WARREN, NJ - The after-school chess clubs of Mt. Horeb School and Woodland School faced off in the inaugural Warren Township School District Interscholastic Chess Tournament on Wednesday, Feb. 7. 

The event drew 30 competitors and dozens of parent spectators to the Woodland School library.  Students competed in timed, Blitz-style matches, eventually whittling down the competition to just two players.  

With special guest Dean Ippolito, International Chess Master and proprietor of Branchburg’s Dean of Chess Academy, looking on, the two finalists battled it out.  In the end the victory and the championship trophy went to Mt. Horeb’s Tyler Ren.  Ethan Rajan of Woodland School took second place, and Mt. Horeb’s Alexander Maloney finished in third place.  The trophies were donated by Crown Trophy in Green Brook, which has been servicing Somerset, Union, and Middlesex counties for 20 years.

The event, the first of its kind in the school district, was co-hosted by club facilitators Justin Guglielmino of Mt. Horeb School and PJ Jones of Woodland School.  Both were very pleased with the high level of play by all involved, but even more so with the sportsmanship shown.  Players demonstrated extraordinary chess etiquette, shaking hands before and after each match and congratulating the winners.  “Chess is a game of wits and logic, but even more importantly it teaches kids about respect, friendship, and perseverance,” said Jones.  He hopes that this is just the beginning of a great tradition of chess instruction and competition in the Warren Township School District.  A second tournament is tentatively scheduled for May of this year.