The First Tournament

Eleven years ago today, my son, age 8, competed in his first chess tournament. It took place at a chess club in Baltimore. He won two of his four games. That might sound only okay, but the players he beat were highly rated, and that was taken into account in the scoring. he ended up winning first place among unrated players.

As a result, he received his first chess rating a few weeks later from the U.S. Chess Federation. Because of who he had beaten, his rating was so high that for quite some time, every tournament pitted him against state champions and other top players that he had little chance against. He started winning again as his rating came down to a more realistic level. He doesn’t play in tournaments anymore, but he’s still pretty darn good.

Here are a few of the players from Jon Morgan’s first-ever chess tournament. The chess book he is holding was his prize for winning First Place among unrated players. He received his USCF rating soon afterward.

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