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Today was the regional Chess for Success scholastic tournament, and I coached 10
boys from Archer Glen to compete for the right to compete in the state
tournament in March. There were 11 teams competing and we needed to finish 1st
or 2nd to advance. I knew we had a strong team, but I had no expectations of
advancing and just wanted the boys to have fun and try their hardest.

They did amazingly well! This is a team competition in five rounds, swiss-
style. Of the 10 players we send to the tournament, we count the scores for
the top four players on the team. Players get 1 point for a win, 1/2 point for
a draw, and 0 for a loss. So the maximum team score over five rounds is 20

The Archer Glen Chess Team. Back row: Coach, Conner Hendryx, Spencer LaFarge,
Jackson Wright, Ryan Foley, Justin Davis. Front row: Nick Rowlands, Collin
Christensen, Jordan Morales, Jacob Brooks, Matthew Brooks.

Our team got off to a great start with a perfect score of 8 after the first
two rounds. Things got tough then, with a couple of our heavy hitters taking
losses in the third round, where we score 2.5 points. By the time the final
round came up, we were tied for second place with 12 points, with two other
teams knocking on the door with 11.5. We needed some key final round victories
to secure a second place finish and a trip to the state championship.

Our hero of the day, Justin Davis, carried us with a perfect 5-0 record,
winning the individual championship. Jacob and Conner Hendryx had critical
final round victories to give the team a final score of 14.5, tying them for
second place and a trip to the state championship! Jacob finished the day with
3 points, making him one of the top 4 players on the Archer Glen team.

Matthew had a great day as well - he held the team's 10th position, and was
the only first grader playing in the tournament. He finished the day with 2
points and felt great about his achievements.

One highlight was a team chess game on the giant chessboard.