Chess tournament set Saturday

LIHUE — Anyone who’s interested in playing some chess can enter the September Kauai community chess tournament, set for Saturday at the Lihue Public Library, starting at 8:30 a.m.

It’s free to enter, and medals go to winners in each category, but anyone who wants to play in the Advanced, United States Chess Federation-rated section has to purchase a USCF annual membership before the tournament to play.

Adults and kids of all ages can enjoy playing four slower, unrated games in the intermediate section or eight faster games in the beginner section.

The August tournament drew 30 chess players to the library, and Ben Fernandez finished in first place, handing Valor Mexia his first Kauai tournament loss in an exciting third-round game. Chad Badgett and George Levendis also finished strong, winning three out of four in the USCF-rated advanced section.

In the intermediate section Ramon De La Pena ended up at the top of the heap, finishing with a perfect 5-0 score. Also taking home a gold medal, Araiyan McDonald won all eight of his games in the section for new players and beginners.

There are three chess clubs that meet regularly on Kauai. The teen chess club meets at the Lihue Public Library on Wednesdays at 3 p.m., and the Kauai High School Chess Club meets at lunch on Wednesdays and Fridays.

On Thursday evenings, Fernandez hosts the Wailua Chess Club at his home near the Wailua Country Store from 5 to 10 p.m. He sets up his collection of beautiful, hand-carved boards under an awning, provides music, food and a lot of fun for the dozen players who usually show up.

To register for Saturday’s September chess tournament or for more information, email Sierra@KauaiChess.com.

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