Cherry Hill Scholastic Event Offers $12,000 in Scholarships
By Stephen Arnold Dick   
June 7, 2010
The connection between chess and academia is about to get even more substantial this Saturday as total of $12,000 in college scholarships will be awarded to no less than seven high school chess players at the 1st Annual Rentschler Foundation High School Chess Championship.

High school chess players from as far away as Texas are expected to compete in the tournament being held at the Holiday Inn in Cherry Hill, NJ on June 12th and 13th. One local star, Victor Shen, said,“The Rentschler is the best scholastic tournament I have ever heard of (within the U.S). It will be a very competitive tournament.” Another player, Jake Miller, USCF rated at 2034, said “This is probably the most exciting non-nationals event that I will play in.  It has the most at stake in terms of potential gain of any scholastic event I have played in.  It is also one of the only free events that offers prize money. I hope this sets a precedent for many future events of this caliber."

While top rated chess players like Shen and Miller are sure to be in the running for one of the top prizes, players not so highly rated will attempt to stake a claim on the prize money as well. When asked how well do you expect to have to play to win a scholarship prize, Matt Sparacino, a 1380 rated player, said, "I don't feel that my intermediate rating prevents me from upsetting any of the top entrants, but I will have to be on the top of my game; I expect every round to be a challenge."

Even chess players who consider themselves less than hard-core tournament players, like Robert Elliott, intend to compete.

Elliott said, "I’m a frequent recreational chess player and this is also one of my first times competing for such a prize like this!  I think that the Rentschler HS Chess Championship is a great opportunity for all of its lucky entrants.  The chance to win such a scholarship just for winning a tournament is a rush, and a great joy to think about.  The chances of winning a scholarship for myself are small, but just knowing that it’s possible is all more the reason to play!"

The 1st Annual Rentschler Foundation High School Chess Championship is a Chess Magnet School Junior Grand Prix Event. Seating is limited to the first 100 entrants who are in 10th, 11th or 12th grade. For details on the event, or to register, visit Pre-registration ends at midnight on June 11. Contact Stephen Arnold Dick at 856-582-8222 for additional questions or concerns.