Andre Lakeith Dobbs, a freshman from Dumas, defeated his opponent Eric Williamson, a freshman from Monticello, on Dec. 8 to become the 2004 University of Arkansas at Monticello Chess Champion. The tournament concluded a day late due to fierce competition that forced an adjournment.
“The idea of being a champion just set in and it feels real good,” Dobbs said. “However, on the flipside, I learned something, and I learned the truth about myself. I used to be obsessed with winning, but winning gave me the drive I needed to continue. If you're not striving towards something, what's the point?”
Although Dobbs walked away the champ, he did not hesitate to give credit to his worthy opponent.
“I think Eric Williamson is a great guy,” Dobbs said. “One thing I love about him is his patience.”
While the championship game displayed UAM’s best going one-on-one, plenty of other competition took place during the tournament.
The tournament featured a five round Swiss System played over five weeks. Each player earned a score of one for each round they won, a score of one-half for each round they drew and a score of zero for each round they lost or forfeited. Final results from the tournament include the following:
“The fact that no one was able to maintain a perfect score through the five rounds of the 2004 Championship says a great deal about the breadth of chess strength on this campus,” said Guy Nelson, an instructor of math. “We are blessed with a large number of very strong chess players here at UAM.”
The tournament's novice section accommodated less experienced players, like Robin Logan, a freshman from Crossett.
“I have never played anyone other than my family, and have not played in over five years,” Logan said. “One day I was at Mr. Nelson’s office and one of the chess club members said he could beat me, and I told him he could not. That is how I started playing here at UAM.”
While the tournament’s players impressed Nelson with competitiveness and skill, he also took note of their diversity.
“I also thought that the number and strength of the chess players who are members of the Fighting Weevil football team was remarkable,” Nelson said. “There may be other good chess players on campus, but it takes courage to put your $2 on the line and take the test”
Nelson said without that kind of courage it might be difficult to “know thyself” as Socrates advised.
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© The Voice, 2004
Revised 070917 http://www.uamont.edu/Organizations/TheVoice/2_8/chess.htm