Oregon High School Chess Team Association

News Archive 2006/2007




News for the 2006/07 Season...
February 25, 2007

Over 250 players from almost 30 schools met Friday and Saturday at Portland Christian High School to take part in five highly competitive rounds of chess and to determine which five-person team could claim the title of champions of the Oregon High School Chess Team Association.

When the dust had settled, Lake Oswego High School had won the event, but a decision by OHSCTA leadership meant that several other schools got to take home titles as well.

For the first time, the Association recognized that schools of various sizes could also be designated as state champions for their classifications based on school size, and awarded state 5A, 4A, and 3A-2A-1A championships as well as the overall championship. Those classification awards went to Sherwood, Cottage Grove, and Coquille High Schools, respectively.

The tournament featured ferocious play throughout all five rounds, with Lake Oswego, Wilson, and Portland Christian all entering the fourth round undefeated. Lake Oswego defeated Wilson 3-2, and Portland Christian beat Grant High School of Portland 4-1, to win the right to face the Lakers in the finals.

However, Portland Christian was going to have to play the  Championship match without their first board player, who had to leave because of a conflict requiring his presence at another state championship competitionone to which he had made a firm commitment before he knew that his team would qualify for the finals. He left and all the other members of the team had to "play up" one board in the state finals. Even though the Portland Christian team played valiantly, Lake Oswego came out ahead by a 3.5-1.5 score.

A three-way tie for second was broken by the tie-breaker, and that left Wilson as second, Sunset High of Beaverton as third, and Portland Christian as fourth. Westview and Grant High School rounded out the list of trophy recipients.

In the "B" division, (mostly consisting of junior varsity and middle school teams, ) Sunset High dominated the proceedings, going without the loss of even one board in the entire event. Their +23 0 =2 finish is more than likely a record performance for any team in the "B" Tournament’s history.

An individual tournament was also held for those without teams, or for those whose teams already had the requisite five players. In that tournament, Caleb Kesey of Pleasant Hill was the winner with 4.5 out of 5.

It was a great event with a lot of really close games and matches. The players just seem to get better and better every year.

Next year’s event is scheduled for February 22 and 23, 2008 at Roseburg High School.


January 20, 2007

Greetings to all school principals, chess coaches and advisors, and interested players:

The Oregon High School Chess Team Association announces its 44th annual state chess team tournament and invites your school to participate!

Registration is now open!

Location, date and format
This year's event will be held on the campus of Portland Christian High School, 12425 NE San Rafael Street, in Portland, on Friday, February 23 and Saturday, February 24. Directions and maps to Portland Christian can be found on our website

The tournament will be played in four or five rounds, depending on the number of entries, and will have three different divisions--two for teams of five players, and one for individuals who are "extra" players or who are not members of chess teams. A preliminary schedule is shown at the end of this email and on the OHSCTA website.

"A" division requirements
The "A" division will crown the Oregon state champions for high school team chess . Each player must be in grades 9-12 (or home-school equivalent) and must attend (or, if not a student at, must reside in the attendance area of) the school s/he represents. Each high school may enter ONE team in this division. The quality of chess played in this division is of a fairly high level and entry in this division is not recommended for beginners. View the OHSCTA by-laws for "A" division requirements (here.https://ohscta.tripod.com/id1.html).

"B" division requirements
The "B" division will also provide experience, excitement, and fun, and will be open to teams with players in grades 6-12 who attend the school (or a feeder school) they represent, (or, if not students at, must reside in the attendance area of the school they represent.) The quality of chess played at this level varies, and this is an excellent choice for teams that might wish to play in the tournament to gain experience for future competition. View the OHSCTA by-laws for "B" division requirements (here.https://ohscta.tripod.com/id1.html)

Individual division requirements
The "Individual" division is for players grades 6-12, regardless of their school affiliation, as long as they are students in an Oregon high or middle school, (or 6th graders in an elementary school,) or home-schooled in Oregon. View the OHSCTA by-laws for the individual division requirements (here.https://ohscta.tripod.com/id1.html).

Tournament fees and late fees
Entry into the tournament costs $65 per team, whether in the "A" or "B" division. In the "Individual" division, the cost will be $12. If you wait too long to register, though, the costs go up and there's a price to pay for the delay. After February 10th, it's $80 per team and $15 per individual, and if you wait and wish to register at the tournament, you will have to pay $100 per team and $20 per individual entry. Please make out checks to "Marist High School".

Registration is now open!
Registration on-line is very simple. Fill out and submit the form at
https://ohscta.tripod.com/id21.html by February 10th to get the pre-registration price. Fees (made out to Marist High School) and the authorization letter can be mailed to the OHSCTA treasurer, (Jon Nuxoll, 1900 Kingsley Road, Eugene, OR 97401) or brought to the tournament - but we need to have your registration form submitted on-line or by mail by Feb 10th for the pre-registration price - the form takes just a couple of minutes!

This tournament will be rated for the first time in 44 years and so the tradition of showing up at the door with all your information will not work, at a bare minimum we need in advance the names of the players on each team (or individuals), their grades, and their board positions - all before you show up on the 23rd! This information is critical to seeding the tournament and starting ON TIME, something everyone wants.

Also - if you change the order or the personnel on your team - please email that to OHSCTA in advance, even a day in advance is preferable to the day of the tournament - we will make the changes immediately so that we don't end up doing this on opening morning and slowing up the first round.

Coaches list
Finally, here is a list of everything the coach needs to bring to the tournament:

School and coach contact information, an updated team roster for each team, a letter on school stationery, signed by the superintendent, principal, or athletic director, listing each player by name and grade and showing their qualification to represent your school (see our on-line bylaws at
https://ohscta.tripod.com/id1.html and ARTICLE VII in particular, for more information.)

Players list
Players should bring sets, boards, and chess clocks, (if available) and should know how to take chess notation. One place to learn to take notation is

Other information, area hotels and restaurants
For an in-depth look at the rules and other information related to the 2007 state championship tournament, please go to the OHSCTA web page,
http://ohscta.tripod.com, and you will find a lot of interesting and worthwhile information related to chess in Oregon and to our tournament.

The tournament is a Swiss System tournament, which means that every team will play every round. No one is "knocked out" or eliminated from the tournament as the rounds are played.

When all is said and done, trophies and all-state awards are distributed. Some teams leave with celebration; others begin making plans for how to improve so that by next year they will do better!

Below is both the four round and five round schedules, and a link to area hotels.
So please, get your team together (again, it's the best 5 players you can find who meet the qualification requirements), register for the tournament, and start getting ready! For questions, please email one of the names on the OHSCTA website, or just respond to this email.

We hope to see you all at Portland Christian High School on Friday, February 23rd.


Mike Wolfe
Oregon High School Chess Team Association



(Presumes a 5-round tournament. If we have a 4-round tournament instead, there will be a couple of changes on the Friday schedule (see the 4 round format on the OHSCTA website championship page), but you still will need to be present by 2:30, and Round 1 will still begin at 3:30. Other changes will be announced to coaches following the beginning of Round 1).


3:15--Opening announcements
3:30--Round 1 begins
6:00--Rounds 2 begins
6:30--Annual coaches meeting
8:30--Round 3 begins

Please be present by 8:45am
9:00A.M--.Round 4 begins
12:30 PM-Round 5 begins
Awards following round 5

For a list of hotel/motel accommodations in the area of Portland Christian High School, please visit our website

DECEMBER 6, 2006
Last year I wrote to everyone with a suggestion that they consider the possibility of getting paid to be the chess coach at their schools. If you are a parent volunteer, or if you are a teaching professional who doesn't mind donating your time, that's great. However, I know that many of the very dedicated people who are coaching chess teams are not getting paid for their efforts and would like to receive at least a token so they could pay for food, gas, and other expenses.
If you would like to get paid for coaching chess, it is time to get busy. The budget cycle for the 2007-08 school year begins after the holiday break, and the easiest reason for administrators not to pay you is to tell you that "there isn't anything in the budget for that." If you are a member of a teachers' or classified employees' association, that is where to start. Find out when the next contract discussions become open. In my district, we have a contract maintenance committee that meets every month or so to address things that come up between formal negotiation periods. If you have that, find out who is representing you on it and present your case to those people first. If you don't have that kind of committee, you might have to wait until the next time your association is preparing for negotiations.
When the time comes to present your case, have an idea of how much time you spend working on chess. Add up the time for meetings, practices, matches, tournaments, and so on. It would also be helpful if you know whether others in nearby schools are getting paid for chess and you can use their pay as an example of what you should get. I think that most districts could easily afford to pay a high school coach $1000 for a season of chess. I don't know how many people in the state are getting that, though, and if you think that a figure like that would cause a problem such as debilitating laughter on the part of the decision-makers, adjust your estimate accordingly.
The bottom line is this: it costs very little in terms of effort to present your case, and who knows, it might just work. Even if it doesn't work immediately, it plants the idea that people who give their evenings and weekends to help kids deserve to be paid for their time and their knowledge.
Again, if you are perfectly happy as a volunteer, great, but I also believe that those who provide labor and supervision of young people ought to be provided at least some money for their expenses. If I can provide anything to assist you in your effort to be paid for coaching chess, I would be happy to do so. If you would like a letter of support, or if I can help you in some other way, please let me know.
Best wishes to all,
OCTOBER 26,2006
Chess continues to grow in the southern part of the state. The Midwestern League Will continue in Eugene, and now there will be a Southern League as well. In yesterday's Midwestern League meeting, Dave Swanston of Springfield High School agreed to become the new Midwestern League director. Cottage Grove and Oakland leave the Midwestern League and become part of the new Southern League, joining Roseburg and Marshfield. Now that a league has been formed, we will continue to contact other high schools with invitations, news, and updates. If experience serves us, the fact that a league exists will attract other schools to get involved, so we are
targeting all the following schools--Coquille, North Bend, Reedsport, Elkton, North Douglas, Yoncalla, Douglas, South Umpqua, Sutherlin, and Glide. If anyone, even those in the Portland area, know anyone at any of these schools, it would be GREAT if you could contact them and "talk up" the value of chess in general and league membership specifically.  Anyway, the Southern League kicks off with its first round on Wednesday, November 29, when Oakland travels to Marshfield and Roseburg visits Cottage Grove. The Midwestern League will begin the following week. From what I've heard, the Portland-area league will get started even sooner than that. So, best of wishes to everyone for a great season. Please keep me posted of anything interesting, including both the positives and the challenges.
Thanks to all, and again, best wishes for a great season!
Mike Wolfe
JUNE 1, 2006
Hello everyone,
I am very happy to announce that, pursuant to our constitution, the 2007 OHSCTA State Tournament will be held in the Portland area at Portland Christian. I am assured by Dan Sharp, who has done a fantastic job of searching out and determining the very best available site for us, that PC has ample room and is very convenient for those who will be traveling.  I am extremely grateful to Dan for taking the lead on this, and to Alan Svehaug for making his site available.  Thanks, too, to Stephen Runion and Lincoln High School for offering to be our port in the storm if we could not find something else.  Stephen did a great job of hosting in 2005 and we don't want to overwork people by having them host repeatedly.
As our organization continues to expand, hosting the tournament becomes a bigger and bigger job.  I urge people from all over the Portland area to come forward and volunteer to help Dan and Alan out with the various things that need to fall into place to make the tournament work.
Again, our tournament is scheduled for Portland Christian on Friday, February 23 and Saturday, February 24.  Obviously, there will be more details next fall, but for now at least we know the matter is settled for 2007. Hmmmm, anyone from outside the five northern counties (Multnomah, Washington, Clackamas, Yamhill, or Columbia) interested in hosting in 2008?  Just a thought....
Thanks again, Dan, Alan, and your search team!
APRIL 27, 2006
Yes, it's Spring, and the sun is shining, and most people aren't thinking too much about chess right now.....but our organization has two important needs that must be filled.   I have mentioned them often in the past, and yet, no one has come forward with a solid commitment on either of them, so here I am, asking again... 
1--I need a successor!  My term as the Executive Secretary of our organization will come to an end on March 1, 2007.  At that time, I will cease my leadership activities in OHSCTA as I prepare to retire and leave my teaching position at Cottage Grove in 2008. Someone needs to be ready to take the helm for the next two years after my term ends.  If you are at all interested or willing to be the next Executive Secretary, please let me know.  The exact job duties of the Executive Secretary are spelled out in the by-laws, which you can find by going to our fine website, which is:  http://ohscta.tripod.com
2--We need a site for the next state tournament.  According to our by-laws, it is the turn of the Portland area (5 northern counties) to host the event.  Again our website is handy, as there is a list of all the things you need to have and to do to make the tournament work.  As the Executive Secretary, I will be happy to assist you.  If no northern school comes forward by September 25, 2006, our by-laws dictate that we will open the hosting application process to the entire state, and that means that you Portland folks who choose to participate will be stuck with the hotel bills.  Finally, if you are an advisor/coach and you have decided that this has been your last year, please let me know, along with any successor information that you might have.  We need to keep our records up to date, and I also want to acknowledge your service and extend our appreciation.  There are some issues confronting our organization, but I will wait on those until the fall.  Again, please consider taking your turn as Executive Secretary, and you northern folks, please find us a place to play! 
Thanks again to all, and best wishes,

"Winning is the science of being totally prepared." – George Allen