Opening Night at Portland League

by Ed Addis

On Wednesday night (11/2), around 120 high school chess players on 23 teams converged on Lincoln High School in downtown Portland for the first night of matches in the Portland league. They’ll do it again next week. And the next. And again on nearly every Wednesday between now and the end of February.

This year the League will play a 6 round team Swiss to begin with, and then we will split the teams into higher and lower divisions to play modified round robins.

The League started the first round with 23 teams, but before the coaches meeting was completed, Access Academy committed to fielding a third team beginning in round 2 giving us an even number of teams and eliminating the necessity of giving out a Bye each week.

The following schools are playing in the League this year: Access Academy, Clackamas HS, Cleveland HS, Jesuit HS, Lincoln HS, Lake Oswego HS, LaSalle Catholic College Preparatory, Scio HS. West Sylvan MS, Sherwood HS, Wilson HS, Wilsonville HS, and Westview HS. Note most of the schools have more than one team. Access and LaSalle have three teams while Clackamas, Cleveland, Jesuit, Lake Oswego, Sylvan, Wilson, and Sherwood have two teams.

The first round using Swiss parings went very predictably as the teams with the higher average rating handled the lower rated half with many of the matches ending at 5-0 in favor of the higher rated teams. With over 50 games being contested you would have thought that some of the lower teams would have score some victories — they did, winning 5 games — but not more than a single game for any one team. The kids really play hard and not a single game finished in a draw and this included 15 “extra games” played by those that were brought as alternate players (some teams have over 20 players on their rosters).

The League plays every Wednesday (when Lincoln HS is open) from November through February. Matches start at 4PM and are over by about 6 PM.

This year the League is an OSCF qualifier and is open to chess players in grades 6 to 12. If you are interested in playing in the League contact Ed Addis at