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Five Compete at State Elementary Chess Championships

Five Saint George’s students competed at the Washington State Elementary Chess Championship on April 30 at the Tacoma Convention Center. The event returned to in-person after two years online. Only one in-person scholastic event was held in Spokane during these two years — the Dragonslayer at SGS in March.

Two of our students had participated before COVID and had experience with such a large event. For the other three, it was their first or second in-person event. All SGS students won at least one game. Claire Spelman, playing in her first tournament, had two wins. Veteran players Noah Hochheimer and Donovan Bradford also finished with two wins each. Luca Hochheimer and Asmi Jain, both playing in their second rated tournament, each finished with one win. The students received participation medals. The event results and player ratings are available by grade at

“It was a rough beginning at the start of round one as the website with the pairings crashed when hundreds of parents and coaches all tried to access it at once,” says SGS chess coach James Stripes. “Organizers were prepared for such technical difficulties, so the pairings were also posted in the playing room.” After the competition finished, James was able to join the SGS students and parents at our team table. “I saw only smiles and enthusiasm, even as it was clear that the children were growing tired.”