Chess team makes moves

Chess team members Rosalee Spivey and J.R. Gumarin (juniors) compete at tournament in Atlanta.

Chess team members J.R. Gumarin, left, and Rosalee Spivey compete at tournament in Atlanta.

By CARLY WANNA, Gazebo Editor

The chess team competed in a tournament on Martin Luther King Day.  The Stratford club members left early in the morning to attend the all-day competition at Whitefield School in Atlanta. While none of the high school students brought back awards, they were competitive.

It was the second tournament the team has attended this year.  The first was a national competition in Orlando, Florida, held in early December.  While the MLK tournament did not measure up to the size of the national tourney, it still held great quality, said chess club president Shawn Shivdat.  

Shivdat was joined at the competition by fellow sophomore Carson Greene and juniors Rosalee Spivey and J.R. Gumarin. Math teacher Bobby Stecher serves as the faculty advisor. A group of Stratford middle school students also participated.

The club hopes to expand its agenda as the year continues by forming a regional chess organization in which volunteers will go to various schools in the area to establish chess programs.   

“We’ve come a long way, and I think we’ve got momentum for the game now.  Our team as a whole is improving at a rapid pace,” said Shivdat.  He also said he was very proud of the team’s performance at the competition.

The January 18 tournament had community service opportunities in recognition  of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.  However, the Stratford team opted not to pay the fee to participate in the ceremonies.  In this competition, players stopped the clock after each move, and, if a competitor’s clock ran down to 25 before the end of the game, the contestant lost.  In total, each participant played five rounds.