Photos: Chess players shine, qualify for state | Local News

Saturday, February 12 was the first board chess tournament for Coquille since the start of the pandemic. Two years ago, after several Coquille players qualified to participate in the 2020 Chess for Success State tournament, the tournament was canceled the day before it was to be held.

So once again, school chess players have entered the 2022 Coos Curry Regional Chess Tournament to determine who will make the declaration this year in the hope that the pandemic does not cancel a third year of the championship. ‘State.

Tournament director Nancy Keller was concerned that only Coquille players would attend, but was happy to see players from Bandon Harbor Light and Marshfield Junior High attending. It was a small group but there were intense games as the players competed for their grade level.

Only one high school player is selected from each county and Dustin Herker beat teammates Riley Jones, Sawyer Bergstedt and Frank Morse to win the 2022 Coos Curry High School Championship title. Each game lasts nearly two hours in its section.

In the college section, Sebastion Newby of Marshfield Junior High was undefeated until the final round. However, he still scored four wins and was the undisputed section champion and is the 7th grade champion qualified to compete in the Chess for Success State Championship.

The eighth graders battled it out and ended in a three-way tie for Shaleena Crawford, Erik Thrash and Jesus Villegas, all picking up three wins and advancing to the state championships.

For sixth grade, Dane Herker was the only entry, but picked up a win over the older middle schoolers and automatically qualified for the state championships.

In the elementary section, Noah Ish-Shalom is undefeated and qualified for the K-3 individual championships. His little brother Ari Ish-Shalom only lost one match against his older brother and beat the older players and Chess for Success agreed to allow both brothers to represent Coos Curry in the K-3 category. No fourth-year players competed. For the fifth year, Christian Gallagher won his division.

The State Chess for Success Championships will be held at the Portland Expo Center on April 8-9.

Coquille was able to field both an elementary team and a college team, so they will be competing in the state team divisions. Chess for Success does not have a high school team division, but the Coquille High School team will compete in the Oregon High School Chess Team State Championships on March 4-5.

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