Chess players participate in tournament

Students from BYU-Idaho gathered together Thursday night to compete against each other in a battle of tactics: Chess.

This tournament, consisting of five rounds, pitted 24 students against each other in Swiss-style matches.

In Swiss style, as each player wins or loses, their next opponent is someone with the same record as them.

In the end, the participants with the most wins will play each other.

Matches are timed with specialized chess clocks.

After competitors take turns, they hit the button that stops the time on their clock and starts the time on their opponent’s clock.

After 15 minutes, the hands of the clock knock over a flag, showing that the player has run out of time.

If at any time a player’s time runs out, he or she automatically loses the game.

“There’s layers to chess, and it takes years of dedication. There definitely is a scope to learning this game. It fits the BYU learning model a lot, you have to keep at it,” said James Eisert, a sophomore studying communication and coordinator for the school’s chess tournaments.

Eisert started the chess tournaments last winter semester when he realized that there weren’t any chess teams on campus.

“I knew other colleges had teams and when I asked about it here they had all the equipment and said ‘go for it,’” Eisert said.

Brian Astle, a freshman studying art, won the tournament with a record of five wins and zero losses. Yovahn Dass earned second place with a record of four wins and one loss.

“This was a really well put together chess tournament,” Astle said. “I’ve been to other tournaments where it wasn’t as well organized.”

Eisert said players can learn analytical thinking.

“The worst part is seeing the moves you should have done after you hit the clock, but the hardest part is staying with it. It can be overbearing. There are people who go crazy over this game because you want to keep learning,” Eisert said.

Winners received books of chess strategies as prizes.

“There were a couple times where I thought the other guy had me, but that’s the great part about chess — it’s not over until someone tips their king,” said Jason Condie, a senior studying Spanish education.

Chess can be a median through which the players can learn certain skills.

“You learn something, you grasp it, and it sinks in. All the aspects of chess are the same as a sport. Preparation and knowing your opponent, the only differences between chess and a physical sport are injuries and cheerleaders,” Eisert said.

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