The Eastwood Chess Club went to their first state competition on February 7-9 in Houston, TX and placed 11th out of 23 teams. This achievement made history for the school as well as the city of El Paso as the first chess club to go to state in Eastwood history and the first El Paso team to place. The team consists of twelve students, only seven of which were fortunate enough to go.
Senior Mason Harney made honorable mention for doing so well in his games. Out of seven games he won four and lost three.
"They are good kids who have been working for several years. Three years ago chess was dying and three students started again last year. Last year they decided to go to state, and now they're making it happen," said co-sponsor Robert Fierro, who works alongside Albert Perez as team sponsor.
Even though all the students on the team had worked hard, it didn't guarantee them a high place or rank. However, the team as a whole had an enjoyable experience of the trip to state. Club President senior Juan Carlos Cochran said, "I like the experience I get from leading and taking responsibility and just being able to play a game that anyone can play, regardless of age, race or gender. My teammates are very passionate about the game. Not all play competitive chess, but all are good sportsmen and are dedicated to the team. The picture of a "chess player" most people expect when thinking of our club is completely inaccurate. We have jocks, artists and all kinds of people, like you and me." Following the state tournament, the team competed in the Valle Verde Tournament on Saturday, February 22.
The teams plans to get better this year through experience and hopefully go back to state in the following year.