Western Pennsylvania Libraries Prepare for Upcoming Chess Tournaments

At 12, Sidd Ramineni is understandably a bit shy when it comes to talking about his accomplishments.

But with a shelf in his Murrysville home filled with chess trophies, he would certainly have plenty to brag about.

“I like the strategy you have to use,” said Sidd, who is once again gearing up for the annual Library Chess Tournaments held across the region.

He’s twice won the Delmont Public Library Tournament, including last year’s. And he won first and second place in the Murrysville Community Library Tournament as well as wins at the Westmoreland County level.

And that only covers the last four years.

Children in kindergarten through eighth grade are invited to participate in the tournaments, which are held at most area county libraries.

The winners will move on to the county tournament on March 28, which will be hosted by the Murrysville Library.

For Apollo’s Harry Replogle, who organizes both the Murrysville Chess Tournament and the Westmoreland County Tournament, it’s a chance to see students put his lessons into practice.

“I’ve been playing chess for about 50 years,” said Replogle. “That’s the challenge of the game. There are so many possibilities.

Replogle regularly works with chess students at the Vandergrift Public Library, hosting a Monday evening class from January to March.

“I help them prepare for tournaments and I also teach,” he said.

Newcomers should familiarize themselves with the intricacies, challenges, and proven strategies employed in this nearly 1,500 year old game.

“Some of the first things I need to fix are the opening strategies,” Replogle said. “You always want to avoid the ‘four move checkmate’ that almost all beginners fall for.”

Sidd has no such worries, but admitted he has his challenges too.

“I sometimes play too fast and make mistakes when I do that,” he said.

Patrick Varine is an editor at Tribune-Review. You can contact Patrick at 724-850-2862, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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