Rapid City Chess Club hosts its first St. Patrick’s Day tournament

On Saturday, about 26 players participated in three groups, K to 6, K to 12 and the adult open group.

RAPID CITY, SD — While some were enjoying the festivities that St. Patrick’s Day would bring, others were having fun playing chess.

The Rapid City Area Scholastic Chess Club held its first Saint Patrick’s Day tournament and its first adult open tournament hosted by the organization. Organizers say the event aimed to incorporate adults to help build a stronger chess community.

They say it was also a great opportunity for young competitors to learn strategies their parents might practice or have seen.

“Kids are going to learn by watching their parents play and their parents are going to see new styles of play at tournaments like this, and so they’re going to be able to provide that idea to their kids as well. So it’s about building the atmosphere for the kids, it’s just about bringing in the parents and more adult members of the community,” said Nathan Walstrom, president of the Rapid City Area Scholastic Chess Club.

On Saturday, about 26 players participated in three groups, K to 6, K to 12 and the adult open group.

While it may be a smaller competition, such as a national or state tournament, Walstrom says it prepares them for when they host the state in a month at West Middle School.

“I had the interest of the Spearfish people. Some people in Wyoming have approached us about participating in tournaments and we have approached other organizations in South Dakota like the Sioux Falls Club and tried to get them involved as well. So when we start doing these USCF ranked tournaments, we’ll have a bigger gathering of students,” Walstrom said.

Trophies were awarded from first to third place in all sections, as well as a special trophy – a sportsmanship trophy.

For more information on tournament registration and the Rapid City Area Scholastic Chess Club, click here.

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