Chess team has all the right moves

Nov 30th, 2012

LAKE WALES – Bok Academy’s Chess Team members are keeping their eyes on the board and making all the right moves this fall.

Several students are regular participants in the Chess Team program, including Christian Pardo, Michael Smolinski, Tyson McAuliffe, Jude Clarke, Zach Marbutt, Donny Stesen, Jonathan Villareal, Quinton McAuliffe, and Melanie Pardo. The coach is Ryan Nichols.

“At practice, I had the players split up into two groups to play a simo,” explained Nichols. A “simo” allows
one person to play against multiple opponents.

“After 10 minutes, I had the students switch positions,” Nichols said. “After another 10 minutes, I had them switch again, so all players had a chance to play all parts of the simo. The purpose of this activity is to gain perspective of what your opponent may be thinking.”

Nichols said the simo also tests the skills of the person who is playing multiple games at once.

In addition to regular practice under the direction of Nichols, students are competing in the Ridge Chess Grand Prix, which totals 12 rounds.  After several rounds of competition, Bok student Christian Pardo is in third place and Zach Marbutt is in fifth place. (In the high school competition, Michael Smolinski is in sixth place.)

PHOTO #1: Jude Clarke contemplates his options on the chess board.

PHOTO #2: Zach Marbutt plays chess with Melanie Pardo in a practice game.

PHOTO #3: Zach Marbutt plays Donny Stesen during practice.

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