Henry Sibley Freshman Earns National High School Chess Title
Henry Sibley High School freshman Brock Morris earned a first place title at the US Chess Federation’s (USCF) National High School Chess Championship. Top-ranked and aspiring chess players from across the country gathered in Minneapolis for three days of competition April 13-15 for the USCF’s National High School Chess Championship.
Over 1300 students competed for trophies and scholarships in the seven-round competition, where games can last up to four hours.
USCF Scholastic Tournaments are organized in sections where students of relatively similar rankings play against each other so there are opportunities for students at every level of ability. Morris placed first out of 215 students in the Under 800 section.
“If you have the patience for it, chess is a really great game,” said Morris. “The hardest part for me is getting into my opponent’s head, because you have to know what they’re thinking and anticipate their next move if you want to win.”
Morris won each of the seven games he played in the tournament, the only student to do so in his section. Since Henry Sibley doesn’t have a chess club, Morris prepared for the competition on his own by playing regularly against his father. He first became interested in chess in elementary school at Moreland.
“The intensity doesn’t let up in this competition and if you make one wrong move you’re toast,” said Bill Heinemann, who taught Morris how to play chess in an after-school program at Moreland. “Brock is competitive, sharp, quick, and smart. He found an outlet for his competitiveness in chess.”
Morris is on the wrestling and tennis teams at Henry Sibley, and also competes in Rubik’s Cube competitions. “Brock is enjoyable to have in class,” said Tom Myers, social studies teacher at Henry Sibley. “He is witty, thoughtful and has a great sense of humor.”
Friendly Hills Middle School sixth grader Thomas Miranda also participated in competition, finishing in thirtieth place out of 338 players in the U1200 section. He finished with five wins and two losses.
Source: District 197