Bell School won its third consecutive city championship on Saturday, March 24th, and four of the top players had the honor of competing in the MVP tournament Tuesday at the Harold Washington Library.
Fourth graders William Scothorn, Danny Kamatovic and Jeremy Margolin along with third grader Steve Kamatovic were key players in the city championship; and all of them were excited to be a part of the K-4 team that won. The winning comes natural now for the “Bell Stealths”, as the K-2 team won two years ago, and the K-8 team won last year.
“We kind of expected it,” said Scothorn. “But we did get nervous playing some kids from the other schools that we know are really good.”
Steve Kamatovic admitted to being intimidated by certain opponents, but he learned how to keep that from happening for next time.
“If you play with the clock, (the opponent) can’t take notations,” he said. “Then it’s easier for us to win.”
Preparing for intense competition at the city championship is never easy, but the Kamatovic brothers had sparring partners in their parents to help them practice. Mr. and Mrs. Kamatovic have been playing chess for a long time, but did not provide any tough competition for the boys.
“We beat them three times,” said Danny. “Only our dad (was tough to beat).”
The boys have been playing chess for about four years now, and Margolin got started because of his interest in other complex puzzles.
“I really like math and brain teasers,” he said. “And one day my dad just taught me chess and I liked it, so I just kept playing it.”
“I didn’t know about (chess), but my dad would always play,” said Steve Kamatovic. “I just liked it.”
For the “Bell Stealths,” it’s the intense competition and strategy involved in chess that makes them love it and want to keep getting better.
“I love that you use your brain in a competition to see who can outsmart them,” said Margolin. “And it’s also a test of stamina.”
Scothorn finished third in Tuesday’s MVP tournament, while Margolin finished fourth.