Last month, the kindergarten through fifth grade team earned a berth to the U.S. Chess Federation National Elementary Chess Championships in Nashville. They advanced after winning the state title in April, making it the fifth time since 2002 that the school has won the Nevada State Chess Tournament.
At nationals, the St. Viator team competed in a division made up of 62 teams. After three days of chess, with a total of seven rounds lasting up to four hours each, St. Viator School made the top 10 in the United States, taking home the 10th place team trophy.
“The Chess Club has helped children in so many ways,” says Principal Kathleen Daulton. “It promotes higher level thinking skills, problem solving, communication, concentration, focus, and confidence in their study skills.”
A pair of experts offered to start the team, back in 2002, and they continue to coach it. Dan Morgan is a certified chess coach, and Virgil Reyes is a rated International Expert. Both are registered with the United States Chess Foundation.
“We sometimes have 40 students playing chess in the early morning before school starts,” Mrs. Daulton adds. “Parents support us in a variety of ways, and as a result, so many children have benefited from learning chess over the years.”