501 E. St. Joseph Street • Rapid City, SD 57701-3995
Phone: (605) 394-6082/2554 • Fax: (605) 394-6177
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 6, 2002
Contact: Steve Buchholz, Public Information Manager, 394-6082
Teen-age Chess Whiz to Play Eight Challengers At Once
Isaac Gerdes does not like to lose. Neither does his dad. Four years ago, when Isaac and his twin-brother Jordan started to beat their father regularly at checkers, Mark Gerdes decided to raise the stakes. He introduced both boys to the game of chess. At first, Isaac didn’t take to the game – mostly because he lost to his father. But against his peers, Isaac quickly discovered that he could be a winner. By the end of the year, he and Jordan managed to be part of a three-way tie for the state elementary school championship, and Isaac was hooked.
A stocky, athletic thirteen-year old today, Isaac is among the highest ranked chess players his age in the nation. At 6 p.m. Friday, March 8, the Sioux Falls homeschooler will take on nine opponents at the same time in a simultaneous chess match at Borders Books & Music on Haines Avenue in Rapid City. The event will benefit scholastic chess programs in the Black Hills and promote the South Dakota Scholastic Chess Championship scheduled to take place on Saturday at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology.
Unabashed in his desire for a challenge, Isaac will face some tough competition. His opponents include three members of the faculty of the School of Mines:
-- Dr. Neil Chamberlain, professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering;
-- Dr. John Weiss, associate professor, Department of Math and Computer Science
-- Dr. Scott Williams, asst professor, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, and
-- Paul Hayman, a local physics and science teacher.
At the same time, Isaac will also play games against the five Rapid City students who were crowned City Champions at the Black Hills Scholastic tournament in February:
-- Ezra Stewart from Meadowbrook Elementary (K-3 Champion);
-- Thomas Tolman from Grandview Elementary (K-6 Champion);
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-- Alex Young and Andrew Howard from North and West Middle Schools respectively (K-8 Co-Champions); and
-- Thomas Cleberg from Rapid City Central HS (K-12 Champion).
To support Black Hills chess programs, Borders Books & Music will donate 15 percent of the proceeds from all sales this weekend derived from coupons associated with the chess program. To receive a coupon or for more information about the exhibition, the South Dakota Scholastic Championship, or the fundraiser, contact Eric Abrahamson at 605/484-3820 or email@example.com.
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Devereaux Library. South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.