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Are Our Schools in Checkmate?

[Cross posted from the Sibley Chess Club.]

I am a member of the School Improvement Advisory Committee (SIAC) for the Sibley-Ocheyedan Community Schools Distict (S-O CSD). It is a committee made up of community members, teachers and students. Our mission is to formulate and prioritize recommendations for our school board. They in turn, will consider these recommendations when setting goals for the 2010-2011 school year.

Jeff Herzberg, Superintendent for S-O CSD, posted the following video on his blog, Superintendent Herzberg. The video is a speech given by Scott McLeod, J.D., Ph.D., at an international schools conference in India, where 1-1 initiatives (meaning all students get laptops) are being considered and implemented. Dr. McLeod also wrote The status quo no longer suffices: An open letter to the Ames (IA) School Board, presented this topic to the National Education Association Board of Directors and the Dubuque School Board.

How does this relate to chess? It was amazingly fascinating to hear all of the presenters at our second SIAC meeting (teachers explained the Iowa Core Curriculum) use key phrases associated with chess; problem solving, planning ahead, deductive learning, socially interactive, etc.

Of interest is, "A Word From the Wise", an op-ed piece written by New York Times columnist, Thomas L. Friedman. It is referenced in Mr. Herzberg's blog and relevant to the discussion.
I invite the members and visitors of this website to share your thoughts on Dr. McLeod's video or presentations regarding the challenges our schools face. Please consider asking educators and others in your communities to share their perspectives. You may do so on Superintendent Herzberg's blog or below.

I am starting a new website, It is still in it's infancy, but please check it out and let me know what you think. All feedback is appreciated. Learn to Play Chess page included.

New links to RGWO files hosted at

MS Word

Rochester Grand Winter Open 2010!

The RGWO 2010 will be held February 5-6 in the Harwick cafeteria (same location as always).

Send me an email at, if you have any questions.

Registration form:
Word Document
PDF Document

IM Ray Robson Earns GM Norm

International Master Ray Robson, 14, finished tied for first at the Artic Chess Challenge held in Tromso from August 1 - 9, 2009. Officially, he finished in second place based on tie-break points but earned his first GM norm.

To view all games from that event click on Games or go to Artic Chess Challenge.

Congratulation Ray!!

2009 Alois Nagler Memorial

GM Robert Hess recently turned in a strong performance at the 2009 Alois Nagler Memorial by finishing tied for 5th with 6.5 points out of a possible 9 (only 1 point behind the winner). Officially, he is listed as having tied for 10th based on tie-break points.

The event was held from August 9 -15, 2009, held in Zurich, Switzerland. It had 272 participants, 128 which were titled players. Forty-five of the titled players were grandmasters. You may view all games at 2009 Zurich.

Way to go Robert!

RGSO 2009 Results

Thanks to everyone who played in this year's Rochester Grand Summer Open, we set a Rochester Open record with 76 rated players! The results can be viewed at Final Standings and USCF crosstables.