Cottage Grove Sentinel | Cottage Grove Calls Checkmate by Hosting Regional Chess Tournament

The Oregon State High School Chess Team Championship was held at Harrison Elementary School in Cottage Grove last weekend, February 28-29, hosting 16 chess teams from 13 schools from Oregon.

Five players from each team took part in the two-day state event.

In each round, a competing team lined up against the Westview High School chess team where multiple games were played for the full length of time (2 hours and 15 minutes). But as the clocks ran out for some of the games, the pieces were hastily moved to complete the game.

Willamette was the first to fall, then Wilson, followed by Catlin Gabel and Lincoln.

Clackamas High School attempted to derail Westview in the last round, with Clackamas winning the first two tables, but Tables 3, 4 and 5 fell through and Westview ultimately prevailed.

By the end of the five-round event, Westview was undefeated and won the 2020 Oregon High School Chess Tag Team title.

The Cottage Grove team haven’t won any awards this year, a stark contrast to their performances in last year’s tournament, where the team finished tied for first in the Midwest League and ultimately finished second. after losing a decisive match.

“We’re in a year of rebuilding for sure,” Cottage Grove assistant coach Taylor Wilhour said. “We have players who are really motivated to improve and we have players who played for us last year that we lost because they were too busy with their schoolwork – players who said that they were planning to come back next year. So if that happens, we expect to have a pretty decent year next year. “

The coaches of the Cottage Grove chess team are not teachers, which Wilhour says is a barrier to recruiting, and he hopes to expand the program in the future to make up for that challenge.

The tables are ranked from 1 to 5, with Table 1 representing the best players from each team.

The members of the Westview team were: Konner Feldman (Table 1); Fedya Semenov (2); Kushal Pai (3); Kyle Liu (4); and Thomas Schuff (5).

Clackamas High School (Andrea Botez, David Roshu, Ishaan Rao, Cassandra Roshu, Patrick Iacob) fell tied for third place with Lincoln High School (Gavin Zhang, Marshal Xu, Nikhil Samudrala, Nick Diana and Mitchell Kenny). High School Catlin Gabel (Sean Uan-Zo-Li, Duncan Soiffer James Masslen, Arlo Maslen and Advay Koranne) won second place with their only loss to Westview in the third round.

Junior college teams were invited to the event as they would be future players for their high schools. Oregon Episcopal Middle School (Calvin Change, Alexandre Boyce, Parker McCoog and Jack Andres) won first place in the JV division with Coquille Junior High (Sawyer Bergstedt, Riley Jones, Jason Herker, Frank Morse and Cole Brown) winning second place .

Individual awards for 23 players were also given for the best results in each table.

Most Valuable Player Rewards:

Global board 1: Andrea Botez de Clackamas

General table 2: David Roshu from Clackamas

General table 3: Fedya Semenov from Westview

General table 4: Arlo Maslen by Catlin Gabel

General Table 5: Kyle Liu of Westview

• Class 6A / 5A 1 card: Gavin Zhany from Lincoln

• Class 6A / 5A 2 card: Michael Schuff de Wilson

• Class 6A / 5A 3 card: Ishaan Rao de Clackamas

• Class 6A / 5A 4 card: Aidan Cagle from Willamette

• Class 6A / 5A 5 card: Thomas Schuff de Wilson

• Class 4A / 3A / 2A 1 card: Joshua Grabinsky de Coquille

• Class 4A / 3A / 2A 2 card: Dustin Herker de Coquille

• Class 4A / 3A / 2A 3 card: James Maslen from Catlin Gabel

• Class 4A / 3A / 2A 4 card: Colton Berry from Junction City

• Class 4A / 3A / 2A 5 card: Advay Koranne by Catlin Gabel

Oregon High School Chess Association State Championship executive director Dr. Nancy Keller noted that if such an award existed, Cottage Grove should take home the best championship venue award. .

“We absolutely want to reuse Cottage Grove in the future,” Keller said.

Keller said that in his 20 years of participating and then leading the championships, Cottage Grove had the most spacious facility for the tournament hall and “bowling” hall.

The bowling alley, she said, is vital for decompressing between turns, reviewing games, eating and getting ready for the next round.

The large outdoor chessboard at Harrison Elementary Schools was also a great way to burn energy after sitting down and concentrating for the grueling two-hour games.

“The hospitality from the school district and the Cottage Grove chess team was incredible,” she said.

Wilhour was pleased with the flow of the event and looks forward to more tournaments hosted by Cottage Grove.

“The setup was really great,” he said. “I would definitely consider doing it again. “

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