Sunday, November 18, 2007

Family fun activity

Father, son match wits on chess board

Father and son plot each other's demise in a room so silent soft footsteps feel like the pounding of a drum.

Who will win?

Beside each are signs of triumph: Ivory plastic pawns and rooks beside Zane, 11, and ebony ones beside his father, Tim Winders.
The clock winds on.

The chess board grows barer.

Then, the end: The elder ensnares Zane's queen.

The Winders - Tim 39, Zach, 13, and Zane, 11 - were three of 22 local chess lovers who competed Saturday in a tournament at Texas Tech.

Later, 10 grandmasters and international masters from Hungary, Mexico, Poland and the U.S. filtered in for games of their own.

The quiet room got quieter.

The masters are competing until Friday in the university's first international chess tournament.

Their average rating is 2,527 - above the 2,400 needed to earn the U.S. Chess Federation's highest designation. Not since 1972 have players of such strength competed in a Texas tournament.

"It's being followed worldwide," said Grandmaster Susan Polgar, who opened the Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence, or SPICE, at Tech earlier this year.

"Hopefully, it will ignite the chess community in Lubbock and be the first of many chess events (in the city)," said the chess celebrity, who has won five Olympic gold medals and four women's chess championships.

She plans to have at least one or two tournaments of this caliber annually at the university, opening a world unknown to many West Texans.

Here is the full article in the Avalanche Journal.
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