More than 300 students battled over the boards recently during the annual UCS chess tournament.
The students played five, 40-minute games in nine different grade-level sections in what turned out to be the largest chess tournament in the competition’s 18-year history.
“I like chess because it is fun,” said Roberts Elementary fifth-grader Reese Preston. “You really need to think hard.”
The chess tournament — one of the largest in the area — is sponsored annually to give students the opportunity have fun in a local competition, according to organizer and Roberts teacher Scott Burnham.
“Chess is important because it has been confirmed to raise a player’s IQ, improve standardized test scores, increase math ability, advance reading levels, foster problem-solving ability and most importantly teaches consequences through touch chess,” Burnham said. “Plus it is a life-long game that can be enjoyed anywhere in the world.”
While the majority of players came from Utica Community Schools, students traveled from Canton, Novi, St. Clair Shores, Lake Orion and Oxford to participate.
Players won awards in two areas. Medals were awarded based on the number of wins (gold for all five wins, silver for four or 4.5 wins, and bronze for three or 3.5 wins). Trophies were awarded to the top players in each section.
All in all, 65 trophies were handed out with 133 medals awarded.
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– GM Susan Polgar