Students at St. Rose School in Perrysburg won the Ohio Girls Chess Championships. They are in front row, left to right, Saumya Talla, Addison Wilhelms, Megan Walters. Second row is Ramya Talla, Jada Wilhelms, Katie Hoyt and Claire Hoyt. Back row is St. Rose Principal Barbara Jenks.
Perrysburg's St. Rose School took first place in the kindergarten through sixth-grade unrated competition in the Ohio Girls Chess Championships Saturday.
Claire and Katie Hoyt, Ramya and Saumya Talla, Addison and Jada Wilhelms, and Megan Walters were the winners from St. Rose. More than 60 girls competed in all the sections that represented 20 elementary, junior high, and high schools.
"The girls did really well," coach Jim Van Vorhis said. "Jada Wilhelms attended this event by herself last year and we vowed after Jada did fairly well we would build a team around her."
That led to Mr. Van Vorhis contacting math and science teachers at St. Rose, encouraging girls to join the chess club that practiced on Fridays at the school, and had weekend tutoring on the weekends from Mr. Van Vorhis.
Tyler Run Elementary from Powell finished second to St. Rose. Mr. Van Vorhis said it is the first time a school from northwest Ohio has won the title. There was no qualifying necessary for the competition.
"I think they have grown a lot," Mr. Van Vorhis said of his students. "Chess teaches kids a number of things. If you touch a piece you have to move it, it costs several kids moves during the game. That teaches kids to think before they act and your actions have consequences. I tell them to see two or three moves first and choose the best one."
The team will next compete in the 2013 Great Lakes Chess Association March 23 at Bowling Green Middle School.
Contact Matt Thompson at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-356-8786 or on twitter at @mthompson25.