Kids shine in chess tournament

CASS team heads to state tournament March 7 at UMaine
Feb 16, 2020
Courtesy of: Jacqui Gage, RSU 71 Extended Learning Program Coordinator Regional School Unit 71 elementary school students and students in Belfast Free Library's chess program compete in a chess tournament Feb. 11.

Belfast — Belfast Free Library and Regional School Unit 71's chess program held a winter elementary school chess tournament Feb. 11, with 31 students from Capt. Albert Stevens, Nickerson, and Ames elementary schools and one from Cornerspring Montessori School participating.

The students either have been part of library's Friday chess program or members of their schools' chess teams.

The competition was divided into two sections: Grades 1-3 and Grades 4-5.

"All students played nearly 10 games, demonstrated outstanding sportsmanship and did a great job implementing their chess skills," said Jacquie Gage, RSU 71 Extended Learning Program coordinator.

Top players included:

Grades 1-3

1st: Avery Adams (CASS)

2nd: Luke Canning (CASS)

3rd: Max Dyer (CASS)

4th: Wes Engstrom and Scarlett Amber (CASS)

Grades 4-5

1st place: Alex Miller (CASS)

2nd place: Cole Gerrish, Austin Ames and Avery Gobin (Ames)

3rd place: Silas Ociepka (CASS) and Justin Massey (Ames)

The Belfast Free Library chess program meets on Fridays from 12:30 to 2 p.m. and is coached by Midcoast chess program director Bruce Haffner of Hope. Erica Rubin Irish, children's librarian, coordinates the program. For more information on involving children in this program, visit or call 338-3884, ext. 24.

This tournament was the final local tournament helping to prepare local students for the Maine State Chess Team Tournament scheduled for March 7 at the University of Maine, Orono.

In addition to this event, on Feb. 9, Coach Haffner hosted a regional tournament at Lincolnville Central School with students from Lincolnville, Hope, Appleton, Camden, Searsmont and Belfast participating.

Alex Miller, fourth-grade student at CASS, took home the first place trophy from that meet, as well. He has been named a co-captain of the CASS Chess Team as the team heads to the state competition.

Following is a list of the RSU 71 participating students:

Fifth grade: Austin Ames, Justin Massey, Cole Gerrish, Brody Balicki, Michael Box , Kathlee Hutchingson, Ibis Bird, Seth Whitney, Kingston Lawrence and Carter Raymond.

Fourth: Ian Beal, Silas Ociepka, Alex Miller, Kaden Greiger and Alex Young.

Third: Avery Adams, Luke Canning, Scarlett Amber, Pierson Dietz, Max Dyer, Ava Cyr, Braylee Woodrow and Garett Thomas.

Second: Mason Goulart, Hunter Seekins and Gabe Neal.

First: Raegan Adams.




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