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Economy teen to represent Sewickley library at Allegheny County chess tournament

| Wednesday, March 27, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Noah Adalbert likes to play chess because he can get to know his opponent by the way he or she plays.

“If they play aggressively, you know they have some personality — as opposed to the person who plays a quiet game of chess,” said Noah, 13, a home-schooled seventh-grader from Economy.

Considering himself “semi-aggressive, but not too aggressive,” Noah, son of Tom and Joyce Adalbert, recently won the senior division for players in grades five through eight at the annual Sewickley Public Library chess tournament.

He now is headed to the 40th annual Allegheny County competition April 6 at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh in East Liberty.

Rita Crawford, head children's librarian in Sewickley, said each year, Allegheny County libraries send two winners to the library chess-tournament finals.

In the junior division for players in kindergarten through fourth grade, Bruce David, 9, of Ben Avon Heights, a student at Montessori Children's Community in Sewickley, placed first in the Sewickley tournament for the right to advance to the county tournament.

Every year, the Pittsburgh Chess Club and the Carnegie Library jointly sponsor the annual series of free chess tournaments. In recent years, about 40 to 45 branch libraries throughout Allegheny County have participated.

Each year, the Sewickley tournament draws about 10 to 15 children in each division, Crawford said. Judging the competition this year was professional judge Bruce Leverett, a member of the Pittsburgh Chess Club.

For Noah, the Sewickley Public Library tournament was his first competition, but he has been playing chess since he was about 6. He learned from his dad, he said, but also took lessons and went to a chess camp a few years ago.

He said he likes the “strategic end” of chess and that it's a game “you can play your whole life.

“You can drop it for a few months and pick it back up again, and you can't get hurt like in football,” he said.

Molly Troy, children's librarian, said having a chess program is important.

“It allows the participants to practice many wonderful lifelong learning skills. Playing chess requires concentration, perseverance, patience and critical thinking,” she said,

“The children who participate in our chess program utilize and consequently strengthen these skills every time they are engaged in a game of chess. Additionally, our chess program provides an environment where kids can share their enthusiasm for the game and gives them an opportunity to play chess with their peers.”

Joanne Barron is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-324-1406 or jbarron@tribweb.com.

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