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Students check out the CCPS winter chess tournament

Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) hosted the annual winter chess tournament Feb. 12 at Henry E. Lackey High School. To accommodate COVID-19 social distancing and safety guidelines, the winter tournament was limited to students in Grades 4 to 12. CCPS students, as well as those who attend private schools and homeschools, were invited to compete.

Ninety-five students signed up to compete in four rounds of grade-level division play, and one champion was named per grade level. Each participant was allowed to have two spectators present at the tournament. North Point High School juniors Tony Vaccaro and Robert Bennett Jr. faced off in the first round. Vaccaro has been playing chess for about three years, Bennett has been playing for about six. Both enjoy the strategy needed to compete. “It’s the strategy and the openings,” Bennett said. “And once you get in the middle of the game, it’s the puzzle I like.”

Champions received a trophy and all other participants received medals. Felix Cummings served as the tournament director.

The following students earned the champion award for their respective grade-level division.

  • Carlos Borders, fourth grade, William B. Wade Elementary School.
  • Audrey Chinault, fifth grade, Malcolm Elementary School (tie).
  • Caden States, fifth grade, Berry Elementary School (tie).
  • Andrew Cook, sixth grade, Piccowaxen Middle School.
  • Trey Tompkins, seventh grade, Matthew Henson Middle School.
  • Austin Michael, eighth grade, Theodore G. Davis Middle School.
  • Alfred Johann Cruz, freshman, Westlake High School.
  • Matthew Mendoza, sophomore, North Point High School.
  • Robert Bennett Jr., junior, North Point.
  • Caden Simpson, senior, St. Charles High School.

About CCPS
Charles County Public Schools provides 27,000 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 37 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.

The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Kathy Kiessling, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Nikial M. Majors, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (employees/ adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.

CCPS provides nondiscriminatory equal access to school facilities in accordance with its Use of Facilities rules to designated youth groups (including, but not limited to, the Boy Scouts).