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The Madison Record

Gowder, Kueck win chess scholarships

Oviya Gowder won a scholarship to Mid-South Summer Chess Camp in Memphis. CONTRIBUTED
Oviya Gowder won a scholarship to Mid-South Summer Chess Camp in Memphis. CONTRIBUTED
Erin Kueck won a scholarship to Mid-South Summer Chess Camp in Memphis. CONTRIBUTED
Erin Kueck won a scholarship to Mid-South Summer Chess Camp in Memphis. CONTRIBUTED

MADISON – Madison City Chess League (MCCL) has selected Oviya Gowder and Erin Kueck as recipients of $500 scholarships to attend Mid-South Summer Chess Camp in Memphis in June.

Gowder is a third-grader at Heritage Elementary School. Kueck is a Discovery Middle School eighth-grader. Both girls are members of MCCL and their respective school chess teams.

A donation from Tennessee Valley Chapter of Women in Defense made the scholarships possible. A scholarship selection committee with MCCL Board Secretary Mollie Bounds, MCCL Executive Director Ranae Bartlett and MCCL Girls Chess Coordinator Beena Chopade selected Gowder and Kueck.

“Mid-South Summer Chess Camp is one of the premiere summer chess camps in our region, headlined by Grand Master Alexander Stripunsky,” Bartlett said. “Numerous grand and international masters and chess experts instruct students grouped by level throughout the day.”

The full-week camp “immerses oneself in chess and a great opportunity for area students to learn from instructors they might not otherwise meet,” Bartlett said.

Gowder was the first board for the K-3 Heritage chess team at the North Alabama Team Scholastic (NATS) tournament and for K-3 MCCL Club Team that placed second at State Scholastic Chess Championship. Gowder won third place in Primary section at City Chess Championship and first place in K-3 section at Rookie Rally.

Heritage Principal Dr. Georgina Nelson said, “Oviya is an academically talented, yet humble, compassionate and fun-loving student. Oviya is the epitome of a well-rounded student.”

Winning the scholarship, Kueck felt “super excited about this opportunity to improve my chess skills and learn from national and international chess masters.”

Kueck began playing chess at Rainbow Elementary School and continued at Discovery. Kueck was on the Discovery Chess Team that won State Chess Championship for Junior High. She will compete at National High School Chess Championship in Atlanta.

Discovery Principal Eric Terrell said, “Erin is a great student who strives for excellence inside and outside the classroom. Erin participates in honor classes and has embodied the spirit of doing something kind for someone everyday.”

For more information, email mccl.director@gmail.com or visit madisonchess.com.

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