Queen to Rook 5: Chess championship in Portland

900 students in the Chess for Success 50th Annual State Chess Tournament

More than 900 students from around the state came to Portland for the Oregon Chess Championships, March 10, 2017 (KOIN)
More than 900 students from around the state came to Portland for the Oregon Chess Championships, March 10, 2017 (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Over 900 students, kindergarten through 12th grade, convened at the Oregon Convention Center on Friday for the Chess for Success 50th Annual State Chess Tournament.

6th-grader Anderson Donley didn't waste much time in beating KOIN 6 News reporter Kohr Harlan in a chess match at the Oregon Chess Championships, March 10, 2017 (KOIN)
6th-grader Anderson Donley didn’t waste much time in beating KOIN 6 News reporter Kohr Harlan in a chess match at the Oregon Chess Championships, March 10, 2017 (KOIN)

In an exhibition game with KOIN 6 News reporter Kohr Harlan, 6th-grader Anderson Donley from Ockley Green Middle School didn’t waste much time.

He said he “didn’t play any defense at all,” and that he “didn’t even castle.”

Anderson is one of 900 students from across Oregon in Portland for the State Chess Championships through Saturday at the Oregon Convention Center.

Team play is held Friday, individual games are set for Saturday.

Vincent Proctor, a 7th grader at Ockley Green Middle School, says chess helps him focus.  “You have to think ahead a lot and it helps you pay attention more in math tests and stuff,” Vincent says.

Steve Rosenfeld is the chess king at this weekend’s tournament. He’s a retired Portland teacher whose part of the Chess for Success program, a non-profit encouraging kids all over the state to take up chess.

“With the focusing all the other things get in line,” Rosenfeld said. “So problem solving — teachers love kids who are into chess they see it right away — they make good choices. Even more important than that they see options.”

“There’s a lot of sportsmanship and ethics involved also,” Rosenfeld says.

Students played chess at the tournament, Friday March 10 2017. (KOIN)