Chess tournament held online due to COVID-19

Due+to+COVID-19%2C+Chess+tournaments+have+been+moved+online%2C+using+chess.com.+Club+sponser%2C+Erin+Holder%2C+hopes+that+the+online+tournaments+won%27t+span+the+entire+season%2C+and+that+the+state+competition+will+still+be+in+person+at+Wichita+State+University+on+March+3.

Caitlin Leiker

Due to COVID-19, Chess tournaments have been moved online, using chess.com. Club sponser, Erin Holder, hopes that the online tournaments won’t span the entire season, and that the state competition will still be in person at Wichita State University on March 3.

Chess Club officially opened the season with their first tournament against Canton-Galva High School on Nov. 7. The tournament was held virtually for the first time due to COVID-19.

The Kansas Scholastic Chess Association set up a group on chess.com so that they could run their own breakout sessions of competing students.

“The format wasn’t something we were familiar with at all,” chess coach Erin Holder said. “However, at the beginning of the year, I made sure everyone had an account on chess.com because we had a meeting of all the coaches in Kansas to talk about what this year is going to look like, and I knew that going in.”

Before the tournament, the team held a couple mock tournaments to help students prepare for the real thing.
Holder said she hopes that this season will not be one of online-only tournaments, but that the team can get used to the virtual format, nevertheless.

The state competition is currently scheduled for March 3 in person at Wichita State University, but Holder said that nothing is certain.

“If anything escalates with this whole COVID thing in the future, then State will have to be done in this format as well, so we definitely need that practice to get in there and get used to those online tournaments just in case it happens,” Holder said. “It’s all playing by ear at this point.”

21cleiker@usd489.com