Chad Lykins: Building a Bigger Chess World
Introducing Rose City Chess
Creating youth tournaments like this recent one at the Oregon Convention Center is just a single example of the many things Chad Lykins is doing to grow chess opportunities for young people in our area. With up to 300 students playing, tournaments like this are ambitious operations, but Chad and his associates at Rose City Chess sponsor 30 of them a year, giving every student many chances to play in rated tournaments. It’s a remarkable schedule, especially for a business that involves organizing children.
And even more impressive to note that Chad wants the students to change from Scholastic to USCF ratings in order to make them eligible to play in all-ages tournaments, not just those for kids. It’s all part of growing the chess community and keeping kids playing after their elementary years.
Chad is a parent at Hayhurst and took over its existing chess club and began holding chess tournaments there, such as the famous Halloween tournament. Chad wore a bright orange suit with pumpkins-a big hit with the kids! Everyone has a great time at Chad’s tournaments. Kids wear Halloween outfits and look forward to their next chance to play.
Another way of keeping kids active is training them to be coaches. When Chad started Rose City Chess in 2022 – when we were in the throes of the pandemic – he knew kids would learn from other kids, so he made highly skilled younger players a part of his coaching crew. The Oregon Chess Project Fellowship is a very successful model for providing students with mentors they can identify with and rewarding high school and college students for their efforts as coaches and tournament directors.
It’s also a relief to us older coaches that Chad is preparing the future generation of coaches. He knows that one day we will all have to hand over the reins and let the youngsters take over. It looks like thanks to the impressive work of Chad Lykins the game will be in good hands.