It was a busy winter for the Williams Lake Chess Club with more ahead for the coming months.
Kai Richardson, the top-ranked player in B.C. in the under-14 age category and also in the top 10 in Canada for the past four years, is currently preparing and studying for the World Open being hosted in Philadelphia from June 29 to July 4. He’ll then head to the Calgary International Chess Tournament from Aug. 2-7.
“The chess club has grown,” said Kai’s dad, Scott Richardson, who heads up the WLCC in the lakecity.
“Kids from the chess club are now playing in tournaments in the Lower Mainland.”
Jeff Obexer, 11, competed at the BC Open in February and, despite losing his games, Richardson said he came out of it unscathed and ready to win next time.
Obexer, meanwhile, finished in first place in the youth division at the Lake City Chess Open in the fall.
Kai tied for third place at the BC Open. Richardson said it was a tough tournament where they spent 13 hours on the Coquihalla Highway while it was closed.
“The long drive affected Kai’s play for the first day, but when his ducks line up it will be huge,” Richardson said.
Luke, Hannah and their dad, Christopher Erlandson, also from the WLCC, also competed at the Grand Pacific Open in Victoria last month.
Christopher won three out of six matches, while Luke, 10, won one-and-a-half points out of six.
“Pretty amazing for his first tournament,” Richardson said. “Luke also came fourth at the lakecity tourney.”
Hannah played in a youth tournament that was running alongside the Grand Pacific Open.
Next up for the WLCC is the Paul Keres Tournament, coming up May 20 in Richmond.
Matthew Martin, 11, who finished in second at the Lake City Open, his dad, Andrew, who won the open section and Kai will be playing, Richardson said.
“After the Keres there will be 10 Chess Federation of Canada (CFC) rated players here,” Richardson said. “We are going to rate the Lake City Open CFC this year. The entry fee will be a bit more but the prize fund will be bigger.”
For more on the WLCC visit http://kaichess2.homesteadcloud.com.