The brothers battle for the Ridgewood Chess Club Championship

WEST LAFAYETTE – For 32 years, a champion’s name has been added to the Ridgewood Chess Club plaque for winning the Spring Open Chess Tournament. This year one thing was certain, the Smolder name would be placed on the champion plaque for 2021.

For the first time, two brothers faced each other in the Spring Open championship match. The only drama left to play was which first name would go on the plaque.

The Spring Open tournament has two divisions, fourth and fifth grade and sixth and seventh grade. The junior grades champion was Noah Smolder and the other division was won by Jadon Smolder.

They faced off in a best-of-three match to earn the right to have their names inscribed on the coveted Spring Open champion plaque. Noah gave his older brother Jadon a good challenge, but it wasn’t enough. Jadon won the best of three match formats and will have his name added to the champion’s plaque as the 2021 winner.

Jadon Smoulder, winner of the 2021 Ridgewood Spring Chess Championship.

Another first for the chess club came in 2019. Autumn Joyce became the first female champion to add her name to the plate. She opened the door and since that year a large number of girls have joined the chess club.

2016 became the first year the name of a son of a former champion was added to the plaque. Kenny Baker had his name added to the plaque twice, winning in 1990 and 1991. His son, Ryan Baker, won 25 years later.

On a darker note, there was another first for Chess Club recently. Last year became the only year the Spring Chess Tournament was cancelled. The tournament had just started when COVID-19 hit and closed schools in the area.

Information and photo submitted by Ridgewood Chess Club Advisor, Terry Guilliams.

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