The BHS Chess team attended state March 3 and 4 in Stanwood. We again had a large team of over 20 players so we decided to field two teams in the league, a Varsity A and B team that, impressively, both qualified for the state tournament!
Before I recap the state tournament, I would like to again congratulate the team on all their successes this year. We competed in the state individual about a month ago at the elite private school, Lakeside High School (Bill Gates Alma Mater), where the small town of Blaine came in and made some serious noise with high placement in all the divisions:
Championship division: Carson Roesch - 3rd place
Premier division: Soren Stanley - 2nd place
Reserve division: Xander Hodges - 3rd place
We went on to get 2nd place for best team score winning the large trophy pictured below:
We also had our first ever third place finish in the Northwest League just barely missing second place by half a point after an intense round against Ferndale played in the BHS cafeteria.
Congratulations to the team for a great season! Now onto the exciting state recap...
The State Chess Tournament took place at Stanwood High School this year. The top teams around the state met to play in a 5-round team tournament over two days where the schools' top 5 players go head-to-head in team match-ups. The Borderites knew it was going to be a grueling 2 days and trained hard both mentally and physically, practicing and watching endless you tube videos on chess theory, to prepare for the big event. Each game had a long-time control of 90 minutes for each player with a 5 second delay (meaning games can potentially go over 4 hours) on the clock.
Round 1, the Varsity A came in swinging by sweeping their opponents and scoring an impressive 5 out of 5 points. It was a great start but also meant that we would be pitted against the #1 seed Tesla High School in Round 2 whose board 1 just happened to be a FIDE Master. The FIDE Master is an official title a chess player can receive from the International Chess Federation. It is the third highest title a player can achieve, coming only after grandmaster and international master. Board 1 Carson Roesch gave it his all and after an intense 4 hour plus game, it was the FIDE Master who came out on top.
The Borderites were up for the challenge and fought hard against this powerhouse team. They tried everything from surprise openings to our second board Soren Stanley doing midgame push-ups out in the hallway.
But in the end, it was only our third board Shawn Waters who managed to eke out a draw getting us .5 of 5 points in round two. The Varsity A fought on and just barely missed Blaine's first ever placement in state chess by 1 point. It was a little disappointing but considering where we placed last year and how far we've come, I am sure great things are in store for these bright kids' futures. Congratulations Varsity A!
The Varsity B team comprised mostly players new to our team this year. What an impressive feat that they were able to make the state tournament in their first year playing competitive chess. Not only that, they managed to score more total points than our Varsity A team did last year in the state tournament. Way to go!
Everyone fought hard and played really well, even after our board 2 was unable to make it on the second day due to illness. Team alternate Camden Clark stepped up and managed to go undefeated scoring 3 of 3 points on day 2 and going out with a bang on his senior year. Congratulations! Below you can see him drawing a crowd playing his third and final game.
Thank you for all your support this season and congratulations also to the boys' basketball team and good luck to the Knowledge Bowl team at state this weekend. Go Borderites!