Congratulations to this Young Chess Team

by Daurine Wehbe

Every parent wants to give their child the best start in life. Many say that the game of chess stimulates the brain. Chess is a wonderful game that can be played anywhere and at any age and trains the mind to think strategically. Children that play
Chess start to see the importance of planning ahead.

Gainesville’s Oak Hall chess team, “The Eagles” recently brought home a United States Chess Federation National Championship from Nashville. It was the twelfth in the school’s history. The Kindergarten team took the top spot in their grade and climbed to number one in the U.S. rankings.

Oak Hall’s other attending teams all placed as well; first grade, third grade, and fourth grade won second, sixth, and fifth place, respectively. They were the only team to place everyone within the top ten.

Over 1,500 students from all over the country gathered in Tennessee for the K-12 National Chess Championships, an event Oak Hall was excited to participate in and was well-prepared for. “This is the one event we practice and prepare for all year,” said Tim Tusing, the school’s chess coach.

The Oak Hall School Chess Club was established by Tusing in 1997 when his son, Timothy Andrew, was attending the third grade at OHS (then Martha Manson Academy). The initial group was seven students who met once a week.

The Club meets every day after school during the school year, all day on school holidays, and every day of the summer. It is important for beginning chess players (even ones this good) to play consistently throughout the year. They want to stay in
top form for upcoming tournaments, and eventually for a chance to defend their title at next year’s National Championship.