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Checkmate Parish students take part in first chess tourney

Rebecca Burk / L’Observateur / May 20, 1998

LAPLACE – Twenty-nine students anxiously twisted their hair around their fingers, bit their nails and occasionally covered their eyes.

Competition was stiff at the first chess tournament in St. John ParishThursday afternoon.

Elementary and junior high students from the Glade, St. Joan of Arc andRiverside Academy joined students at John L. Ory to have fun playing theconcentration game and only hoped to win.

The winners were John L. Ory seventh-grader Chris Snyder, first place;John L. Ory fourth-grader Harry Kohles, second place; and John L. Oryseventh-grader Brian Fagot and Glade seventh-grader Ryan Craig, third place (tie).

So they could keep playing and enjoy the tournament, students weren’t forced out of the possibility of winning if they lost a game. They kept onplaying, but they switched partners and played with someone else who lost the previous game.

Sponsors determined who the winners were at the end of the four 20- minute games by who had the most points. If there was a tie, the twoduked it out on the chess board.

Sponsors were Jean-Francois LaBarre, John L. Ory French teacher; ZachDubose and David Plunkett, special education teachers in St. John Parish;and Robert Brasseur, Glade’s French teacher.

Murmurs of check, followed by long sighs were present, as LaBarre said he hopes the students’ interest in chess persists and the tournament becomes an even bigger annual event. He wants to have meetings at differentschools throughout the year next year.

“We are going to do this every year,” he said. “We are also going to try todo more things with other schools. Practice improves their skills.”LaBarre said the tournament was a success, and all of the students had a great time. “They really liked it,” he said. “It’s a big challenge for them.”

Photo: HARRY KOHLES, a fourth-grader at John L. Ory, is having fun playing chessat the parishwide tournament at John L. Ory Thursday afternoon. Kohleswon second place at the tournament.

Photo by Rebecca Burk.

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