Oregon Scholastic Chess starting up for the school year: Interview with Chad Lykins

Oregon Scholastic Chess starting up for the school year: Interview with Chad Lykins



With school opening soon, after-school activities are starting too. I wanted to find out what’s new with Oregon Scholastic Chess. I sat down with Chad Lykins, OSCF President and Founder of Rose City Chess, to find out.


Coach Larry: Chad, what big changes are coming up with Oregon Scholastic Chess Federation (OSCF)?

Chad: Our Board of Directors made a historic vote to change the OSCF K-12 School Team Championship, making it a co-ed event, with a maximum of 3 male players per 5-person team. This decision aligns with OSCF’s gender equity goals as outlined in the Oregon Chess Project.


Coach Larry: Are there a large number of girls playing chess?

Chad: In the last year, female participation grew from 9% to 14%. OSCF aims to more than double that number in 2024.


Coach Larry: When is the team championship?

Chad: The 2024 OSCF Co-Ed State Team Championship will take place March 16, 2024, at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Oregon.


Coach Larry: Who can play?

Chad: The event will be open to all school-aged chess players in Oregon. Students who aren’t on teams may register as individuals, and the tournament director will place them on a team. There will be no limit to the number of five-member teams each school can register.


Coach Larry: What support are you getting?

Chad: Puddletown Chess Co-Founders Zoey Tang, Ishaan Kodarapu, and Austin Tang, pledged over $6,000 in scholarships to train novice female players for the championship. Puddletown is thrilled with the decision to make the 2024 Team tournament a co-ed event.


Coach Larry: Anyone else involved?

Chad: Chess4GirlsPDX pledged an additional $2,500. “I strongly believe that all members of the chess community possess a responsibility to bridge this gap and motivate girls in the sport to pursue their interest,” said Founder Nesara Shree.


Coach Larry: What is Rose City Chess doing?

Chad: Rose City Chess is launching several programs aimed at increasing the number of girls in after-school chess clubs. “We believe structural change is required to achieve our goals for gender equality. This new format gives every chess club an incentive to make positive, lasting change. Rose City Chess Girls Club is starting up this fall. We have a welcome gift for every girl and special all-girls events that will be scheduled throughout the year. We also are working to hire more female coaches. Hoping to have more announcements soon!


Coach Larry: Keep me posted, Chad. These are great ways to get more girls into chess!


Why learn chess? Simple: It’s a great mental workout that helps children perform well in the classroom. Chess is a logical game where kids have to plan ahead and adjust to new situations. But most of all, it’s fun!

Larry Ball (Coach Larry) teaches students of all ages at the Steinitz Chess Academy in Beaverton. For more information, email Larry at larryball48@yahoo.com. Visit us at 13755 Walker Road.