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Augusta chess club prepares for Evans tournament

Posted: July 3, 2012 - 11:01pm

The Chess Players of Augusta are preparing to make their move Saturday at the CSRA Summer Open.

The three-round tournament takes place at the Columbia County Library in Evans, with registration beginning at 8:30 a.m., said Adam Shaw, the president of the chess club.

“It’s a United States Chess Federation-affiliated event,” Shaw said. “It’s pretty much an all-day event.”

The rounds are scheduled for 9 a.m., noon and 2:45 p.m.

To participate, players must pay a $25 entry free. After paying, they become members of the United States Chess Federation, or USCF.

There will be open and amateur sections for players at the event. Players ranked below 1400 will compete in the amateur section, while those above 1400 will play in the open category.

In the USCF, players are ranked on their wins, losses and number of points, said 23-year-old Josh Lewer, a player and organizer with the Chess Players of Augusta.

Lewer said he recently started playing chess and enjoys participating in tournaments.

Players will compete for prizes, Shaw said. For winners in both sections, first place takes home $100, second place receives $40 and the top under 1600 and the top under 1200 gets $25.

“If you win your round, you get a point,” Shaw said. “If you lose, you get no points and if you draw, you get half a point. At the end of the event, you see who has the most points total and that’s how you determine the winner.”

Shaw said he expects about 20 people to attend.

The Chess Players of Augusta has been around for about a year, and Shaw said the group has about 60 members.

“We have retired military, young people (and) local people,” Shaw said. “We have people from pretty much everywhere in our club.”

The group meets at 5:30 p.m. Tuesdays at the Columbia County Library.

Shaw said it’s difficult to get new members because chess is not very popular in the area. However, with the formation of this group, he hopes it will revitalize the popularity of the game.

“There’s a bit of history with chess in the area,” Shaw said. “The last club didn’t do so well.

“It’s been about five years since they’ve been around, so this is kind of the rebirth of chess in our area.”

One thing that surprises people about the group is that they play chess in person, not online, Shaw said.

“It does seem like when we do get new members, a lot more often, they know the game already because a lot of people play online before they come out,” Shaw said.

IF YOU GO

What: The Chess Players of Augusta CSRA Summer Open

When: 8:30 a.m. July 7

Where: Columbia County Library

Cost: $25 at the door

More: meetup.com/chessaugusta

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