Looking to gain experience in the mind-stretching game of chess, a group of students attempted to overpower their coaches with superior numbers.
In a Oct. 6 matchup of students versus teacher, school chess coaches took on all comers, playing as many as 12 matches at one time.
The event at Rancier Middle School was called 100 versus 10 and coincided with National Chess Day.
Eight Killeen ISD chess club coaches took on more than 100 students from across the school district.
Each coach came with medals bearing their names and students who beat them won a medal with the coach’s name attached.
Rancier coach Darieck Foster said it was a good chance for players to gain a lot of experience in a brief amount of time.
Foster estimated he played 20 matches during the event with about an hour to go. He did not have to give away any of his medals.
“It’s not an easy format,” the coach said, “playing up to 12 at a time. One mistake and that can be it.”
“This is a good opportunity to have coaches and parents here,” Foster said. “The students gain experience and have a chance to get a victory or get close to a victory.”
Liberty Hill Middle School seventh-grader Mark Styles won a medal. “It’s a fun experience to practice chess, a learning experience.
“You win some and you lose some,” he said. “When you lose, you learn from it and keep playing. It feels good to win.”
Rancier sixth-grade teacher Jon Zimmerman was one of the adult players. Though not a coach, the teacher said he is an experienced player and enjoyed the challenge.
Zimmerman gave away 12 medals to students who beat him.
“Really, it’s just developing rapport with students,” he said of his motivation to take part in the event. “I can meet students outside of class.
“This gives them a chance to shine at something outside of athletics. This is more about brain power than muscle power.”
Killeen High School 10th-grader Felicia Foster won one match against a coach, though it was not against the Rancier coach, who is her dad.
“It was fun,” said Foster the student, who is a former chess state champion. “It’s a nice experience for kids to beat up on the coaches.”
Students and coaches agreed that four hours or so of continual chess was demanding.
“I had six going at once at the beginning,” said Zimmerman. “That was a headache.”
“I was nervous at first,” said Styles, who credited the coach he defeated, Manor teacher John Maxwell. “He played a lot of games before me,” the student said.