Monday, March 27, 2006

Dearheart Comes From Behind to Win Hometown Tournament

I thought I'd share with you the mock press release I composed for our family in honor of E's exciting, unexpected Chess Championship this afternoon. As you can tell, identifying info has been changed for all people and places. :-)

Hometown, Sta., March 27, 2006 (R-uters) In a sudden change of events, second-grader E.W. Dearheart brought home the first-place trophy after winning the Hometown Chess School Tournament at Hero Elementary School this afternoon.

After a strong performance in the six-week-long tournament, Dearheart had suffered a disappointing last-minute loss in his penultimate match last week against Tyler. “It was one of the worst things that had ever happened to me,” Dearheart reflected this afternoon on the events of last week. The loss had been especially difficult to bear because Dearheart had maintained a decisive lead until the very end.

Going into today’s match, Dearheart hoped to regain his focus and control of the game. In the end, it was partly due to the intangibles of competition that contributed to Dearheart’s dramatic victory today. Dearheart’s 100% attendance throughout the tournament exhibited not only his commitment to the game, but provided him the leg up he needed in today’s competition.

Dearheart’s opponent from the week before unfortunately was home sick for the final day of the tournament this afternoon, creating an unexpected run-off competition among the four next-highest ranked players now tied for first place!

Dearheart faced off with third-grader and long-time rival Mark for the competition. The powerful brothers Salizar and Santino also settled in across the board from one another. (Dearheart previously defeated each of them earlier in the tournament.) Their match would end in a stalemate prior to the end of Dearheart’s match—making the Dearheart—Mark match the championship round!

Dearheart remarked later that he was glad for the opportunity to face his rival Mark once again in the tournament. He had faced him on the first day and suffered his only other loss of the tournament to him. “He’s definitely one of the stronger players,” commented Dearheart, “He went undefeated for the first three games of the season.”

By the time the brothers had stalemated in this afternoon’s match, Dearheart had worked himself into a clear advantage. “I couldn’t have been in a better position,” he told reporters later. “I had snuck my queen into position to attack Mark’s queen. He didn’t see it. He moved one of his pawns forward. This didn’t block the attack. Naturally, I figured, ‘What the heck, nothing is guarding his queen.’ This was not too sneaky. I just walked my queen up to his and took it.” This effectively marked the end of the match. Dearheart whittled down Mark’s remaining pawns with his queen and rooks and eventually checkmated him.

Acknowledging that the fickle Lady Luck had favored him this afternoon, Dearheart also
experienced a great sense of satisfaction with his victory today. “I feel excellent.” He admitted. “I feel like I earned it and like I deserved it.”

Dearheart reflected on what he had learned about himself as a player through his tournament experience. “I learned that if I put my mind to it, I had a shot to go for any goal. I learned that if there is a chess tournament, I’m good enough. So if there are any chess tournaments at Hero Elementary in Hometown, expect to see my name on the sign up sheet: E.W. Dearheart.”

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