Emiliano Ariaza receives the 1st place trophy at the Scholastic Chess Tournament.

Over 200 students recently participated in the Scholastic Chess Tournament at Spring Forest Middle School. Emiliano Ariaza, Stehlik Elementary School fifth-grader, took home the 1st place trophy in the elementary division. 
This is Ariaza’s second year playing chess and his love for the game of chess has grown. Ariaza is a member of Chess Kings, the Stehlik Elementary chess club. The club is fairly new to the campus and was created two years. Members of the Chess Kings meet once a week after school. The chess club is open to all first through fifth-grade students at the campus. 
The club currently has 30 members. Most of the students did not know how to play chess when they joined. The members are taught chess basics by chess sponsors, Betzabel De La Rosa and Peter Nahua. As students learn more about the game they are trained how to think strategically and how to use analytics skills to help them anticipate their opponent’s next move. 

“Chess teaches students to concentrate, to think ahead, to take risks, to be prudent, and that every move has its consequences,” De La Rosa said. “We teach them how to demonstrate good sportsmanship, and how to win and lose graciously. All of these attributes translate to real world experiences.”

Since beginning the chess club, the sponsors have seen the students self esteem increase. The Chess Kings have participated in several citywide chess tournaments.  
In addition to Ariaza’s win, several of the Chess Kings placed in the tournament. 
Eduardo Castrejon, Stehlik fifth-grader, and Gilbert Morales, third-grader, won 7th place in their skill level. Jansen Paguada, Stehlik second-grader, won 6th place in his skill level. As a team, the Chess Kings brought home a 3rd place trophy.
“Chess changes lives and we are lifting up our students one checkmate at a time,” De La Rosa said.

Upcoming Chess Tournaments: 

  • Kingwood Middle School Tournament,  February 29
  • State Championship Tournament, March 13-15
  • Lanier Middle School Tournament, April 18
  • Aldine ISD Tournament in May 2020