More than 100 students from across the district participated in the Aldine ISD 1st Annual Chess Tournament held April 5 at Aldine Middle School.
Participating schools included Aldine Middle School, Eckert Intermediate School, Goodman Elementary School, Hambrick Middle School, Kujawa Elementary School, Lewis Middle School, MacArthur High School, Nimitz High School, Plummer Middle School, Raymond Academy, Stovall Middle School, and Victory Early College High School.
The unrated tournament also has the participation of one student from Humble ISD, the son of a teacher from Goodman Elementary School.
Thomas Lucker, chess sponsor at Aldine Middle School, organized the event. Bruce Donohoe, chess sponsor at MacArthur High School, served as chief tournament director.
The tournament did not use tiebreakers for individuals. The best four players from each group determined team results.
“It was close throughout the day,” said Lucker. “The lead changed in the second, third and fourth rounds.”
Lucker explained that 14 points meant that the top four students went 14-2, 13 meant 13-3, etc. To accomplish 16 points from rounds would have meant to have a perfect score.
In the Elementary Division, Kujawa Elementary School won. Roberto Velásquez and Diego Unigarro, educators and sponsors of the chess team at the campus, are proud of the their team’s performance.
“The competition was tough,” said Velásquez. “However, Mr. Unigarro and I prepared our students with strategies and tactics to overcome their opponents. After a long day of multiple rounds, the students were overjoyed that they had won.
“Chess is a great way to encourage critical thinking. At the tournament, students used critical thinking and strategic skills learned during the six-week training period to successfully compete. These are skills that the students can apply to their daily classroom learning. I am proud of the students for their resilience and determination to master the game. This experience has definitely benefited and given the students confidence to do well academically while also developing their social skills.”
MacArthur High School team took home first place in the High School/Middle School Division.
“The Mac students did a fantastic job,” said Donohoe. “They showed a lot of skill and also had a lot of fun.”
Individual students also received honors. With only four rounds, there were a several students with perfect individual records (It’s statistically impossible to eliminate down to one individual like a normal tourney).
Pictured are members of the MacArthur High chess team.
High School/Middle School Division Results
1st Place — MacArthur High School, 14 pts.
2nd Place — Nimitz High School, 13 pts.
3rd Place — Aldine Middle School, 12 pts.
4th Place — Lewis Middle School, 11 pts.