By Eliza Partika
Nervous parents peered into the windows of the Glendale High School cafeteria while groups of children crowded around ranking charts taped to walls; the nervous, invigorating energy was palpable as children and adults alike awaited the results of the day’s 2023 Summer Scholastic Chess Championship.
Five kids from Glendale-based All American Association Chess Club won trophies from the tournament, which took place on July 9. Three won best overall: Davit Simanovski won first place; Ararat Bagdasarian won second; and Davit Galstian won third.
Roman Tuikin, who played his first time in a U.S. Chess Federation-rated tournament, received the first place trophy in the K-8 Under 900 category, and Raffi John Tsaturyan took home the first place trophy in the K-5U600 category.
Eva Keshishian, the coordinator of AAA Chess Club, said she has seen the chess club grow as more players learn about it and discover skills they can acquire by playing.
“I will use my brain, so it helps me get smarter. What I’ve learned the most are lots of moves that I could do to beat players, and new things that I could do with actual math,” said Roman Tsaturyan, who has been in the chess club for one year.
Raffi Tsaturyan’s father began teaching him chess five years ago. He enjoys practicing his chess moves with his brother, Roman Tsaturyan.
“My dad started training me and I just loved the game after that. So now I started playing it to try to improve how smart I am,” he said.
While the Tsaturyans kindled their passion for chess through family, others, like Alexander Beglaryan, found chess through computer games.
“I just went on [chess.com], started playing and I got into chess. I asked my mom if she could put me in a chess club or class,” he said.
Alexander, who has played in the chess club for about six months, enjoys the mental agility chess requires.
“You need to think to win and play the game. It’s not like football where you have to move around … It requires a lot of [thinking],” he said.
When it comes to advice he can give other players, Alexander said, “Just have fun. Even when you lose, you still win because you’re having fun.”
First published in the July 22 print issue of the Glendale News-Press.