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Penn Hills library's chess tournament set for this month

Penn Hills Progress
The Penn Hills library will host its annual chess tournament for children in kindergarten through eighth grade on Feb. 16. TRIB FILE PHOTO

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Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Luke Weiland, 9, of Mars won his first chess tournament at the age of 7.

Last year, he took second place in the junior division at the Penn Hills library's chess tournament, and he's gearing up for this year's competition, which will take place Feb. 16 at the library on Stotler Road.

“I think it's wonderful,” said Luke's mother, Leslie, who taught him to play chess when he was 4. “I played as a kid, and I thought he would like it.”

Weiland said he has a lot of fun playing chess but can't explain why he enjoys the game so much. He said his favorite chess piece is the knight.

“He's different from the other pieces,” Weiland said. “He moves different and looks different.”

Weiland is also looking to step up his chess game: he now takes chess lessons from Phillip Ochman, who is based in Israel and teaches lessons online. The Weilands found Ochman through the website.

Leslie Weiland said the game is a good way to challenge kids.

“Luke is very bright, but he didn't always do things that were too hard for him before, and I think (chess) has made him mature a little bit and look for bigger challenges in school.

“It also teaches you how to lose, because he'll never win all the games,” she said.

The William E. Anderson Library's chess tournament will take place from 9:15 to 11:30 a.m. Feb. 16. There are two divisions: junior (kindergarten through fourth grade) and senior (fifth through eighth grades). Anyone interested in participating must register in advance by calling 412-795-3507, ext. 115.

Patrick Varine is an editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7845 or

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