, bring all their collected Chess bucks to buy amazing items like Rubik’s cubes, Pokemon cards, tshirts, toys, games and a plethora of plastic baubles. Altogether we collected $1,317 Chess bucks. That means the average student spend ~$19 chess bucks each.
With our principal, Mrs. Teyan Page’s help, we all thanked Mrs. Reeb for being our club sponsor for the last ten years. She decided to step down as our sponsor for next year and we thanked her with a large card that all the students signed as well as a nice gift card for her to use.
Next year, our club sponsor will be our TAG teacher, Marla Mikolay.
We had a very successful year and thank all our parents, volunteers and teachers for their support.
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Someone donated a four player chess set to the chess club a couple of weeks ago. We unfortunately did not get the name of the teacher or parent that gave us this set but we thank you. If you donated it, please let us know so we can thank you properly. The name of the game is Pi The Chess Game of the 21st Century. It is a relatively rare boardgame that is a chess variant we had not seen before. Created by a canadian inventor named Dan Brown. Instead of a 64 square board, it has 4 segments that when placed together form a donut. One each segment are two chess armies. All together, there are 8 chess armies and 4 players control two armies each. The play is similar to chess, but when a player reaches the edge of a segment, they say “En Garde!” and then move to the next segment to attack the next set of players. The winner is the last player standing!
We look forward to the kids trying out this version of 4 player chess.
Back in May 2016, a parent, Patrick Ivey, donated a beautiful marble chess set to the chess club. It was too nice for everyday use, so we only brought it out on special occasions. This meant that it sat on a shelf most of the time.
Colleen Murphy, mom of club member Jameson Murphy-Hall, saw the set at the end of last school year and thought it would make a great woodworking project for her husband McLain Hall. She took the marble chess board home over the summer and McLain worked his magic to create a table to house the board.
Well, two weeks ago, the Chess table was completed and Colleen presented it to the Chess club. It is amazing and a great example of fine woodworkmanship. The table design was based off the existing chess table we have in the library. Similar height, etc. It has a built in drawer to house the marble chess pieces when not in use.
McLain used 3/4 inch pine. The legs were made by gluing multiple boards together to get the right thickness. He used a gel stain for the finish and 3 coats of polyurethane as a surface protectant.
We all thank Colleen, McLain and Jameson for donating their time and work to make this nice table for our club. We hope all of our students get a chance to play on this board over the course of the year.
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Congratulations to Nico McMullen for a first place finish at the annual Wooldridge Square outdoor tournament held last Sunday Nov. 4th in downtown Austin. The weather was perfect and so was Nico’s chess game. He won all 4 games to win a trophy and capture first place in the K-6 section. Congratulations also goes to Aiden Chrisman for participating in this tournament and helping represent Spicewood Elementary.
Nico then traveled down to San Antonio on November 10th to play in the Bach & Peace Tournament. He won 4 games and drew one which put him in first place for the K-12 U900 section. Congratulations! He is on a roll.
Thank you for doing a great job representing Spicewood.
To all the parents that help during our chess club meetings (or are thinking about helping), James and I put together a document that outlines all the tasks we need to perform to have a successful chess club meeting. It is very detailed and gives you a good idea of where you can help out.
Please review when you have time and go over with your kids so they understand their responsibilities during Chess club.
After you have reviewed this, if you have any suggestions for improvement, please let us know.
We want this to be useful for future parents that take on the torch of leading the club after James and I move on.
We purchased ten new chess pieces that have unique movements. They are variant chess pieces that are not official, but add some fun to chess play. The ten new chessmen are Archbishop, Cannon, Chancellor, Dragon, Elephant, Fortress, Hawk, Leopard, Spider and Unicorn. You can learn more about how they move on the Musketeer Chess website. Please read over the rules on how we use these new pieces.
We tested out these new chess pieces at last week’s chess club meeting and everyone had fun seeing how these pieces change the way we use our strategies.
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