December Chess Tournament At Rickover Academy

After the chess enrichment one day, Owen asked if he can join the upcoming chess tournament.  I knew he enjoyed chess but was surprised he was interested in competing.  I registered him for the free Chicago Chess Foundation tournament held on December 1, which they host monthly throughout the city. Three other friends from the chess enrichment were also competing with him on the team.

Going into the tournament, we did not know what to expect. Thank goodness parent/coach Aisha knew the ins and outs of this tournament. They play 5 rounds and each subsequent rounds, they play kids within their range. Each round, a child receives 1 pt for a win, .5 for a stalemate, and 0 for a loss.  The top 4 scores for each team is taken into account for the team total.

The organizers posted the pairings for round 1 and off the kids went to find their spot at the table. I took a spot out of view. I just couldn’t watch!  Round one ended in a stalemate for Owen and 3 losses for the other boys.  That’s only round 1 and the boys were not phased. They couldn’t wait for the next round! Round 2, another stalemate for Owen and another teammate, plus a win for Jacob, coach Aisha’s son. One teammate had to leave after 2 rounds.  They were now a team of 3.  Owen lost the third round but the other 2 won. Round 4, they all came out empty handed. Still not phased, the boys were ready for the 5th & final round. Fifth & final round, one teammate won fairly quick, Jacob won in a head-to-head battle, Owen was still playing when I looked over at him and when he looked up and saw me, he smiled the biggest smile, gave me two thumbs up and raised his hand. Checkmate! Team sweep! Yay!

Despite the long day, I really enjoyed the tournament and seeing so many kids from all around the city focused and having fun. I was so proud of each of our team for showing great sportsmanship. We knew it was a long-shot for placing in their division, since the winning team had 13 players.  That was ok.  They had fun and can’t wait for the next one!

-Laarni Livings, Mom/Chess Club Supporter


Interested in joining the SLES chess team? Please contact Coach Aisha (  All levels & grades welcome!  You don’t need to be signed up for the chess enrichment class. We will be setting up team practices outside of the after school enrichment.

Next tournament:
Saturday January 19th, 2018
De La Salle Institute, 3434 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60616


If you are a parent who can teach strategies or beginning chess, please let us know.