Video for Pawns to Watch

Coach James will be showing the following video at this week’s club meeting.  It reviews what “check” means, how to check your opponent and how to get your King out of check.  If you have time before the meeting, he asks that all Pawns watch this video to be well prepared for Friday. 

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September 6th 2019 Club Meeting

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!!!)

 

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Club Registration is Open

Registration for the 2019-2020 school year opened on August 12th.  Please click on the About section above and then click on the Registration link.  That page gives all the details on the registration process and a link to the Registration Form. You can also click here to go directly to that page.

Club registration will end on September 27th.  After this date, we will no longer accept any new students until the second semester begins in January 2020.  

For parents and students that are thinking about joining our club, you can attend our first few club meetings without committing to join.  Come to our meetings and see how you like it.  We ask that you make your final decision to join by our registration deadline of September 27th. 

 

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End of Year Chess Store

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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Four player chess set donation

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.  

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Amazing New Chess Table

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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Recent tournament results

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.

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Chess Club Helpers

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.  
 

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Musketeer Chess Pieces

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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2018 Meridian Tournament Results

We had 29 students from Spicewood Elementary participate in the Meridian Scholastic Chess tournament on September 29th, 2018.  The tournament consisted of 5 rounds of games each worth 1 point.  In total, our kids scored a total of 70 out of a possible 145 points.   (48%)   

This year we have a large number of Pawns and Knights skill groups and they showed up at this tournament and really did a great job representing the K-1 and K-3 sections.  

We got FIRST place in the K-1 under 400 section with 5 students getting a total score of 10.5 points.  The team received a tall trophy at the awards ceremony and you can see it in the Spicewood Elementary library this week.  

We got SECOND place in the K-3 New section with 7 students gaining a total score of 10 points.  This team also received a team trophy which is in the library. 

We got THIRD place in the K-3 under 400 section with 3 students gaining a total score of 7.5 points.  This team also received a team trophy which is in the library.

We got SECOND place in the K-5 under 800 section with 4 students gaining a total score of 13.5 points.  This team also received a team trophy which is in the library. 

We also came in NINTH place in the K-12 Any section which includes mostly middle and high school students.  Sean Teoh won 3 out of 5 games against a lot of tough opponents.  

For the individual awards:

We had two students receive trophies for 4 or more points in their sections:  Alexander Ho and Gavin Wang.

We had 8 students receive medals for scoring between 3.0 and 4.0 points in their sections: Sean Teoh, Gavin Gu, Isaac Belyi, Isaac Zhang, Julian Joseph, Joyce Song, Jeremy Yang and Reett Aulakh

Congratulations to all of our students who competed at this year’s Meridian chess tournament.  Each student received $5 chess bucks for their participation.  We had many first time tournament students this year and they all did a great job representing Spicewood Elementary.  

The tournament itself was very nice as it was not as crowded as other tournaments have been in the past.  Plenty of room to mingle with others, areas outside to play, etc.  The tournament coordinators did an excellent job and we look forward to more tournaments later this year and next.  

 

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