Chess Club

News Update:

Saturday, February 25: Averys Creek Elementary School hosted its annual Buncombe County Scholastic Chess Tournament. 

Representing Koontz in the K-5 Competition: Paige Porter, Ava Lopez, Ben Nus, Peyton Douglas, Mason Eill Nick Costache. FINAL RESULTS: Paige Porter, Mason Eill, Ben Nus and Nick Costache won trophies (tied for 2nd). Koontz 6th graders,  Gavin and Danielle, had to fight it out with 7th and 8th graders. The were brave enough to do so and played well. I am very proud of all of our players!

Chess Masters is an after-school class for all chess players, from absolutely beginners to advance, who want to improve their game. Topics include: Thematic Openings, Chess IQ, Common Checkmates, Planning, and Tournament Chess Skills. The emphasis is on the enjoyment of playing and competing. The students are helped to improve chess thinking skills, and encouraged to think for themselves. Good sportsmanship is always stressed.

Responsibilities of participants and their parent(s):

1. Dues are $80 per semester ($160 total for the school year), which includes:

            a. Chess Masters T-shirt

            b. Class materials (handouts and worksheets)

            c. Weekly 45-minute chess lessons with Neal Harris, a USCF Life Master

                        who has been ranked in North Carolina’s top ten players for the last

                        30 years.  Mr Harris is in the NC Chess Hall of Fame and has been awarded NC Chess Coach of the Year 8 times    


            d. Practice sessions before the state tournament (spring 2016)

            e. Free lesson with Mr. Harris for all who attend the state tournament

               f. Private team room at the state tournament

            g. Progress and participation awards

            h. End of year party

2. In addition to following school behavior rules, each team member is expected to bring materials to class, take notes during class, listen well, study notes weekly, and play at least one game of chess during the week.

3. One adult from each family is expected to volunteer twice per semester during class time or with tournaments.

4. Optional but encouraged: team member’s participation in various local tournaments held throughout the year (~ cost $12 each), as well as the state tournament (~$30, plus possible overnight stay).

Chess Masters meets every Wednesday after school (except on school closing or early release days).  We have only one class this year (and it will meet longer than last year). The class will be from 3:00 to 4:20. All abilities are welcomed, Parents are encouraged!

All chess players will meet in the 6th grade science lab, Room 603, and will receive their placement at that time. There will be a short parents’ meeting during the first class at 3:30. Students will be released to their parents after this meeting unless other arrangements are made with the parent coordinator in advance.

For more information, including details about possible scholarships, contact Instructor Neal Harris at