The inaugural open scholastic chess championship hosted by Chattanooga Preparatory School, The Chatt Prep Open, will take place Dec. 14 at Chattanooga Preparatory School and is open to students K-12 throughout Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia. There will be a rated division for members of the United States Chess Federation and also an unrated division for scholastics players new to tournament play.
“We started this school two years ago with these sports: basketball, soccer and chess.
And who would have thought that two years into it there are more boys on the chess team than any other team,” says Ted Alling, who founded Chattanooga Preparatory with his wife Kelly.
Chattanooga Preparatory Head Chess Coach Thomas Lane said hosting a tournament has been his goal since joining the program a year ago. “Chatt Prep has chess fever. You'll see our guys competing on the chess board before and after school, during meals and any other chance they get. Our team travels to and competes in great tournaments across the state, and so it only makes sense to start hosting our own tournament."
But it’s not just the school getting behind the chess movement at Chatt Prep. The Chattanooga community has been active in supporting the program, officials said. Sponsors for the inaugural tournament include FreightWaves, Max Trans Logistics, Covenant Transport, Transport Enterprise Leasing, YoungLife, Market Street Partners, Alex and Maggie Estes, SeatMyTrucks and Chess Ninja.
“It’s amazing to see that so many business leaders and individuals in Chattanooga realize how this great old game empowers kids, and they want to support it and we are so thankful for that,” Mr. Alling said. “This game is all about strategy and thinking ahead, and when we got our math scores back last year, the group at the top included much of the chess team. Plus, the tournament play just feeds confidence in these boys. Our goal is simple - have the top chess program in the state. And when that happens, it will be amazing to watch what all these boys accomplish in life.”
Scholastic players interested in playing in the Chatt Prep Open can register at www.chattanoogaprep.com/chess