Saturday, March 24, 2007

CPS Championship: the Sequel

Or maybe “remake” is more like it.

Whichever term you prefer, the Chicago Public Schools has taken the unusual step of scheduling a second championship chess tournament for this year, after the first one collapsed into chaos and several schools walked out in the middle of the meet.

The new tournament will take place on Saturday, April 14, at Bogan High School, 3939 West 79th Street. CPS has promised that this event will be better organized than the first one, and to make sure they’ve engaged professional tournament directors from Renaissance Knights of Northbrook.

Meanwhile, a tournament that was being planned by a coalition of chess coaches for later in April, in response to the fiasco at the first CPS tournament, has been cancelled in light of the new announcement.

The April 14 meet will be open to all Chicago public school students in grades K-8, and unlike previous CPS tournaments individual trophies will be handed out in addition to the usual team awards. A total of 54 trophies will be up for grabs, in fact, more than at any public-school tournament Ray has attended.

While we’ve had some unpleasant experiences at CPS tournaments in the past, I’m confident this one will be better, and I think Ray should attend. We have one of the most competitive teams in town, especially in grades K-4, and I think our kids should have a chance to win their share of all that hardware. And since in this tournament every grade will be a division in itself, with trophies for first-, second-, and third-place finishers, teams will be spread thin and the more Ray kids who play the better our chances of winning team trophies.

Tournament details are here. I hope you’ll consider sending your child to the event. Please let me know if you’d like to attend, and if you have any thoughts for general discussion, please feel free to leave them in the comments section below.

Photo: Ray School champions at CPS tournament, 2006