Washington High School
Chess Association

WHSCA Game Corner

2009 Denker Tournament of High School Champions, by Kerry Xing

I represented Washington in the 2009 Denker Tournament of High School Champions in Indianapolis, Indiana. It was a six-round Swiss in 4 days, Aug. 1 ~ Aug. 4, 2009.

In the opening ceremony, we learned about the history of the tournament. GM Arnold Denker came up with the idea for the tournament, and since then, the tournament had been run every year. After Arnold Denker passed away, his son, Mitchell Denker, helped keep the tournament going. Unfortunately, unlike all of the previous years, Mitchell Denker was unable to come. Everyone in the Denker was given a medallion and a copy of the March 2005 issue of Chess Life, which was published in remembrance of Arnold Denker.

Kerry Xing at the 2009 Denker Tournament

The Denker was a special experience for me. My games turned out okay, even though I found the time control a bit awkward because it was a G90 with a 30 second increment. Anyway, in most of my games, I ended up in time trouble because I had overestimated the time I would be getting from the increment.

In the closing ceremony, each of us received a copy of the book, The Bobby Fischer I Knew, by Arnold Denker and Larry Parr, which described the personal lives of many famous chess players.

In the end, I finished the tournament with 4.0/6, in a massive 9-way tie for 5th place. Congratulations to Steve Breckenridge of Oregon for finishing 4th with 4.5 and Abby Marshall of Virginia for winning the Denker with 5.5.