Pumpkin Patch Chess Tournament
By Korey Kormick   
November 2, 2011
“If you move that Rook, he’ll have to answer personally to the Emperor!”

Sitting across the table from a fully-clad Imperial Stormtrooper, that threat does succeed in giving one pause. Then again, two boards down, Super Mario has surely got your back, so long as Sonic doesn’t keep him too busy. If they say Chess is a game of War, a Halloween chess tournament brings out the most colorful and creative impulses in a player.

P1020514.JPGThis past Sunday, the University of Memphis (TN) hosted the 2011 Shelby County Chess Pumpkin Patch tournament & costume contest. Well over half of the participants decked out in costumes ranging from cute to scary, iconic to realistic, with classic costumes vying against modern superheroes & their accessories. All pretense aside, when it came down to the 64 squares, competition was fierce & fast. Two USCF-rated sections were a kickoff to the season of scholastic chess for returning players, while the largest unrated section introduced many newcomers to tournament procedures & the excitement of competitive chess. All players got participatory ribbons or place trophies for their efforts, and of course, everyone got to take part in their favorite Halloween tradition—Trick or Treat candy!

For more on Halloween and chess, see Jennifer Shahade's blog entry, "Trick or Treat Chess."