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Let's Play Chess!


Tournament Announcement

Idaho State University President's Chess Challenge and the Idaho Open Chess Tournament is open to all chess players April 29 through 30 at Idaho State University in the Salmon River Suite, Pond Student Union. 5 Round Swiss, Game-90 time control. Friday rounds at 9 a.m., 1:30 and 6 p.m. Saturday rounds at 9 and 1:30. 1/2 point byes (2 max.) available in rounds. 1-4 if arranged before the end of Round 2. $3,000 guaranteed prize fund-one of the largest Idaho prize funds ever!

Entry fee is $15 for ISU students, $40 before April 15 or $50 after/at the door.

Thursday evening, April 28, International Masters Igor Ivanov and John Donaldson will provide instruction for all those present, beginning at 6 p.m.

For further information, lodging, etc., contact tournament director Jay Simonson at

The Problem

What may appear to be easy will be more difficult than you think! Study the diagram for five minutes if necessary, before checking the solution. Pretend you're the general of the black army and have a winning end game position, being four pawns up. But, white has just moved his knight to e5, which looks like a silly move, since you can capture the knight with your own knight or your queen. If you were to idly capture white's knight with your knight, what would be his very best (and very surprising) move? The answer is at the end of the column.

We feel a brief description of chess notation is in order for those young people who are not familiar with it. Most chessboards have the vertical columns marked across the bottom of the board on the white side from "a" through "h." The crosswise "ranks" are numbered along the left side from "1" up through "8." White moves his knight to e5, which means you look across to "e" and then count upwards to "5" and on that square now sits white's knight. Now, black knight is suggested to take white's knight, a move black might make if he or she wasn't paying sufficient attention. What move could white then make that would surprise and sadden black?

Tournament Results

Idaho Chess Association Scholastic Girls Championship was held on February 12, 2005.

The second annual Idaho Girls Championship was played at Cynthia Mann Elementary and included a total of 22 entrants, almost double the number attending the 2004 event.

In the open section, Emily Nicholas of Eagle Middle School and Erica Barkell of Lewis & Clark Middle School tied for first after three rounds, both with 2-1/2-1/2 scores. Emily won the playoff and is eligible to participate in the National Susan Polgar Girls (Scholastic) Championship. In the "reserve" division, Christa Cole of Hidden Springs Charter School placed first, winning all five of her games. Second was Line Bayer-Winslow, also of Hidden Springs with a 4-1 record. Alexa Jessee of Meridian Medical Arts Charter School recorded a 4-1 score also, but received third place on tie break points, which usually reflect the final standings of those each player competed against during the competition. Eleven schools were represented and Hidden Springs fielded by far the largest group with 10 participants. Washington Elementary was second with three. This girls' event is building momentum and is destined to become a fixture on the Idaho Scholastic scene.