North Carolina's Biggest Chess Tournament by Chess Achieves

The entire K-12 and Collegiate Chess Community will be heading to the Raleigh Convention Center this weekend for then NC K-12 and Collegiate Chess Championship Feb 18-20. Event is open to the public and is free to observers.

Raleigh, NC, February 17, 2011 --( Over 500 students from around North Carolina will convene upon the downtown Raleigh Convention Center this weekend with one word in mind: checkmate.

The occasion is the 2011 North Carolina Scholastic & Collegiate Chess Championship, and for the first time in seven years the event will be held in Raleigh. The two-day tournament will feature students aged kindergarten through 12th grade. One of them is Eric Noden, a ninth grader at Southeast Raleigh High School.

"I'm hoping to do well," said Noden, who has been playing since he was four and in past years has won the K-5 and K-8 categories at the state tournament. This year he has a shot at taking home the tournament's top prize, but the competition will be stiff. Still Noden, who sometimes plans up to 10 moves ahead, is confident about his skills. "I've been trying to get into theory," he said. "But a lot of time I just play off my instincts."

Noden, like many chess players, loves the game for a variety of reasons. "It's fun and it helps you to learn to think ahead," he said, adding that he feels it has helped his schoolwork and confidence. "I can plan ahead -- it's helped me organize."

Talk to any of the chess coaches that will attend the state tournament with their respective teams, and they'll tell you the same thing.

"Chess is not just a game," said event organizer Bill Clausen. "It teaches sportsmanship, it teaches respect and honor, and it teaches patience. It's not about winning or losing -- when it comes to chess it's about learning from your successes and your mistakes."

The event is so important to the state's chess community that Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker proclaimed the weekend of February 18 through 20 "Raleigh Chess Days." In his proclamation Meeker acknowledged that chess is a game for all ages, races, genders, and income levels, and that it grows disciplined minds and builds confidence.

"We've definitely seen that at our program," said Jay Cullis, Chess Coach at The Montessori School of Raleigh -- a program that in only three years has seen great success. "Part of our success is what we see at tournaments. But more than that it's the confidence and the fun that the children have -- and the life skills that they take away from the experience."

The 2011 North Carolina Scholastic & Collegiate Chess Championship takes place this weekend, February 18 through 20 at the downtown Raleigh Convention Center. For more information go to

Chess Achieves
Bill Clausen
(919) 272-8017