Hayden High Good Kids are terrific championship chess players

Matthew and Ethan are working their way up the state’s chess ranks
Get the latest chess stats on Matthew and Ethan in our Good Kids report.
Published: Mar. 17, 2022 at 4:42 PM CDT
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TOPEKA (WIBW) -- Two Hayden High Freshmen, Matthew Samich and Ethan Rochford love chess. About four years ago the school had a very robust chess team and then it just fizzled as Hayden just didn’t have enough students interested in being a member of the Chess Club. These two young men are trying to more students interested. Matthew has been competing at some very high levels and will be playing at the National Level.

Ethan started playing chess in 5th grade at Christ The King Catholic school. He hadn’t really played much chess in the last couple of years because of tournaments being cancelled due to Covid, and nobody can really play him at home! The last few months Ethan (the player wearing the glasses) has really been playing a lot online and has been able to participate in three tournaments recently. That qualified him to go to State in Emporia, where now, his rating has really improved recently after getting a few tournaments under his belt. He is really looking forward to improving his rating even more, and our Good Kids are hoping they can get a chess team together at Hayden High.

Matthew’s fatjer taught him the game when he was only a Kindergartner, and first-grader! Matthew started competing in tournaments around 2nd and 3rd grade . He said his most exciting time was making his best moves in the national tournament in Nashville -- and placed 51st in 7th grade. One of Matthew’s proudest moments was last week when he won the Chanute tournament and had to beat one of the top players in the state. Another proud moment took place two years ago when he was in 7th grade and moved up to play at the High School level and won the high school level tournament! The Kansas State Championship was played in Emporia this month, where he looked ahead to playing against some of the state’s Grand Masters.

Ethan competed in the State Chess Tournament at Emporia State, too. He took 16th place out of 124 kids with 4 points. It was tough competition, everyone he played against was ranked higher than him. There were 124 kids in the K-12 section. Matthew placed 5th and Ethan placed 16th. They did fantastic. Matthew had 5 points and Ethan had 4 points. Congratulations to this week’s Good Kids, and great young Chess players, Matthew Samich and Ethan Rochford!

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