Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) hosted the annual winter chess tournament Feb. 12 at Henry E. Lackey High School. To accommodate COVID-19 social distancing and safety guidelines, the winter tournament was limited to students in Grades 4 to 12. CCPS students, as well as those who attend private schools and homeschools, were invited to compete.
Ninety-five students signed up to compete in four rounds of grade-level division play, and one champion was named per grade level. Each participant was allowed to have two spectators present at the tournament. North Point High School juniors Tony Vaccaro and Robert Bennett Jr. faced off in the first round. Vaccaro has been playing chess for about three years, Bennett has been playing for about six. Both enjoy the strategy needed to compete. “It’s the strategy and the openings,” Bennett said. “And once you get in the middle of the game, it’s the puzzle I like.”
Champions received a trophy and all other participants received medals. Felix Cummings served as the tournament director.
The following students earned the champion award for their respective grade-level division.
- Carlos Borders, fourth grade, William B. Wade Elementary School.
- Audrey Chinault, fifth grade, Malcolm Elementary School.
- Caden States of Berry Elementary School
- Andrew Cook, sixth grade, Piccowaxen Middle School.
- Trey Tompkins, seventh grade, Matthew Henson Middle School.
- Austin Michael, eighth grade, Theodore G. Davis Middle School.
- Alfred Johann Cruz, freshman, Westlake High School.
- Matthew Mendoza, sophomore, North Point.
- Robert Bennett Jr., junior, North Point.
- Caden Simpson, senior, St. Charles High School.