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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Holland's first scholastic chess tournament held

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Hi everyone,

We have nice news that possibly the first scholastic chess tournament has been held in Holland recently. It shows the growing influence of chess as a tool for children's learning and education.

Holland-area youth compete in a chess tournament Saturday at Holland Christian High School.

Here is the nice report that you can read in full here. Van Raalte Tech High School Junior Patrick Brott had played in chess tournaments before, but this was the first one where he mastered the sheer excitement of playing. Concentrating hard, he won three out of his first four games in the rated tournament at Holland Christian High School on Saturday. “I’m always excited to learn and get more experience,” Brott said. “I had to take deep breaths to calm myself down.”

His brother, Ryan Brott, was at his first chess tournament, and didn’t fare as well, losing to a younger player.
“I lost to a prodigy,” he joked.

The scholastic chess tournament — the organisers from said it was the first in Holland within recent memory — drew dozens of grade-school-age participants from as far away as Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids. They competed in rated and unrated divisions.

Studies have shown that the centuries-old game, based on warfare in the middle ages, helps children develop their minds, said organizer David Posthuma. More noticeably, however, it helps students build their powers of concentration. “They learn how to sit still; they learn how to focus,” Posthuma said.

The tournament was sponsored by, Haworth and CapTrust Financial Advisors. was founded by parents at Eagle Crest Charter Academy in Holland about five years ago. It expanded this year to become independent of the school and bring in students in grades K-8 from around the area.

“Our goal is to have a first-rate program here in Holland,” Posthuma said. “We hope to launch this fall a high school group.” He said there were about 60 students involved in the group, and he expected to have more than 100 involved next year.

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