NORWALK — Two dozen of the country’s top chess players faced off in the final round of a two-day chess tournament with Columbia University taking home the top prize.
Four player teams — representing some of America’s most elite universities — competed for bragging rights and golden cup trophies at the first-ever Ivy League Chess Championship, sponsored by the Chess Club of Fairfield County.
“Chess players tend to be a competitive group, so bragging rights are a pretty big deal,” Club Director Melvin Patrick said.
Based on the turnout, Patrick said the competition was a big success. A total of 24 students from Yale, Columbia, Princeton and Dartmouth competed in the event, which wrapped up Sunday evening with an awards ceremony at the Norwalk-based chess club, which occupies a two-story building on West Avenue.
Club Manager Ian Harris said the Ivy League Chess Championship would return next year, with hopefully more schools and students represented. He also hopes to obtain corporate sponsorships.
“We would like to get all the Ivy Leagues involved,” Harris said. “These are some of the brightest kids in the world. They go to the Ivy League schools and they’re chess players too, so they’re the cream of the crop.”
The two-day tournament featured nail-bitting competition between some of the country’s most elite chess players. Even 20-year-old chess prodigy Robert Hess, who is currently ranked fifth in the country, had a seat at the table.
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