By Greg Klein
---- — Cooperstown Central School placed second out of 10 teams in a Make the Right Moves chess tournament at the New York State Museum in Albany on April 13.
“This was a huge accomplishment considering this was the first tournament most of the kids have ever participated in,” said chess club coach Brian Guzy.
Guzy started the club just this year. Cooperstown finished with 14 points, one behind tournament champs St. Joseph Mighty Pawns.
“And the best part is we narrowly beat out the Mighty Rooks of Kingston, a nationally ranked team,” Guzy said.
Theodore Dutcher and Tyler Columbo placed first and second in the Knight division, which was made up of 26 “non-rated” players in grades 6 to 12. Dutcher won all four of his games to take first place.
“This is an amazing accomplishment,” Guzy said.
In the Bishop division, for non-rated players in grades 3 to 5, George Danes placed fourth and Nathan Heavner placed 11th out of 29 players.
Guzy’s own children also did well. In the Queen division for experienced, rated players, 9-year-old Devon placed first out of 24 players. Her brothers Blake and Cooper placed third and seventh respectively.
Carson Guzy, 11, who placed ninth at the SuperNationals V Chess Tournament in Nashville earlier in the month, won two matches in Albany in the King division, which is the highest rated division.
Guzy said he was also proud of his other players and their accomplishments: Second-grader Will Danes, the youngest member of the club, won by checkmate in his final match; Audrey Dutcher won two matches by checkmate; Maddy Hayes won one game by checkmate; Grant Crowson had one win and one draw.
Based on the team’s success, Guzy said he is applying to host the Regional Chess Championship on May 19.
“This would be a great honor,” he said.