In the early days of the Spicewood Elementary Chess Club, we only had three groups that we split the students into: groups A, B and C. Group C was designated as for the advanced chess players.
Over time as the number of students increased, we expanded the number of groups to seven. Panthers for beginners, followed by groups E, D, C, B, A and finally T which is designated for the advanced chess players in the club.
For the 2015-2016 school year, we decided to reduce the number of groups to four. The Panther Pawns, Knights, Rooks and the Spicewood Kings.
Here is a brief description of the groups:
Panther Pawns: Beginners students. These are Kindergarten and 1st graders who do not have any or little chess experience at the start of the school year. Like learning any other language, children at this age are able to learn chess at an astonishing speed. Many of these students quickly become strong players. Some are able to defeat their parents and older students by the end of the school year.
Knights: Majority of students in the Chess Club. Intermediate players typically in grades 1-3. Many of these students started in the Panther group. These students are the backbone of the chess club and strongly represent Spicewood at regional scholastic tournaments.
Rooks: The more advanced intermediate students typically in grades 2-4 who graduate from the Knights group.
Spicewood Kings: Advanced and typically older students in grades 3-5. Many students in this group have attended Chess Club since Kindergarten or first grade. Majority attend regional scholastic tournaments. After graduating from Spicewood, most will join the Canyon Vista Middle School chess team, along with students from Laurel mountain producing one of the strongest scholastic chess teams in the country.