By Carl Ameno
Chess, the only board game that depends solely on skill and virtually no luck, has been in existence almost since civilization began. Having been around for so long, it’s a wonder that it took until now for eleven members of the Nazzaro Center to become the first ever North End contingent to participate in an official chess tournament.
The North End Knights chess team, in collaboration with the North End Library, took part in a 4-round tournament sponsored by the Boylston Chess Club and sanctioned by the United States Chess Federation.
The team has been in existence for two years now but this was the first time they ventured into the world of organized tournament play. Placing 3 boys and 1 girl in the 14-under bracket and another 5 boys and 2 girls in the 8-under division, each participant played four games within their division and, through a point system, the top three winners in each division were declared the victors.
Differing slightly from a casual game of chess, each child was required to use a chess clock and record their game move by move. Also, strict observance of the” touch rule’, time restriction (30 minutes per player each game) and No Talking Rule were also in play.
Being the first tournament for all 11 team members, no one was expecting anyone to finish in the money. But amazingly, the team saw Aiden Hennessey tie for second and Sebastian Niese finish in 4th.
It was indeed a unique experience for these 11 chess enthusiasts as well as all the parents who came to watch and all came away with an appreciation of the special set of skills, both mental and physical, required to play in such a tournament.
Chess lovers everywhere are invited to join the bi-monthly lessons given at the North End Library by chess master Jannelle Richardson, free of charge. Next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, November 7 beginning at 3:30 pm. For more information, call the Nazzaro Center at 617-635-5166 and ask for Carl.