CONCORD – What many see as a traffic jam, students on Cannon School’s elementary level chess team see as a chance for chess game.
Team members encountered a traffic jam on I-40 while riding to the U.S. Chess Federation’s national competition in the spring. Kids decided to make the most of the situation and played “blitz chess” – timed five-minute games – on the interstate’s asphalt.
The practice paid off after the road cleared and the real competition began. The team placed sixth out of 49 elementary school teams from across the nation and placed first among North Carolina teams.
Team members who played more than 20 hours of tournament chess during the three-day competitions seven rounds include rising sixth-graders Joshua Doolittle of Huntersville, Grayson Herrera of Harrisburg and Mudiame Tokunboh of Huntersville; rising fifth-graders Joseph Hurtado of Concord, Lucas Kabasakalian of Huntersville and Rob Trufant of Concord; rising third-graders Dylan Kabasakalian of Huntersville, Owen Koehler of Mooresville, Matthew Kroll of Concord and Joshua Reid of Concord.
Lucas Kabasakalian also placed 13th out of 292 players.
The team will continue to train and play during the summer at the Queen City Chess Association in uptown Charlotte.