By Leah Reidenbach
[email protected]

Although the Valencia Chess Open Tournament was a friendly competition, things became more serious once the tick-tock of the clocks started.

The tournament took place on Sat., on the Valencia’s west campus, with five rounds of chess and an elimination round to determine the top three winners.

Tying for first place were Philip Bauer and Michael Gonzalez from UCF and third place went to Jon Miniell, also from UCF.

Even though he tied for first, Gonzalez said “I can’t ever be unhappy with winning. I was pretty sure I would come in the top three.”

UCF’s chess club usually meets two, three, or even four times a week according to Bauer, and all that practice has certainly paid off this weekend at the tournament.

The top player from Valencia was Genezareth Berrocal who said, I think I did pretty well, I messed up on one game and so I lost one, but besides that I won the rest.

When asked about his losing
game Berrocal said, “I always use the same strategy, it’s nothing special but it works well; just that one game I made a huge mistake.”

Kate Neil, a Florida Southern College student and one of the only girls playing in the competition, won three out of her five matches Saturday.

She wasn’t sure why more girls don’t play chess; she said, “Maybe they’re intimidated, a lot of girls don’t think they’re smart enough.”

Ryan Reyes, a Valencia student, said his favorite part of the completion was “Free drinks and pizza. And I got to socialize with my friends and meet new people”

To find out more about Chess Club you can e-mail Ann Farrell, the Chess Club student adviser and professor at Valencia, at [email protected]