Fall Chess Tournaments in Utah

By the chess coach and author Jonathan Whitcomb

Low-cost chess lessons are available in the Salt Lake Valley, from the chess tutor Jonathan Whitcomb, of Murray, Utah. Please call 801-590-9692 for more information about private (and group) chess instruction, which lessons cost only $25 each.

Update: Fall Chess Tournament in Central Utah in 2017

The Young Living Chess Tournament for children will be held on Saturday, Oct 28, 2017, near Mona, Utah. The entry fee is only $5 per child (at the door), but registration is requested before Oct 12th. Phone the tournament director for more information:

Jonathan Whitcomb 801-590-9692

Free Chess Tournament in South Jordan on October 29, 2016

Children of many ages participated in a three-round free chess tournament at the South Jordan Library, and three chess instructors watched the competition. We hope that other free tournaments can be held at this public library in 2017, possibly as early as January.

Eighteen young chess players competed, with three of them getting a perfect 3-0 score by the end of the afternoon: Moses Samuelson-Lynn, Paxton Cichos, and Aiden Gandhi. The tournament was directed by the chess teacher Alexander Gustafsson, and I, Jonathan Whitcomb (another chess instructor), helped a bit.

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chess tournament for children in South Jordan, UtahSometimes a chess tournament is not so busy, especially after most games are done

This event was less formal than many chess tournaments, not being rated by the United States Chess Federation, but it allowed the children to gain experience without having to worry about the expense (it was free).

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children play chess in a tournament in Utah

A young tournament competitor records a move in chess notation

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At the end of the tournament, I analyzed the results and found a fascinating statistic: The children from 8-9 years old did much better than those 10-13 years old, and I mean MUCH better: The younger group scored 65%; the older, only 36%.

Then I saw an explanation: Those who had a chess coach before the tournament scored 75%; those without a coach, only 33%. Formal face-to-face chess training makes a huge difference: 88% of the 8-9 year-olds had a chess tutor, but none of the 10-13 year-olds did.

(Two of the eighteen competitors registered for the tournament on the day of the even, so I don’t know their ages or whether or not they have a chess coach.) I do know that taking chess lessons can greatly improve a child’s ability to compete in the royal game. None of my own students, unfortunately, were able to compete on this day.

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two children compete in a game of chess in Utah

A moment of concentration in a chess game

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children in a chess tournament in UtahIt was a long afternoon of chess competition

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Utah Open Chess Tournament of 2016

This event, sponsored by the Utah Chess Association and rated by the United States Chess Federation, was held from November 4-5, 2016, in four separate sections in Salt Lake City. The strongest competition was in the “Open-2” section (with 29 players):

  • Two National Masters
  • One Candidate Master
  • Three First Category players

The following seven competitors scored at least 3½ points:

  • Bryan B. Leano  (4½-½)
  • Hans M. Morrow  (4-1)
  • Alexander K. Gustafsson  (3½-1½)
  • Eric Hon  (3½-1½)
  • Randy D. Zumbrunnen  (3½-1½)
  • David Vasquez  (3½-1½)
  • Luis A. Goodrich  (3½-1½)

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Chess Lessons in the Salt Lake Valley

Jonathan Whitcomb is one of a number of chess teachers (private chess tutors) in the SLV of Utah. Several things may set him apart from other chess instructors, however:

  • Private lessons are only $25 each
  • The first getting-acquainted session is free
  • He is the author of a chess book: Beat That Kid in Chess
  • He can drive to your home for chess lessons

There’s no extra charge for his driving to your home for chess instruction, provided you live in the Salt Lake Valley. Call 801-590-9692 for more information.

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Low-cost chess lessons in Utah

Chess Coach Jonathan Whitcomb, of Murray, Utah (author of the book “Beat That Kid in Chess”), offers private and group lessons in the Salt Lake Valley . . .

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2016 Utah Open Chess Championship

This tournament, held early in November, had four sections

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Chess Coach (Whitcomb) in the Salt Lake Valley

This chess coach (who lives in Murray) is now offering private and group lessons in the Salt Lake Valley of Utah . . . [cities include] Belmont Heights, Cottonwood Heights, Taylorsville, Holladay, Kearns, Midvale, West Jordan . . . $25 per lesson.

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Chess Instruction in Utah

Your chess instruction will be precisely arranged according to your individual needs, to most effectively help you improve in your chess-playing abilities.

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Chess Tournament for Children

Eighteen young chess warriors competed in a tournament on Saturday, October 29, 2016, at the South Jordan Library of the Salt Lake Valley in Utah. The chess tournament director, Alexander Gustafsson, a chess instructor and one of the top rated players in Utah . . .

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