The Summer Scholastic Open held in Claremore last Saturday drew nearly 60 dedicated scholastic chess players from across Oklahoma. This tournament offered scholastic players an opportunity to renew their interest in chess just before the school year begins.

Tournament players competed in five different sections according to their chess ratings. Players receive ratings after participating in a USCF (United States Chess Federation) rated tournament.

After five rounds in the U500 (under 500 rating and unrated) section for K-4, Wesley Shaffer (home school, Chelsea) and Jimmy Ammons (Claremore Christian School) were tied for first place with three wins and two draws each for a total 4 out of 5 possible points. According to tournament rules, ties for first place are broken by a blitz match in which opponents are each given five minutes on the clock. After the dust settled, the first place trophy went to Wesley Shaffer and Jimmy Ammons took home the second place trophy. Three opponents in this section earned 3.5 wins and tied for third place. Ties other than first place are determined by tie-break rules. At the end of the day, the third place trophy went to Kai Jorgensen (Washington Elementary Grade Center, Ada) with the other players receiving medals.

In the K-6 U700 section, Trent Sartin from Bixby Middle School earned top honors with a perfect 5 for 5 wins for the day. Joshua Drumm (Will Rogers Elementary, Norman) received the second place trophy with 4 out of 5 wins. Third place was determined by tie break rules with Jasmine Roe (Jenks East Elementary, Jenks) taking home this trophy.

In the K-12 U900 section, Jonathan Luscomb (Legacy Christian School, Claremore) received the first place trophy for a perfect 5 score for the day. Second and third place were determined by tie break rules with Evan Drumm (Central Middle School, Edmond) taking home second place and Nathan Duncan (home school, Collinsville) taking home third place.

Competing in the K-12 U1100 rated section, Patrick Leung of Jenks East Intermediate secured the first place trophy with an impressive 4.5 wins for the day. Alec Wilson from Will Rogers Junior High in Claremore received the second place trophy scoring 4 out of 5. Third place trophy was earned by Matthew Camp (Booker T. Washington, Tulsa).

In the K-12 Premier section for those rated over 1100, Kenny Lin (Country Lane Elementary, Broken Arrow) and David Luscomb (Will Rogers Junior High, Claremore) initially tied for first winning 3 out of 4 games. First place was determined by a blitz match. After three rounds, Kenny Lin won first place honors and David Luscomb took home second place. Sean McDonough (Jenks High School) and Dakota White (Will Rogers High School, Claremore) tied for third place. Based on tie break rules, Sean McDonough took home the third place trophy.

Scholastic tournaments are run by volunteers associated with OSCO (Oklahoma Scholastic Chess Organization). Tournament directors for the Summer Scholastic Open included USCF Senior Tournament Director Mike Swatek, USCF Local TD Rod Whitlatch, USCF Club TDs Robert McDonough and Lauren Shaffer, and assistant TD, Dan Wade.

Chess benefits for students are numerous and include discipline, sportsmanship, improved academic performance, and increased self-esteem. Scholastic chess opportunities are numerous in the Claremore area: CUE and Will Rogers Junior High have very active clubs. The Will Rogers Junior High team has taken home the First Place Team title in the Oklahoma Scholastic Championship for the past two years in a row. Mike Swatek organizes these clubs and may be reached at 342-4245 or admin@swatek.com.

The Claremore Christian Scholastic Chess Club will begin meeting Friday afternoons beginning in September. This club is open to students in Christian schools, home school, and other public schools that do not have a chess club. For information contact Julie Luscomb at 341-7826 or julie_luscomb@hotmail.com.

Many other Claremore area schools provide options for your child to learn how to play chess. Check with your school to find out about these opportunities for your child.

Java Dave’s opens their doors to scholastic players accompanied by an adult on Thursday evenings from 6:30-9:00. This informal chess gathering allows players from the Claremore area to meet each other and practice their chess skills. When his schedule permits, National Chess Master Chuck Unruh comes to give chess lessons and game analysis.

For additional information on Oklahoma scholastic chess, visit www.okschess.org.