Chess Team Achieves Success

Gwen Clark, Writer

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The chess tournament was held at Kansas University on Saturday, Dec. 8. Washburn Rural took 1st place over Lawrence Free State, Shawnee Mission North, Lawrence High, and Leavenworth. Nine members of the WRHS chess club placed at the event. Sho Glashausser received first place. Glashausser is a sophomore, and this is his second year being a member of the chess club. He says he prepares for chess tournaments in many different ways.

“I am always grinding with chess lessons, practice games, puzzles, (and) reading chess books,” Glashausser said.

He says he also works on how he starts each game to be successful.

“Before a tournament, I emphasize practice on my openings so I will be prepared,” Glashausser said.

Math teacher Timothy McVey is the chess club sponsor. This is his second year as the sponsor.

“The players practice in my room every day after school except Wednesdays,” McVey said. “We start competing in October and finish with State in March. Usually we will attend about 10 tournaments throughout the year, which are all on Saturdays.”

Sophomore Andrew Dawson placed 17th at this tournament.

“I have been in chess club for almost a year and a half,” Dawson said.

Dawson entered the tournament with hopes of winning.

“My hopes (were) that I didn’t fail,” Dawson said. “We have a good team set up for us to succeed.”

Glashausser says he began playing chess when he was young, and he learned from his family members who also play.

“I learned how to play chess way back in the day, even before Fortnite was a thing,” Glashausser said. “I was four years old, and I learned by watching my Dad play with my older brother Kai, who was seven at the time.”

Dawson also began playing at a young age.
“I learned when I was 8 (that) I love playing,” Dawson said.

McVey began playing at age 12, so he has been playing for 20 years.

My dad taught me how to play and I really enjoyed it.  I started to get enough better than him that he would make me start without my queen when we played. When I was able to beat him without my queen he bought me an electronic chess set to use for practice. I started attending tournaments in middle school and in high school I formed a chess club with some of my chess playing friends and we went to tournaments.  After high school I didn’t play chess very much. When my son turned 5 he noticed my chess boards and wanted to learn how to play and he really enjoys chess as well so I took him to a tournament. About 2 years later I became the chess sponsor at Onaga and have been actively involved in chess ever since,” McVey said.

Seven other members of the school club placed at this tournament. Jay Ram placed 7th, Andrew Vanfossen placed 18th, Donna Jalosjos placed 19th, Silas Harmon placed 20th, Gabe Watson placed 22nd, Cooper Steinman placed 23rd, and Ryan Pence took 29th place.

We have a few really good players that have been helping our other players improve.” McVey said. “We played really well that tournament.

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