West Virginia Chess Championship Held in Elkins - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

West Virginia Chess Championship Held in Elkins

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ELKINS -

More than 20 chess players competed in the 75th annual West Virginia Chess Championship on Sunday.

The three day event features two rounds each day and rounds can take up to five hours to play.

Tournament Director Robert Greer said those long rounds can be tough on the players.

"Chess is like a foreign language in some respects. It requires physical stamina as well as mental aptitude," said Greer.

Greer said even though chess is fairly easy to learn, it can take years to become as good as the competitors in the tournament.

"It's actually very easy to learn the basic moves; anybody can pick up the game very quickly. It might take a lifetime to master because there are literally thousands and thousands of variations for each game depending upon what each player chooses to make as a move," Greer said.

Greer said that chess can help keep your mind sharp, and that's one reason some people enjoying playing it.

"It's a mental game; it keeps your mind working at a level that you wouldn't do the same if you play video games," said Greer.

Benjamin Cowley competed in the tournament and said he enjoys the social aspect of the game.

"The game is fun because it kind of keeps your mind sharp and keeps you thinking, but chess anyone can play it so you get people from all walks of life and especially in West Virginia that's really nice. You get to hear some great stories from people who have come from all across the country to play chess and hear their stories. That's probably the best thing," said Cowley, who is from Buckhannon.

The tournament will continue on Monday when a chess champion will be named.

The West Virginia Chess Association Junior Championship will be held in Clarksburg on Sept. 28 for more information click here.