South Dakota Scholastic Chess Tournament

Michael Knudson and Karissa Ellis

As some of you might have noticed, I was a little scarce from the highways and byways of Dakota Voice today.  That’s because my homeschooled daughter Karissa had her first chess tournament today, and it was a long day with about five rounds of chess.

She’s been playing the computer off and on for some time, but only joined a local chess club in January.  She quickly found that playing live human beings was a LOT different from playing the computer.  She also found playing with the timer disconcerting for a while, but eventually overcame it.

The 2011 South Dakota Scholastic Chess Tournament was held today in Rapid City, with students coming from all over the state–many from the Sioux Falls area–to participate.

In Karissa’s chess club, they seldom notate, but that was required in the tournament today. That really threw her for a loop (having to take time to notate her moves as well as those of her opponent, in addition to having time to think about moves), and she had a tough time with it, but I think practice between now and the next tournament will really help her.

Still, she and her middle school-division teammate Michael Knudson managed to pull off the #2 trophy in their division.  Not bad!

Chess is great mental exercise and contains a lot of life lessons.  The main thing, though, is that she has a lot of fun doing it.

4 Responses to “South Dakota Scholastic Chess Tournament”

  1. Congratulations, Karissa!

    Chess is a great game–good for keeping the mind sharp.

  2. I’m glad to see that kids are still taking a serious interest in this classic game… or is it art?

    I am horrible at it, but love the game of chess nevertheless. There’s a beauty innate in the subtleties of positions and strategy that emerge, whether you win or lose.

  3. Many of those kids came over 300 miles for the tournament, so they definitely take it seriously.

    I used to be fair at it, but haven’t played it in over 20 years. My daughter’s already way better than I ever was.

  4. There’s an aspect of the game that seems to lend itself better to the young, maybe creativity or just plain adventuresomeness. I enjoy playing through games played by the masters: Fischer, Spassky, Tal, Kasparov.