On Sept. 10-13, senior Sasha Konovalenko competed in the World Youth Rapid Chess Championship and the World Blitz Chess Championship in Spain. The first tournament consisted of a 15 minute game with five seconds per move while the second tournament consisted of a three minute game with two seconds per move, a massive difference compared to the traditional 90 minute game. Konovalenko came in seventh in the Blitz tournament and second in the Rapid tournament, both of which she was happy with.
Konovalenko first started playing chess as a young child. After watching her father and brother play for some time, she became interested in the game as well. She later decided to join the Chess Club at DHS. In 2015, she traveled to Greece to play in the World Youth Chess Championships, where she first found out about the tournaments in Spain. To prepare, Konovalenko participated in the Michigan Speed Championship, practiced online chess, worked with a coach, and learned specific techniques from books and programs.
While Konovalenko cannot predict the future, she hopes to continue playing chess. Representing a college and playing just for fun are both possibilities depending on which school she attends. Whatever path she follows, Konovalenko feels that she won’t forget what she has learned.
“Chess is its own language,” Konovalenko said. “When you play, you understand that, even if you leave and don’t play for 20 years, you’re not going to forget.”
To learn more about the rules of chess and how each piece is moved, visit https://www.chessusa.com/chess-rules.html