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Let's Play Chess!

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Tournament Results

The Idaho State Scholastic Chess Championships were held at Eagle Middle School March 4, 5, and 6, 2005 with just under 200 participants in three divisions: grades 7 through 12, 4 through 6, and K through 3. In addition to individual winners, the state team championships were also decided.

In the 7 through 12 competition, Phillip Weyland placed first overall and was declared Idaho State Scholastic champion. Second was Kenrick Barkell; third, Bobby Powers; and fourth, Stephen Keele. Jesse Brent placed first in the high school division; Nick Crabbs, second and Zack Furman, third. In the junior high division, Andrew Curtright placed first; Abbot Pinkerton, second and Matt Dominick, third.

Grade 4 through 6 overall competition was won by Albert Hong. Alex Harmon placed second; Adam Jiang, third and Matthew Farrell, fourth. Individual winners in sixth grade were Marcus Anthony, Ryan Latham and Gary Parkensen. Fifth grade: Koby Conrad, Emily Curtright and Andrew Hoth. Fourth grade: Anthony Ames, Ethan Jessee and Christy Barkell.

K through 3 overall winners were Brian Hong, Charlie Saad, Elijah Hill and Danny Takeuchi. Third grade winners included Sage Sundrud, Jonathon Altieri and Tristan Arnold. Second grade: Ryan Kotek, Tyler Gorsuch and Nicholas Harmon. First grade: Matthew Darcy, Eric Bunnell and Joshua Gliege. Kindergarten: Duncan Sibley, Alex Hamrick and Kevin Jin.

In team competition, grades 7 through 12, Hidden Springs placed first, followed by Centennial and Fairmont. Grades 4 through 6 were North Star, Washington and Pioneer. The K through 3 division winners were Hidden Springs, Pioneer and Seven Oaks.

The Problem

Just as achievement may earn a place in history, so may failure. Today's problem is one of the two most celebrated examples of unwarranted resignation and is therefore part of "chess legend." Black was Von Popiel-Marco, one of the finest chess analysts of his day, and the tournament was Monte Carlo, 1902, with Black to play. White had just moved so he had three pieces attacking Black's bishop, and Black had only two defending it with no prospects of finding another. Since losing his bishop was tantamount to losing the game against a formidable opponent, Marco resigned.

How did Marco feel after throwing away a whole point? He was finally able to move beyond the oversight-success in chess is the capacity to cope with failure! Chess, indeed, forces all players to do so. Even in world championship matches of 10 games, the champion never wins every game and the final margin is often only a one point advantage.

Problem Solution: It was pointed out later to poor Popiel-Marco that had he found the brilliant 1 ... Bg1, his opponent, would have been forced to resign! The latter would have had to take the bishop, or he would have mated by 1 ... , Qxh2, and so would have lost his queen! Other possibilities for White are no better.