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More than 100 youngsters take part in regional tournament

The sunshine outside could wait.

Inside Tobias Elementary School's gymnasium Saturday, the competition was intense as 106 students from Hillsboro and beyond competed in a regional "Chess for Success" tournament.

Photo Credit: HILLSBORO TRIBUNE PHOTO: KATHY FULLER - Tobias third-grader Emilie Erickson, right, waits for Ian Baldwin, a fourth-grader at Minter Bridge, to make his move at last Saturday's Chess for Success tournament, held at Tobias Elementary School.Each student played four rounds of chess to try to qualify for the state competition, set for March 13-14 at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland.

Emilie Erickson, a third-grader, was there representing not only her school — Tobias — but also as the only girl from her team at the tournament.

"It's really fun to do," said Emilie, who has been playing chess for two years. She likened it to playing soccer. "You have no idea where you're going to move" to beat your opponent, she said.

Chess for Success is a nonprofit organization that teaches life skills — critical thinking, problem solving and self-confidence — through chess.

Ten schools in the Hillsboro School District have Chess for Success programs. The organization serves 17 school districts in seven counties across Oregon.

Second-grade teacher Terry Sayre helped organize Saturday's tournament. He's been coaching the chess team at Tobias for three years and has 45 team members.

Sayre said he hopes to organize an all-girls tournament in the spring.

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