Saranac Lake Peter Craig can remember playing the game of chess with his father at a young age.
“I would play a few games with my dad and I would lose, so I would lose interest and walk away,” Craig said.
Now entering his senior year at Keene Central School, Craig leaves the chess table with something other than frustration. He now leaves with trophies.
As well as tying for first place in both the under 1710 section of the New York State Open tournament at Lake George and under 1810 section at Vermont Resort Open, Craig earned more than his share of team points to help his under 1400 rated team Saranac Village Chess Knights team win first place in Parsippany, N.J. in February.
“It was pretty tough competition,” Craig said. “The individual events were both five rounds long, and I was able to win four out of five rounds.”
His father, David, introduced Peter to the game of chess on a board that he had made in the eighth grade.
“I had the feeling that he was going to be a bright kind,” David said. “I wanted to help stimulate his mind with things like chess.”
The father and son duo played many games together at home before hearing about the Chess Knights, a club of enthusiasts who meet on Wednesday nights from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Saranac Village at Will Rogers in Saranac Lake.
“It was this club that got us thinking about tournaments,” David said.
What it also did was give Peter a chance to meet new players and see new styles, which helped him develop his chess game.
“I was able to focus more on the game, and I wanted to become a better player,” he said. “You can take something from a loss. It was good for my play to see how other people would make their plays and then use that to develop my play.”