Checkmate: Braydon Povinelli becomes state chess champion | New

Shelbyville High School junior Braydon Povinelli started playing chess with his grandfather when he was 7 years old. He is now the Indiana State Chess Champion.

“I started playing when my grandfather sat down and said ‘Let’s play’ pretty much,” Povinelli said. “That’s how it started. If I had to guess, I would say I was seven or eight. It was the first time I had started playing with him casually, and he was the only person I played with.

“It didn’t take long before I started playing with my dad,” he continued. “Then I went to the Boys Club and joined the little chess club there. It wasn’t much, but I played a few games with these people.

It wasn’t too long before he could beat everyone there. So he switched to online chess and Indiana State Chess Association tournaments.

“I kind of beat everyone out there,” he said. “It wasn’t a big thing I was in. There was not enough competition, I would say. … That’s when I started playing real tournaments.

Povinelli played their first “real tournament” on April 13, 2016.

“I started playing online and that’s where I met most of my opponents,” he said, referring to the online platform. chess.com. “I played with a ton of people.

“The Indiana State Chess Association wasn’t too long after my first tournament,” he said. “They do a lot of tournaments in Indiana so I’m pretty sure one of my first five tournaments was with ISCA.”

After five years of playing in tournaments, Povinelli has played 140 in total. He believes he finished first overall with around 8-10.

“They are usually held in hotels or old churches,” he said. “You come in and register with the tournament director. There are a lot of tables in a room and the pairs go up, you find your opponent, find your board and start playing. There are a lot of people, I guess. There isn’t much to describe about tournaments. It’s very quiet, that’s for sure.

Tournaments are decided on the basis of a point system.

“They use the Swiss pairing rules – they define everyone according to their ranking, and they match it up so that the best players play roughly in the middle, and those who win their first game play against others who have. won the first game, ”he said. “They have multiple rounds, and whoever wins the last round wins.”

One of those 8-10 tournaments that Povinelli won was the ISCA State Chess Championship tournament. The tournament was held on April 24 and 25 at the Delta Marriott Hotel, a very popular location for chess tournaments, he said.

“ISCA was a championship and I won,” he said. “It was a five-round tournament, with 90 minutes and a 20-second increment. This means you get 90 minutes on your clock and the other player gets 90 minutes on their clock. And you get 20 seconds for every move you make. Matches can therefore last around four hours.

Povinelli’s shortest match at this tournament was two hours and the longest was four. He stays focused by getting up from time to time and looking away from the painting.

“A lot of it is water and you have to get off the board and look away,” he said. “You have to let your mind reset a bit, and then you focus again. Lots of tournaments – I’ve played 140 now – I’ve kind of conditioned my brain to focus that long.

In addition to the Indiana State Chess Association state champion, Povinelli is also a ranked master candidate with the United States Chess Federation.

“It means I beat an odds of 2000, right now I’m at 2158, and I also had good performances,” he said. “The requirements are that you must have 5 tournaments where you are playing on a 2200 level.”

He explained how the scoring system worked:

“You have to play in ranked tournaments and you get your rating based on your performance against other ranked players,” he said. “I got 2158 by consistently beating players rated 2000 and under, and I can sometimes beat and attract people stronger than me, like 2300. And people have the same rating as me, I’m about equal with it. them.”

He is aiming for the national Master title, which means he has to beat a score of 2200.

“I think I’ll get there in about 4 months, but it could be much sooner than that,” he said. “I’m only one or two good tournaments away. So if I get a really good tournament in my next tournament, I might get that rating next month. Unfortunately, I am a little busy with the end of school exams. The AP exams, you know.

Once the standardized tests are completed, Povinelli will play its next tournament from May 16 to 18. After obtaining the national title of master, he will shoot for the international master.

“In the future, my lifelong goal is to be an international master,” he said. “Which isn’t really through the American Chess Rederation. It’s through FIDE, the International Chess Association.… If I can get it, I’ll be very happy.

“I think it’s definitely in the realm of possibilities for me,” he said. “I can do it someday.”


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