A Crescent Valley High School student won the Oregon Scholastic Chess Federation’s state championship in Seaside over the weekend.
Michael Moore, a senior, now will represent the state in the Denker Tournament of High School Champions in Florida this August.
Phil Schapker, a Corvallis High School staffer who organizes local chess tournaments and is a federation member, said the win involved beating an elite field of players from across Oregon who play at the professional level.
“Just imagine one of CV's football players getting a slot on the Seahawks offensive line during their senior year,” he said.
Schapker said Moore is humble and gracious, and he’s encouraging to him to seek chess scholarships.
“It feels great to win the state championship,” Moore said. “I had no idea that I would win first place and I didn't play for that result. It was certainly amazing overall.”
Moore said he tries to spend three hours a day practicing and studying chess, but the amount of time can vary.
“I think if you look at my entire chess history then it is pretty hard to say, because sometimes I do not study for a week and other times I will study for over 10 hours in one day. I have always had a really sporadic training schedule, but I am currently in the process of organizing it to something that will become a habit,” he said.
Moore, who began playing in 2013, said he practices by playing timed chess matches online and then analyzing the games afterward to understand his errors and learn how to correct them in future games. He also will recreate endgames he encounters in online matches and plays them against a computer to improve his technique.
Moore said he’s looking forward to traveling to Florida. The Denker Tournament coincides with the U.S. Chess Federation's Open Tournament, which Moore also intends to play in.