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Checkmate: The Eagle's Gambit


Chess the game of Kings, Queens, Castles, Bishops, Knights and pawns has been making a comeback in society as a whole.  This game has been around for centuries.  The recent rise in it’s popularity is due in part to the play of the current world Champion Magnus Carlsen who (in the printing of this article) is winning against Ian Nepomniachtchi for the FIDE World Championship in Dubai.  As well as in entertainment world with the Netflix original Queen’s Gambit.  An original series for mature audiences about a young female chess phenom.  Lastly, the rise in popularity is attributed to the school Districts that that encourage and enrich the lives of its students with the formation of chess teams and clubs.  

One such school district is Clarendon County School District 4.  At Dr. Rose H. Wilder Elementary School, the Eagles Chess Team & Club has been reformed after its hiatus as Districts 1 and 3 were combining to become, “Better Together.”  At this school there are over 25 students who meet after school every Thursday afternoon to learn, strategize and play this mental sport.  Saturday was the first official tournament that was held since the reformation of the Chess Team & Club at DRWE.  5 rounds of SWISS/30 intense chess play was observed by parents and chess enthusiasts watching live in the Gallery (Media Center) of the school.  The Tournament was broadcast live on FB at Believers Compass one of the sponsors of the event. 

Chess is not concerned with what your age, gender, economic background, size or political affiliation.  The only thing that is important to chess is how you play the game.  The motto of the Eagles Chess Team & Club is, “Play Your Position”.  The benefits of chess in education and in life to the minds of young and old are innumerable.  Chess helps with concentration, memory, logic, IQ, creativity, patience, self-control, mathematical thinking, problem solving, delayed gratification and brain growth just to name a few.

The Harold Ehnhuus Fall Classic Chess Tourney began at 9:00am.  Nathan Hardy Jr. a 3rd grader finished in fifth place.  Leila Gardenhire a 5th grader took 4th place. Romera James 5th Grader and Caden Caldwell 3rd. Grader tied for 2nd place. 

The Champion finishing in 1st. place was 5th Grade student Jonah Forrest.  Taking home the 1st. Place seat and prize of a glass chess set.  Sasaske Schoen and Michael McFadden each also received honorable mentions for their tournament play during the competition.     

Mr. Ehnhuss a retired High School Science Teacher from Scott’s Branch High School.  Mr. Ehnhuus when he was working took the old team to a tournament against the Governor’s School of Science & Mathematics in Hardeeville and won.  He now attends the meeting of the Eagles Chess Team & Club.

Thanks are sent out to Principal Mr. Joaquin Brown for his support of the Eagles Chess Team & Club.  To Ms. Marcia Forrest Smart and Ms. Stacy Ann-Gooden Blackwin for their assistance in serving lunch during the tournament.  To Ms. Rosy Oliver, Ms.   Special note of thanks to local Clarendon County author and Dr. Rose H. Wilder Media Specialist Ms. Takelia Hammett and the CFO of PPG Media & Business Publishing for their financial contributions to the event.  Thanks to all the parents of the students who watched and monitored in the tournament area.  Everyone made this a spectacular event.      

The gauntlet has been thrown down and the Eagles Chess Team & Club look forward to competing against all other schools in District 4 and the surrounding areas.  Perhaps even obtaining the opportunity to attend the K-12 National Championships in Orlando Florida.


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