2008 Notes

By Kate Taylor, 2008 OHSCTA Executive Director

2008 shall be remembered as the year of firsts…

  • For the first time in our 45 year history, we officially awarded championship titles in every OSAA classification in Varsity and JV.
  • For the first time, every team registered online.  No paper registrations this year.   Not one!
  • For the first time,  a 1A team participated in our event.  Siletz Valley Early College Academy from Siletz, Oregon found our organization online, attended the tournament and played very well with 4.5 board wins!
  • For the first time, we allowed any five Oregon students in grades 6-12 to form a team and participate in the Open division.
  • For the first time, a homeschool team played in the newly formed Open division.
  • For the first time, we presented Sportsmanship awards to a team and individual.
  • For the first time, we recognized all coaches for their dedication and support of our organization for 5, 10 and 20 years of service.  A total of 105 years of hard work supporting Oregon High School Chess!
  • For the first time, we presented every 1st place team player with a medal to commemorate their outstanding achievement.
  • For the first time, we played Motherboard Bughouse, which has never been done in a tournament setting.  It was so popular we’ll do it again next year!
  • For the first time, we presented scholarships to the youngest top finishing player in each section (a $450 value) from our sponsor The International Chess School.
  • Which brings me to another first… we had a sponsor of our event!

39 teams from around the state, arrived in Roseburg to do battle head-to-head (literally).. because as we all know, chess is the sport of the mind.  Think chess is just for geeks?  You must have missed the basketball, football, soccer, track, swimming and softball players in our midst.  Virtually every player competes in other sports as well!  Not only do you need mental stamina and endurance for chess,  you need the physical attributes as well. It’s not easy to stay on your game for 8+ long hours.   But that’s exactly what our students did.

It takes dedication and study to win at chess.  Perseverance and a will to win.  We saw all of that and so much more in Roseburg.

And good sportsmanship too.  The Dalles Wahtonka went home with that honor.  Throughout the tournament both over the board and in one-on-one interactions they were helpful, kind, considerate, enthusiastic, and great competitors who loved to have fun.  These qualities stood them well… they tied for second place in their division.  An awesome accomplishment by an awesome team.  Ernie Blatz has done a great job with his students!

Individual sportsmanship was awarded to Carson Viles of Willamette.  Who, while being interviewed by a Roseburg reporter, realized there was an error in his score.  Carson imediately left the reporter to straighten it out.  Not a big deal really.  Except that the error was in his favor and correcting it meant taking away a much needed point for his team.  When he reported the error to me, he said, “I feel just sick. I know this will affect my team.  But if we win it’s got to be right.”  In the end, Carson found it wasn’t an error at all, just a misunderstanding of how the points were awarded.  This kind of personal integrity and honor are to be admired and valued.

There were many close matches and games.  Players and coaches are welcome to submit their best for inclusion on the website with analysis and comments by a Master.

In the end, we had clear first place winners (based on match and board points) and some very close ties for second.  So close that the computer broke into a sweat during the calculations!   The closest second place tie was in the 5A Varsity classification.  Separated by only a 10th of a point.  In one scenario Willamette won.  In another the Dalles.  As smoke started to billow from the hard drive… we decided to give both teams second place awards and medals!  Great job teams!

In the brand new Open division we had an interesting mix of schools and “Wildcard” teams.  Going in to the final round a middle school, The International School of Beaverton was tied for first with a homeschool team, Umpqua Valley from Roseburg.  Both ended with a match score of 4.5 and board score of 20.5.  On board tie breaks they ended only 4/10 of a point apart with ISB coming out in 1st place and Umpqua Valley in 2nd.  These two teams were so evenly matched that they drew in head-to-head competition!

On Friday evening, Motherboard bughouse was a noisy, crazy, wild time!  Eight teams gathered together to, well… figure out what the heck it was!   This is a new variation of bughouse with five member teams facing off with other 5 member teams.  The strongest player is in the center on the “mother” board and directs players as they go for the win.  All regular bughouse rules apply.  Pieces can be passed to anyone… and they were!  “I need a knight” was responded with a torrent of knights flying through the air as team mates reacted quickly to the urgent request.  We’ll definitely do this again next year!  Although I may require protective head gear.  And you thought chess was safe!

For the second year, we used computer pairings to match up teams.  It all went smoothly, thanks to the Pairings Tournament Director, Amy Coughlin who wears many hats, including the 2008 OHSCTA registrar beanie and her sorting hat as the NWSRS Coordinator for Oregon.

The Roseburg High School facility was easy to find, beautifully maintained, perfect for playing chess with lots of room for teams to hang out between rounds.  Randy Smolensky’s school was an awesome place to hold a championship event.  Many thanks to Roseburg High, Randy’s students and his hard working helpers.  In particular Ed Coughlin  who helped with logistics both pre, during and post tournament.  Amy Coughlin who coordinated a smooth registration process and sorted (paired) everyone with ease – or at least made it look that way!  The coaches and parents who assisted with judging were also appreciated.  As were the pre-awards organizational skills of Nancy Mitchell and Jonna Schuder.  Randy and, Executive Director elect, James Horton helped present awards.  And speaking of awards, a special thanks goes out to Mike Wolfe, Alan Svehaug and Amy Coughlin who helped me put together a package of awards that was bigger (size wise and number wise) than ever before… and amazingly less expensive!

All in all I’d say this was one of our best championships yet!

Stay tuned for next year’s event… the location is being decided as we speak.  I look forward to seeing all of you (and more) in 2009!


See also two articles regarding the tournament:

This archived piece from the Roseburg News-Register: .PDF

and the following Press Release from Delphian regarding their 2008 Championship Results (from this web page)


Delphian School Students Take Second at Chess Team States


Released on: March 13, 2008, 5:26 pm

Press Release Author: The Delphian School

Industry: Education

Press Release Summary: Delphian School students take second place at Chess Team
States; Delphian Coach Horton elected as Executive Director of OHSCTA

Press Release Body: When 217 high school students gather in one room, the last thing
one might expect would be peace and quiet. At Roseburg high school on February 22nd
and 23rd that’s exactly what occurred-at least the quiet part; for with the fierce
battles raging across more than a hundred chessboards, peace was in short supply.

The annual Oregon High School Chess Team Championships requires schools to compete
as five-player teams rather than matching individual players against each other.
Each individual game won is worth a point for the team; ties are worth a half point.
Each team plays matches against three, four or five schools depending on their

Playing in the combined 2A/3A division (high schools with student populations of
116-400), the 2A Delphian School managed ties in their matches against two larger 3A
schools before going on to the title 2A match against favored Portland Christian.
After a very close contest, the Delphian team (consisting of captain Jonathan Huang,
Scott Superville, Evan Franklin, and Cody and Colin Malick) ended with a score of 2
to 3 and settled for 2A school second in the state.

The tournament is held by the Oregon High School Chess Team Association. Each year
they hold their annual coach’s meeting to discuss and vote on issues facing the
league and to elect officers. At this year’s meeting, Delphian School chess coach
James Horton was nominated for and elected to the position of Executive Director of
the Association. “It was quite an honor,” Coach Horton said of his appointment. “I
hope I can do as much as my predecessors, Kate Taylor [of Clatskanie] and Mike Wolfe
[of Cottage Grove], who did an excellent job supporting and promoting league
activities and expansion.”

This year Horton will act as assistant to Taylor, with his two-year term beginning
in 2009.

The Oregon High School Chess Team Association has been holding the high school team
state championship tournaments since 1964. For more information about the OHSCTA, go
to their web site at http://ohscta.tripod.com.

Company Name:
The Delphian School

Web Site Address:

Contact Information:
Bruce Wiggins, Director of Public Relations
The Delphian School
20950 SW Rock Creek Road
Sheridan, Oregon 97378


The Delphian School is an independent, co-educational day and boarding school
offering college preparatory, English-as-a-Second-Language and summer programs for
elementary through high school students. The Delphian School is licensed to use
Applied Scholastics(TM) educational services (http://www.AppliedScholastics.Org).

Web Site: http://delphian.org

Contact Details: Bruce Wiggins, Director of Public Relations
The Delphian School
20950 SW Rock Creek Road
Sheridan, Oregon 97378