Williston teen checkmates peers in chess tourney (4/23/09)

April 23, 2009

By Mal Boright

Observer correspondent

Chess is the thinking person’s game, and David Ro, 14, of Forest Run Road in Williston has it pretty well figured out.


    Courtesy photo
Brothers David (left) and Daniel Ro challenge each other to a game of chess. David, 14, tied for first place in the middle school division of the Vermont State Chess Tournament earlier this month. Daniel finished second in the sixth grade division.

The middle school student, who attends Mater Christi School in Burlington, tied for first place in the middle school division of the Vermont State Chess Tournament April 14 in Berlin. Ro brought home the first place trophy after a certain time honored ceremony.

“We flipped a coin after the event and I got the trophy,” Ro said.

William Brooks of Grand Isle was the other first place designee.

There was a certain déjà vu for Ro, who won the event last year after a co-sixth grade championship in 2007.

Ro says he has been playing chess for several years and has a challenge coming from within the family. Younger brother Daniel took second place in the sixth grade division in the same tournament two weeks ago.

“I learn from him,” Daniel said of his older brother.

Has the student ever bettered the teacher?

“Not yet,” said David.

As for the game itself, David Ro said he prefers to play in an offensive mode, and the king is the toughest piece to work with.

He also said that the first moves in a game have little consequence, but the key situations develop some seven to 10 moves into each game.

David Ro said he is able to think and plan some seven moves ahead of what is on the board.

Next year David moves into the high school level of chess; a victory in that tournament leads to a national event.

For a guy who thinks seven moves ahead, that is only a year hence.

The son of Chris and Una Ro, David is also a successful tennis player.