SHS to sponsors chess tourney fundraiser

Published 9:31 pm Saturday, April 23, 2016

The Selma High Chess Team, in partnership with Caesar Chess, L.L.C., will host its first Scholastic Chess Tournament at the school next weekend.

Tiffany Moore coaches the team and said she has had good participation since she started it in October.

“I noticed that my students who weren’t athletic needed something to do and that chess would be a positive outlet for our students,” Moore said. “There were a lot of people playing already in the city when I started the team. I am hoping the community will come out because this is big for our city.”

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She said she wants to bring awareness on the impact the game has on youth and opportunities that can come from chess such as scholarships and professional jobs.

Caesar Chess, L.L.C is located in Birmingham and Caesar Lawrence is the director. The company has been teaching people in Birmingham and Montgomery how to play chess for 25 years. It also promotes tournaments across the state of Alabama.

Lawrence picked up a love for the game during his undergraduate studies at Alabama State University when he joined the school’s chess team. He said he is excited about bringing a tournament to Selma.

“I know there are a few people in Selma who play and I’m hoping we get a lot of people to show up,” Lawrence said.

Some of the kids he teaches in Montgomery and Birmingham have been invited to come to the tournament. He said in all of the years of playing chess, he has realized that it is more than just a game.

“It taught me to make good decisions. It teaches life skills. You have to develop a plan and execute the plan to win,” Lawrence said.

Students of different grade levels will be split into three different sections in the tournament: rated, not rated and primary.

“Rated means they are playing on the national level and is for people who want to be recognized and get an actual rate on their skills. Not rated means the players who compete in this section will not get a rating,” Lawrence said.

Those who don’t want to be rated are required to pay a registration fee of $10 while people who wish to play in the rated category and have received recognition from the United States Chess Federation and Alabama Chess Federation have to pay $20.

The sections are separated by grades; rated welcomes students and grades kindergarten through twelfth, not rated is for students in the sixth-twelfth grades and primary is for kindergarten through fiftg grade.

All fees will go toward the Selma High Chess Team to aid them in buying equipment and paying for travel expenses for tournaments throughout the new school year.

There will be trophies awarded to first, second and third places and medals given to those who place in fourth, fifth and sixth.

The Scholastic Chess Tournament will be April 30 at Selma High School from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Those who need to register should come at 9 a.m.

To register before the day of the event, contact Moore at (256) 541-0647.