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Kids shine in Stevensville chess tournament

Posted at 3:43 PM, Mar 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-09 17:43:25-04

Last year, the Stevensville Scholastic Chess Tournament was the biggest in the state, with almost 40 kids from elementary to high school competing.

"It is a fun game," said 7 year old Pierce Coulter. "Every move that you do is something surprising."

Coulter said, "I've won all three rounds."

Coulter said it probably takes him about five minutes to finish a game of chess.

On Saturday, Coulter was among about 30 other kids hoping to advance to the next round.

Thomas Walthall started playing when he was in the first grade. "My parents got me a little magnetic chess board, with a little tiny kids book on how to play it," he said.

Now he's in high school, and is the number 20 top rated player in the state. He said he's learned a lot competing against adults.

Things like, "It's never over til it's over, just keep on fighting, take your time, and all that stuff that you don't learn here."

33 competitors from Bozeman to Corvallis were in attendance Saturday, and Coulter and Walthall both took home wins.

The results of the tournament are below:

Team Results

1st Place: Stevensville
2nd Place (tie): Loyola/St. Joe's and Corvallis

Junior Division

1st Place: Justyn Shamp (Franklin ES)
2nd Place: Pierce Coulter (Lewis & Clark ES)
3rd Place: Teron Fisher (Corvallis PS)

Junior Varsity

1st Place: Noah Kimball (St. Joseph's)
2nd Place: Conner McBride (Florence-Carlton)
3rd Place: Rio Thelen (Washington MS)

Varsity Division

1st Place: Thomas Walthall (Loyola)
2nd Place: Aden Fisher (Corvallis MS)
3rd Place: Molly Tefft (Sacajawea MS/Bozeman)