Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

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April 19, 2013

Youth chess on the rise

games: Weekly matches at youth bureau drawing increased interest.

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Seventeen youths took part in the latest session of the Golden Knights Monday Night Chess League at the city youth bureau.

The league is open to students in kindergarten through ninth grade. Members participate in a weekly scholastic chess match, under tournament conditions of the U.S. Chess Federation, directed by coach Michael A. McDuffie.

In the latest session, Golden Knight certificates were presented to chess league winners: Andrew Pencille, K-9 champion; Corey Spencer, K-9 second place; Kevin Kovach and Dylan Teague, tied for K-9 third place; Jon Luke Pencille, K-4 champion; Danielle Spencer, K-4 second place; Veronika McGriff, K-4 third place; and Aidan Shea, K-4 fourth place.

Jon Luke Pencille, the K-4 league champion, is a pre-kindergarten student who has beaten his dad at the game of chess and is now teaching other preschoolers how to play.

“Sometimes they catch you by surprise,” McDuffie said. “The number of students (in the league) is growing at each session, and more players are improving by defeating their parents, siblings and grandparents.”

The league meets in eight-week sessions, from 6 to 8 p.m. Mondays. The membership fee is $15 per person, per session.

The next session begins April 29. Novices are welcome. For more information, call 434-3071 or send an e-mail to knightsof64@yahoo.com.

McDuffie is the founder and chess ambassador of the Archangel 8 Chess Academy, an affiliate of the U.S. Chess Federation that encourages youth chess play in the Buffalo, Niagara Falls and Lockport areas. 

•••

The first Golden Knights Chess Tournament for all ages and all levels will be held Sunday at Panera’s, 5744 S. Transit Road.

Sections of play are adult/high school and scholastic K-9. Players in both will play four games, no elimination.

Cash prizes of $200, $100 and $60 will be awarded in the adult division. Trophies will be awarded to the top three winners in the K-9 (fifth through ninth grade) and K-4 sections, as well as to the top female scholastic player.

Players should bring their own chess set, board and digital chess clock.

Scholastic registration starts at 1 p.m. The entry fee is $20 cash. The first game begins at 1:30 p.m.; succeeding games begin every hour.

Adult registration is at 1:30 p.m. The entry fee is $25 cash. The first game begins at 2 p.m.; succeeding games will start every 75 minutes.

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