He has chess moves
Published: Tuesday, February 1, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 31, 2005 at 10:34 p.m.
Competing for trophies may have been a young chess player's goal in the beginning, but now sixth-grader Winston May is racking up the ratings points as he competes in championship games.
Winston placed third late last year at the national K-12/Collegiate Chess Championship, a U.S. Chess Federation tournament held in Orlando.
Winston, a 12-year-old student at Oak Hall School, entered his first official USCF tournament three years ago. He competed against players from all over the nation in the 1,200 and under ratings category.
Before the Orlando event, his USCF rating was 1,077 after participating in 16 events since 2001.
After placing in this national event, his rating will go up according to complex U.S. federation rules based on the rankings of his opponents and the number of games played.
He ranked 20th overall in the tournament.
Winston, the son of Lee and Jack May, began playing chess at age 7, initially attracted by the chance to compete for trophies.
He has had opportunities to play and win chess games in New York City at the Marshall Chess Club and in Washington Square Park, which was featured in the movie, "In Search of Bobby Fischer."
Ben Kingsley's character in the movie, Bruce Pandolfini, was an early chess teacher of Robert Sinn, a Gainesville chess master who tutored Winston privately for two years.
Sinn was not surprised by Winston's outstanding performance at the 2004 nationals.
"Winston is a very talented chess player and has a voracious appetite for tactical problem-solving as well as being a very gifted tactician. ... I expected a strong result from him in Orlando," Sinn said.
Winston also participates in an after-school Chess Club at Oak Hall.
In chess games, when playing the black pawns, Winston prefers to open with the Sicilian dragon play, and if playing white, he uses the queen's gambit. His favorite chess player is Garry Kasparov.
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