By Mike Wolfe, 2005-07 OHSCTA Exec. Secretary? Or Kate Taylor, Exec. Director 2007-2009? [I’m assuming the latter – JCD, 3/13/2018]
IN BIGGEST OHSCTA EVENT EVER!
Over 250 players from almost 30 schools met Friday and Saturday at Portland Christian High School to take part in five highly competitive rounds of chess and to determine which five-person team could claim the title of champions of the Oregon High School Chess Team Association.
When the dust had settled, Lake Oswego High School had won the event, but a decision by OHSCTA leadership meant that several other schools got to take home titles as well.
For the first time, the Association recognized that schools of various sizes could also be designated as state champions for their classifications based on school size, and awarded state 5A, 4A, and 3A-2A-1A championships as well as the overall championship. Those classification awards went to Sherwood, Cottage Grove, and Coquille High Schools, respectively.
The tournament featured ferocious play throughout all five rounds, with Lake Oswego, Wilson, and Portland Christian all entering the fourth round undefeated. Lake Oswego defeated Wilson 3-2, and Portland Christian beat Grant High School of Portland 4-1, to win the right to face the Lakers in the finals.
However, Portland Christian was going to have to play the Championship match without their first board player, who had to leave because of a conflict requiring his presence at another state championship competition—one to which he had made a firm commitment before he knew that his team would qualify for the finals. He left and all the other members of the team had to “play up” one board in the state finals. Even though the Portland Christian team played valiantly, Lake Oswego came out ahead by a 3.5-1.5 score.
A three-way tie for second was broken by the tie-breaker, and that left Wilson as second, Sunset High of Beaverton as third, and Portland Christian as fourth. Westview and Grant High School rounded out the list of trophy recipients.
In the “B” division, (mostly consisting of junior varsity and middle school teams, ) Sunset High dominated the proceedings, going without the loss of even one board in the entire event. Their +23 –0 =2 finish is more than likely a record performance for any team in the “B” Tournament’s history.
An individual tournament was also held for those without teams, or for those whose teams already had the requisite five players. In that tournament, Caleb Kesey of Pleasant Hill was the winner with 4.5 out of 5.
It was a great event with a lot of really close games and matches. The players just seem to get better and better every year.
Next year’s event is scheduled for February 22 and 23, 2008 at Roseburg High School.