FAIRBORN — The 2019 Fairborn Skyhawk Scholastic Chess Tournament was a “check mate” for the local team.
According to the Fairborn Skyhawk Chess Program Director Tony Mumford, 41 players from across Ohio attended the community’s first chess tournament, hosted Aug. 24, and the Fairborn Intermediate School Chess Club was able to “sweep the board” with first place trophies in all of the team divisions.
Chess Senior Master William Sedlar, the highest-rated chess player in Ohio, along with Chess Life Master Charles Diebert, a 46-year-chess veteran, was on-hand during the tournament to offer game analysis and instruction.
“The tournament went well,” Mumford said. “It was a successful event.”
Mumford highlighted that another local chess tournament is being planned in November following a summer season of chess games being hosted at varying Fairborn parks. He added that Fairborn City School students are displaying an increased interest in joining the club.
“Kids are welcome anywhere in [the Dayton area],” Mumford said. “All they have to have is an interest and want to learn and compete.”
Regular Fairborn Skyhawk Chess Program meetings are set to start back up for the 2019-2020 school year Tuesday, Sept. 3. Beginner players meet from 3:30-4:30 p.m., while advanced players meet from 3:30-5 p.m. at Fairborn Primary School. Mumford said students from anywhere in the district are able to attend as participants will be bused from their respective school buildings to the meeting location at Fairborn Primary School. There is no cost to participate.
“If you make the wrong decision in chess, the game is over. There are penalties,” Mumford said in a previous interview. “It teaches life skills. It’s all about consequences and repercussions.”
The Fairborn Skyhawk Chess Program came to fruition when Mumford, a 20-year chess player, approached the schools with the idea of bringing the activity to the district. He was introduced to Ernie Sheeler, an advisor for the club, who said, “let’s do it.”
The local chess program participants have since added a number of trophies to their shelves. The team last year took first place at a tournament in Cleveland and took every trophy except for first and third individual trophies during the Queen City Classic Chess Tournament.
“The final analysis is it’s not about whether we win or lose,” Mumford said previously. “We win if the kids make confident life choices. My check-mate is long range — it’s how the kids end up in life.”
Contact Whitney Vickers at 937-502-4532.