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Nearly 70 students compete in Scholastic Chess Tournament

December 17, 2011|By ALICIA NOTARIANNI | alnotarianni@aol.com
  • Amy Huaxin Luo, a student at Bull Run Elementary in Centreville, Va., plays Kenneth Hall of Walkersville High School, Saturday during the W. Paul Engle Jr. Open and Scholastic Chess Tournament at Boonsboro Middle School.
By Colleen McGrath/Staff Photographer

BOONSBORO, Md. — Justin Hung sat in the cafeteria, oblivious to the noise and commotion around him.

Though he occasionally would gnaw a bite off his pizza, his focus clearly was centered on the chessboard and scorebook before him.

Justin, 10, of North Potomac, Md., appeared to be playing a game against himself.

"I'm playing a game like the one I just played, a review game," he said. "I'm seeing what went wrong."

The fifth-grader had recorded every move made by himself and his opponent Saturday morning during his first game at the W. Paul Engle Jr. Open and Scholastic Chess Tournament at Boonsboro Middle School. The event was co-sponsored by the Pleasant Valley Elementary/Boonsboro Middle-High School Chess Club and the Maryland Chess Association. Nearly 70 students competed in four divisions.

While Justin prepared for his second game, his brother Benjamin Hung, 12, vied against an opponent in the nearby gymnasium. Their father, Graham Hung, said he thinks the game is "good for their thinking."

"It helps them do things logically, and that helps in other areas of development," he said.

Stephanie Stamper of Boonsboro prepped her daughter Emily, 8, as she headed into the gym for her second game.

"Smart moves. No pressure. Do your best every time," Stamper said.

Emily's brother Caleb, 6, also competed in the tournament.

"You just never know who is going to beat you," Stamper said. "Someone who is very young can beat someone who is older. It's not about physical ability. It's more of a mental game."

Kenny Hall, 16, of Walkersville, Md., played against 7-year-old Amy Luo of Centreville, Va. Amy recently had advanced to the contender class, and her modest ratings threw Kenny off. He managed a win, but not without considerable effort.

"I was shocked to see the way she played. I thought, 'How could someone with that rating possibly play so well?'" Hall said.

David Antonenko, 10, of Reisterstown, Md., managed to beat an opponent five years his senior. David said competing against older players doesn't faze him.

"I don't really pay attention to my opponent. I just pay attention to the game," David said.

Killian Vest, 10, of Keedysville, took first place in the novice division. Killian said he competed in the event last year, but he'd only been in his second week with his school's chess club. This year, he was more prepared.

"I practice a lot," Vest said. "I start off by trying to get my knight in this position where it can't be taken and it'll take the queen or the rook. It's working out really good for me."

Mike DiLeo is chess instructor at Pleasant Valley Elementary and Boonsboro Middle and High schools. DiLeo said this was the fifth year of the Boonsboro tournament.

"It's an opportunity for tournament play that these (local) kids would never otherwise get without traveling to Montgomery County or Baltimore," he said.

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Chess Tournament Results

The following are the results of local players who competed Saturday in the W. Paul Engle Jr. Open and Scholastic Chess Tournament at Boonsboro Middle School.


Team results

First place — Boonsboro Middle School

Second place — Boonsboro High School


Novice section

First place — Killian Vest, Pleasant Valley Elementary School

Second place — Dallas Fields, Pleasant Valley Elementary School

Fourth place — Caleb Stamper, Heritage Academy

Fifth place — Emily Stamper, Heritage Academy

Sixth place — Cole Carlson, Pleasant Valley Elementary School

Seventh place — Jack Glattas, Pleasant Valley Elementary School

Eighth place — Sean Shorten, Pleasant Valley Elementary School

10th place — Nicholas Sweeney, Pleasant Valley Elementary School

1 point — Tyler Unger, Pleasant Valley Elementary School

First tournament participation — Chloe Glattas, Pleasant Valley Elementary School

Best under 200-rated player — Emily Stamper, Heritage Academy

First-place team — Pleasant Valley Elementary School


Reserve section

Third place — Christian Brown, Boonsboro Middle School

Fifth place — David George, Boonsboro High School

Seventh place — Jesse Homan, Boonsboro Middle School

Ninth place — Aaron George, Boonsboro High School

12th place — Matthew Frushour, Boonsboro Middle School

2.5 points — Ajay Kosuri, Boonsboro Middle School

2.5 points — Ethan Connelly, Boonsboro Middle School

2 points — Mark Frushour, Pleasant Valley Elementary School

2 points — William Kuehl, Boonsboro Middle School

2 points — Randy Kines, Boonsboro High School

2 points — Alexandra Garcia, Boonsboro High School

First tournament participation — Cameron Cline, Boonsboro Middle School


Contenders section

1.5 points in four games — Dominic Smith-DiLeo, Boonsboro Middle School

1 point in four games — Vincent Smith-DiLeo, Boonsboro High School

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