2008 shall be remembered as the year of firsts...
- For the first time in our 45 year history, we officially awarded championship titles in every OSAA classification in Varsity
- For the first time, every team registered online. No paper registrations this year. Not one!
- For the first time, a 1A team participated in our event. Siletz Valley Early College Academy from Siletz,
Oregon found our organization online, attended the tournament and played very well with 4.5 board wins!
- For the first time, we allowed any five Oregon students in grades 6-12 to form a team and participate in the Open
- For the first time, a homeschool team played in the newly formed Open division.
- For the first time, we presented Sportsmanship awards to a team and individual.
- For the first time, we recognized all coaches for their dedication and support of our organization for 5, 10 and 20 years
of service. A total of 105 years of hard work supporting Oregon High School Chess!
- For the first time, we presented every 1st place team player with a medal to commemorate their outstanding achievement.
- For the first time, we played Motherboard Bughouse, which has never been done in a tournament setting. It was so
popular we'll do it again next year!
- For the first time, we presented scholarships to the youngest top finishing player in each section (a $450 value) from
our sponsor The International Chess School.
- Which brings me to another first... we had a sponsor of our event!
39 teams from around the state, arrived in Roseburg to do battle head-to-head (literally).. because as we all know,
chess is the sport of the mind. Think chess is just for geeks? You must have missed the basketball, football,
soccer, track, swimming and softball players in our midst. Virtually every player competes in other sports as well!
Not only do you need mental stamina and endurance for chess, you need the physical
attributes as well. It's not easy to stay on your game for 8+ long hours. But that's exactly what our students
It takes dedication and study to win at chess. Perseverance and a will to win. We saw all of that and
so much more in Roseburg.
And good sportsmanship too. The Dalles Wahtonka went home with that honor. Throughout the tournament both over
the board and in one-on-one interactions they were helpful, kind, considerate, enthusiastic, and great competitors
who loved to have fun. These qualities stood them well... they tied for second place in their division. An awesome
accomplishment by an awesome team. Ernie Blatz has done a great job with his students!
Individual sportsmanship was awarded to Carson Viles of Willamette. Who, while being interviewed by a Roseburg reporter,
realized there was an error in his score. Carson imediately left the reporter to straighten it out. Not a
big deal really. Except that the error was in his favor and correcting it meant taking away a much needed point for
his team. When he reported the error to me, he said, "I feel just sick. I know this will affect my team. But if
we win it's got to be right." In the end, Carson found it wasn't an error at all, just a misunderstanding of how the
points were awarded. This kind of personal integrity and honor are to be admired and valued.
There were many close matches and games. Players and coaches are welcome to submit their best for inclusion
on the website with analysis and comments by a Master.
In the end, we had clear first place winners (based on match and board points) and some very close ties for second.
So close that the computer broke into a sweat during the calculations! The closest second place tie was in the
5A Varsity classification. Separated by only a 10th of a point. In one scenario Willamette won. In another
the Dalles. As smoke started to billow from the hard drive... we decided to give both teams second place awards and
medals! Great job teams!
In the brand new Open division we had an interesting mix of schools and "Wildcard" teams. Going in to the final round a
middle school, The International School of Beaverton was tied for first with a homeschool team, Umpqua Valley from
Roseburg. Both ended with a match score of 4.5 and board score of 20.5. On board tie breaks they ended only 4/10
of a point apart with ISB coming out in 1st place and Umpqua Valley in 2nd. These two teams were so evenly matched that
they drew in head-to-head competition!
On Friday evening, Motherboard bughouse was a noisy, crazy, wild time! Eight teams gathered together to, well...
figure out what the heck it was! This is a new variation of bughouse with five member teams facing off with other
5 member teams. The strongest player is in the center on the "mother" board and directs players as they go for the win.
All regular bughouse rules apply. Pieces can be passed to anyone... and they were! "I need a knight" was responded
with a torrent of knights flying through the air as team mates reacted quickly to the urgent request. We'll definitely
do this again next year! Although I may require protective head gear. And you thought chess was safe!
For the second year, we used computer pairings to match up teams. It all went smoothly, thanks to the Pairings Tournament
Director, Amy Coughlin who wears many hats, including the 2008 OHSCTA registrar beanie and her sorting hat as the NWSRS
Coordinator for Oregon.
The Roseburg High School facility was easy to find, beautifully maintained, perfect for playing chess with lots of
room for teams to hang out between rounds. Randy Smolensky's school was an awesome place to hold a championship event.
Many thanks to Roseburg High, Randy's students and his hard working helpers. In particular Ed Coughlin who helped
with logistics both pre, during and post tournament. Amy Coughlin who coordinated a smooth registration process and
sorted (paired) everyone with ease - or at least made it look that way! The coaches and parents who assisted with judging
were also appreciated. As were the pre-awards organizational skills of Nancy Mitchell and Jonna Schuder. Randy
and, Executive Director elect, James Horton helped present awards. And speaking of awards, a special thanks goes out
to Mike Wolfe, Alan Svehaug and Amy Coughlin who helped me put together a package of awards that was bigger (size wise and
number wise) than ever before... and amazingly less expensive!
All in all I'd say this was one of our best championships yet!
Stay tuned for next year’s event... the location is being decided as we speak. I look forward to seeing
all of you (and more) in 2009!