WICHITA FALLS, Tx (RNN Texoma) - The Christ Academy Chess Team is celebrating a big win. The team competed in the 2018 North/Central Texas State Scholastic Chess Championship on March 9 through 11.
3rd-grade student, Julian Anderson, walked away with a first-place trophy in the Elementary Novice category, which includes players from Kindergarten through 5th grade, in the entire state.
It was a victory that some may not have pictured for the 9-year-old who only touched down in the U.S. six months ago.
"When he got here he didn't know any English. He was struggling with a whole new environment. He was struggling at school and trying to fit in," Chess Coach, Trevor Edwards said.
In an effort to help Julian get in the groove of school in America, Edwards gave him chess magazines to read and practice his English.
In a short period of time, Edwards said Julian was reading up to three magazines in a week. Edwards then tied Julian's math studies to chess.
Six months later Julian is fluent in all his subjects and a great chess player said, Edwards.
"I won my first tournament and then I wanted to play more tournaments because (...) it was fun," Julian said.
Julian and his seven teammates took their talents to Houston to compete in the state scholastic chess championship. All played in seven matches against other students from across Texas. Julian won every game but not without a challenge.
In his fifth match, Edwards said Julian came out of the room visibly upset.
"(I) expected him to say he lost. But he said he won but it was a very terrifying game because he came very close to losing," Edwards said.
Edwards said his opponent was Julian's biggest competition in the state championship.
"I was moving normal moves that I know and then he started to do really good moves," Julian said of his opponent.
The team left with great memories and a few trophies. Along with Julian's win of first place, Hudson Clark won Honorable Mention, the Primary Junior Varsity division won 9th place, and the Elementary Novice division placed 7th.
More than 800 students, ranging in grade from Kindergarten to High School, competed in the tournament. Newschannel 6 would like to congratulate the entire team on a job well done.
Christ Academy 2018 North/Central Texas State Scholastic Chess Championship Roster
Primary Junior Varsity