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If success is based upon making all the right moves, Dan Yeager is piecing his future together quite nicely, as the undisputed “Game of Kings” king of Hatboro-Horsham High School has won a chess scholarship from the University of Texas at Dallas. Yeager was awarded the four-year, $68,000 prize after winning the Denker Tournament of High School Champions in August, an event that brings together each state’s high school champion.
And since the senior, who started playing at the age of 11 with his father, Rick, hasn’t lost a match in four years for the Hatters, no one around here should be surprised. Just don’t ask the 17-year-old his secret, because even he doesn’t know exactly how he’s seemingly mastered chess in a relatively short time.
“I guess I started a little late,” Dan said during a chess club meeting after school on Tuesday. “But once I started practicing a lot, I was able to beat my dad pretty quick.”
Then just about everybody else who sat down across from him.
But if you think Dan is ready to brag about becoming the first Hatter to win such a scholarship, guess again. The quiet competitor seems more content helping others piece together strategies, rather than showing off. And his teammates, who compete in the Lower Bucks County Scholastic Chess League against schools like New Hope Academy and Pennsbury, appreciate the help.
“Put it this way, I don’t think all of us together could beat Dan,” Kevin Ly, a junior teammate said. Ly added a few of them actually tried to team up and take out the undefeated master, but were beaten quickly. It’s Dan’s ability to quickly size up a board and see several moves ahead that Ly cites as his biggest strengths.
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