Chess club to hold state championship this weekend at LHS


Photo Courtesy Mrs. Jabar

LHS will host the state chess tournament this weekend.

The chess team will host the 2016 NH Scholastic Individual Chess Championships on Saturday, March 19, at Londonderry High School.

“It’s exciting,” adviser Ms. Jabar said. “This competition is more centrally located in Londonderry than in Exeter like last year, so I’m hoping it will bring more recognition to the game of chess.”

With a starting time of 10 am, players will face a long day of games with each lasting an hour. Unlike a typical tournament, where the clock is set for half an hour, competitors will get an extra half hour per game during this meet to try to force opponents into checkmate.

Senior team member Michael Sweet knows that he has to keep his focus throughout the long and “mentally taxing day” and hopes to do better than last year by placing in the top 10 individuals.

“The hardest part of this meet is keeping your focus,” Sweet said. “You have to make moves wisely because taking a chance could be pivotal in a win.”

Anyone can play in the championships as long as they are in school and part of the NH Chess Association and the U.S Chess Federation.

“This group wanted to compete, and I wanted to get them to compete,” Jabar said.

Players are matched by rating and their rating is determined by games played. However, r

anking doesn’t determine who wins. According to Jabar “everyone has a shot at winning.”

“I think that they all have the potential to do well this Saturday,” Jabar said.

However, Sweet said he has learned “chess isn’t only about winning.”

“It’s a learning process,” he said. “You get better over the years with practice.”

Saturday also provides seniors with their last chance to complete their goals as individuals in high school. Like Sweet, senior Nate Livernois also hopes to do better this weekend than last year.

“I didn’t know what to expect [last year],” Livernois said. “I thought I was good, but I found out I wasn’t as good as I thought.”

Livernois is the highest rated team member of the chess team, and Ms. Jabar credits him with starting the chess team and being the “driving force of the team.”

Livernois’s parting words for anyone interested in playing chess?

“Just do it,” he said. “You don’t need to be good. Going to tournaments helps you become better.”

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