Signal Mountain Chess Teams Play At State Tournament

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The four Signal Mountain school chess teams may not have brought home trophies from the state Scholastic Chess Team Tournament, but they came home determined to go back and do better next year.

“Going to state is a big honor,” Jacob Gravett said, “but I think we need to practice a little more.”

His teammate, Hannah Massey agreed. “We did not win any trophies, but I will do all my best to prepare for the next tournament,” she said.

Both are sixth graders who were members of the team from Signal Mountain Middle School. The state competition included 16 teams in each division.

Nolan Elementary’s team of second and third graders placed 8th in the Primary division for grades Kindergarten through thirrd grade. Team players were Nicholas Barrett, Oliver Nimon, Hinton Stefaniuk, and Adrian Andreescu.

“I wish we could’ve won just one more game,” Oliver Nimon said.

That probably would have meant a trophy since those were only awarded to the top 6 teams and Nolan was ranked fourth going into the final round against the team that ended up 4th overall. “I really, really want to go back,” Oliver Nimon said.

Also in the Primary division, Thrasher Elementary’s team placed 11th. Team members were Yuji Steele, John “J.J.” Massey, Erol House, Alex Williams and Harry Sedwick.

A team of sixth graders from Signal Mountain Middle School placed 12th in the Elementary Division for fourth through sixth graders. Team members were Jacob Gravett, Ruston Shome, Hannah Massey, and John Wallace.

A team of fourth and fifth graders from Thrasher placed 13th in that same division. Team members were Ian Campbell, Masaki Steele, Will Baker, and Max Sewell.

“Both Mr. Kodsi and I were impressed with the enthusiasm that our students displayed and the way they conducted themselves during the tournament,” said Bill Cheal.

He and Joe Kodsi teach students the game of chess on a volunteer basis after school once a week at each of the three local Signal Mountain schools. Ross Rogers assists at Thrasher.

They gave local students a pep talk during the weekly club meetings immediately following the state competition on Saturday in Cookeville, Tn.

At Nolan Elementary, Mr. Cheal reviewed the team results, where each player won two matches and lost two matches.

“What would have been better," he said, with a smile, “was if you’d won three or four matches.” Mr. Cheal noted that the winning Primary team from the Memphis area has won the state competition in that division eight years in a row now. He also shared that chess is part of the curriculum at the top four winning schools, and chess students from those schools play chess at school five times a week and that many of them play in other tournaments “just for fun” on Saturday.

Mr. Cheal encouraged local chess students to play in more tournaments so they can play different people and gain more experience.

The Steele brothers from Thrasher said playing in the recent state tournaments was “fun because we could play with new players. We learned many skills, " they said. “"We enjoyed the state tournament, 100%!"

Their coaches also encouraged local students to enroll in a Chess Camp that Mr. Cheal and Mr. Kodsi will conduct as part of this summer’s camp schedule offered by the Mountain Education Foundation.



SCORE Selects 26 Teachers For The Tennessee Educator Fellowship

The State Collaborative on Reforming Education announces that 26 teachers have been selected for the 2015-16 class of the Tennessee Educator Fellowship and an experienced teacher from Shelby County Schools will lead the program in its second year.  “Teachers are the most important in-school factor for increasing student success, and their insight is crucial to developing ... (click for more)

GNTC Honors Students, Helping Lead Charge In Department Of Labor Skills Program

After visiting Northwest Georgia in February to honor the first students to complete the GeorgiaBEST certification program statewide, State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler’s workplace soft skills initiative received seven more certifications Wednesday, courtesy of Georgia Northwestern Technical College. GNTC’s Vice President of Adult Education Connie Smith was on hand to award ... (click for more)

Circuit Court Jury Gives $20,599,000 Verdict In Favor Of Canyon Ridge Developers; Punitive Damages To Be Added

A Hamilton County Circuit Court jury on Thursday awarded $20,599,000 to the developers of Canyon Ridge on Lookout Mountain against a financial firm that allegedly secretly started working on a rival project. The jury also said the plaintiffs are due punitive damages. The amount will be set on Monday morning in the courtroom of Judge J.B. Bennett after each side gives 20-minute ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Loses Bicycle National Championships To Winston-Salem

After a three-year run, Chattanooga is losing the national championship bicycle races. Winston-Salem, N.C., has been selected to serve as the host city for the 2016 and 2017 Volkswagen USA Cycling Professional Road & TT National Championships. The 2016 Volkswagen USA Cycling Pro Road & TT National Championships will be held May 22-30. The nine-day event will combine the ... (click for more)

The Truth About The Rising Costs To East Ridge On The Fire Hall Property - And Response

Re:East Ridge Has To Pay Unexpected $428,000 On Bass Pro Shop Deal   H ere is the truth about this article.    One section of the article says: " Unknown to anybody on the council today, the agreement limited use of the land to a fire hall."     In a letter dated Dec. 15, 2010, Mayor Lambert asked TDOT officials to ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: General Boykin Helps ‘Warriors’

General W.G. “Jerry” Boykin is one of the most fabled warriors in modern-day warfare. He is also one of the most polarizing men who has ever served his country. General Boykin, retired after 36 years as a soldier, spent 13 years in the secretive Delta Force. At one time he commanded the Green Berets and was in one some pretty impressive engagements. In 1980 he was in on the ... (click for more)