In LHS Chess Club Advisor/Coach Jeff Akkerman's mind, all the hours spent during lunch period and after school by his students paid big dividends. Eleven of his incredibly dedicated students, instead of sleeping in as most teenager would prefer, were up before the sun this past weekend, and at the school by 7 a.m., excited to head to Arvada to compete in (for all but one) their first tournament.
And this tournament was no joke, with many very highly rated Front Range chess players competing, including the number one rated high school player in the state of Colorado. Akkerman said of his troops, “All of these kids worked very hard at chess club to practice and prepare, and they all contributed to bringing home the first place team trophy!”
In the tournament format, each student was required to play five individual chess matches. In addition to competing for individual honors, their placing contributed to the team competition as well. Akkerman added, “We will be studying and learning from these games to continue to improve.”
The students participating in this tournament were: Kory Kohler,Caleb Hoffman, John Hoffman, Oran Huff, Justin Byrnes, Matthew Susuras, Simon Richardson, Gavin Worland, Nick Parker, Charlie Gau, and Nyla Moller. Especially noteworthy was the play of the Hoffman brothers, Caleb and John, who in their first officially sanctioned chess tournament finished in a three-way tie for second place honors, each taking home an individual trophy.
Coach Akkerman and these future Grand Masters would like to thank the Booster Club for supporting the Lyons Chess Club and making this experience possible.