Rapid City chess club will host two tournaments | Local

For the first time, K-12 students and adults will participate in an open chess tournament through the Rapid City Scholastic Chess Club.

The club will hold its first open tournament from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 19 at Bible Fellowship Church.

Nathan Walstrom, club president and student at South Dakota Mines, said the tournament would not be rated by the United States Chess Federation. The entry fee is $10 with a maximum of 36 participants.

“It’s just a good way to bring in some of the local residents who are adults who want to play chess and have easier access to a game,” Walstrom said. “It’s a bit different from the online games that many of us have become accustomed to over the past couple of years.”

Walstrom said the divisions will be divided into kindergarten through sixth grade, kindergarten through 12th grade, and anyone outside of high school. K-12 would allow K-6 students to play with an older crowd, and each group could play with college-level or older students in the non-high school category.

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Walstrom said the club will also host the South Dakota School Championship for the first time in several years on April 9 at West Middle School.

He said the last time West River hosted the tournament, he was competing in school chess.

“It’s good that our club has caught the attention of the Rapid City community and the west enough that they are considering moving some tournaments here,” Walstrom said. “It will be great for our scholastic children to be able to experience the play styles of children across the state.”

The state tournament will be for K-12 students and will be rated by the United States Chess Federation. Walstrom said there is an added expense to being a member of the federation, but there will be forms to fill out and register at the time of the event. There is also a pre-registration form on the club’s website.

The club officially started in November 2021 and has had up to 50 players in a practice meeting, or when the group is learning different strategies or refining their chess knowledge. Walstrom said he held his first tournament in December.

Entry forms for both tournaments are at rcscholasticchess.weebly.com.

— Contact Siandhara Bonnet at [email protected]

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