News Feature

Dallas, Texas
Web exclusive, May 13, 2011
DIS Chess team comes through at championship

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Members of the Deer Isle Stonington Elementary School K-6 chess team

Members of the Deer Isle Stonington Elementary School K-6 chess team, front row, from left, Oskar Mattes, Colby Haskell, Avery Reynolds and Kylee Atwood; back row, from left, Tyson Rice, Ennis Marshall, Coach Mark Woida, Brendan Penfold and Orly Vaughn.

Photo by Mark Penfold Order prints of selected PBP photos.

by Dick Powell

The Deer Isle-Stonington Elementary Maine State Chess champions represented the state of Maine at the 2011 National Scholastic Chess Championships (K-6) held in Dallas. Seven Mariners played as a team in the K-5 under-900 rating division and sixth grader, Kylee Atwood, played as an individual in the K-6 under-1000 rating section.

On the opening day of the competition, the Mariners were slow in starting their boat engines and came out after two matches apiece with a two-wins, 14-losses record. Only fifth grader Orly Vaughn and fourth grader Avery Reynolds came away with wins, one apiece. Saturday, however, was a different story—in fact, like night and day. Orly Vaughn and Brendan Penfold won all three of their matches and Avery Reynolds and Tyson Rice won two of three to put the Mariners into the top 20 out of 42 teams from all over the USA—a place they would never give up.

On Sunday, with the final standings on the line, Orly Vaughn came through with her fifth win of the tournament and Tyson Rice and Brendan Penfold also scored to push the Mariners to a tie for 17th, and the 18th place national trophy to bring home to the bulging K-8 trophy cases. Avery Reynolds, up from the K-3 team, ended up with three points, as did the DI-S most-improved player, Ennis Marshall, to round out the scoring. Penfold and Rice each had three wins and a draw for 3-1/2 points for the competition. Other newcomers fourth grader Colby Haskell and fifth grader Oskar Mattes also had a point between them.

Kylee Atwood, playing in the sixth grade group, finished with two points and some valuable tournament experience.

Former DI-S chess coach and K-8 teacher Mark Woida certainly deserves a lot of the credit for the Mariner success as he stepped in to take over in my absence with a team that had only three of the top six players from our state champions. All of the Mariners except Atwood, who will be in seventh grade, will be able to play on the elementary team again in 2012.

Part of the success of the team belongs to the whole Island community because of its support with fundraising.