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Midvale Journal

PowerChess organization helps students learn complex game

Jul 03, 2023 10:10AM ● By Annabelle Larsen

Chess is a game that relies on the skills, knowledge and deception of the players to win. Often said as the hardest game to master, it can be an intimidating hobby and skill to pick up. But for the participants in PowerChess, it’s a passion. 

PowerChess is an organization that promotes chess education and community in local schools across Salt Lake, Davis and Utah counties. They offer the experience of expert chess players combined with a unique curriculum to help students of all ages achieve success. Combining curriculum from with in-class tournaments that are proven to help students not only learn the game of chess quickly, but then helps them to take this knowledge and add strategy and problem solving to their games. 

Many PowerChess students have taken these skills and used them to win competitive chess tournaments such as taking home state titles and participating in national chess tournaments.

The most recent State Chess Championship took place at the Copperview Recreation Center in Midvale on May 6, with students showing up from all over Utah to showcase their talents and compete for honors in the PowerChess Utah State Scholastic Chess Championship. The event drew in over 55 participants and boasted many local winners, such as Arin Soneji from West High School, who took first place in the over-12 category, Rohan Damarla from Highland Elementary, who took first in the 12 and under category, Jayden Jiang of Canyon Creek Elementary took first in the 9 and under group, and Beckham Sanford Rawle from Ridgecrest Elementary, who placed first in the 7 and under category of the chess tournament. 

On top of the individual awards granted, there were also state team championships from students across Utah. American Preparatory Academy took first place in the School Team Championship, with Canyon Creek Elementary coming in second. 

Powell Walker, owner of PowerChess stated, “We are thrilled with the success of the PowerChess Utah State Scholastic Chess Championship and we are proud of the young champions who emerged victorious in their respective categories.” He continued, “The tournament showcased the incredible talent and potential of young chess players in Utah. We hope to see more young people take up chess and develop their critical thinking, problem solving and strategic skills.”

The next tournament for PowerChess will be held July 29 from 9 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. and will take place at the South Davis Recreation Center in Bountiful. For more information on joining or supporting PowerChess, visit λ