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Luke Stephens

North Colorado, United States
Jul 27, 2009
Last Login
8 hrs ago
Want to know more about me? Read below. (Taken from my blog) Hi, My name is Luke Stephens and I play chess as a hobby, (A competitive hobby ) and I have been playing chess since I was three years old. I didn't really get into it until I was 9-10 years old. My family had just moved to Colorado and we joined our first chess club. It was relatively small, maybe 10 kids at the most. The best player there at the time was a kid names Christian. He was rated about 800 uscf at the time so as you can tell it wasn't a very strongchess club. But strength wasn't really the point of the club. Nor was chess for that matter. It was primarily a place were moms could bring their kids while their older sisters did ballet in the same building. Kids would bring games like Twister, Statego, Bingo, and occasionally UNO. Even though it was advertised as a chess club it was basically a daycare. That part of it I didn't enjoy, but at one point my dad and the lady running it decided they wanted to return the focus to chess. This was great, and at just about this time my uscf rating was around 1050. I was now just about tied with Christian (who had also improved) for the top player spot.  However, right that time the ballet classes stopped because they had found a better site, and the kids still coming were the ones that actually were committed to improving their chess. But the club was slowly disappearing due to the fact that kids were losing interest in chess. Generally from what I've seen is that as kids get older they have to decide whether they want to keep studying and devoting time to chess, or give it up to spend all of their time watching videos on YouTube and staying up late texting. During this time I was also going to local scholastic tournaments. About once every month we would drive down to Denver and play in a 1 day, 5 round, scholastic tournament. At first, these tournaments were relatively weak. The top players would either be Daniel Zhou, (1450 at the time) or, Jackson Chen (1750 at the time). Daniel was my age but has consistently maintained a rating 100-200 points above my own. Though we have drawn several times in recent tournaments. Jackson on the other hand, is a year younger than me and from the point when he started playing in tournaments has been a clear favorite. He is a very talented whiz-kid that clearly has a talent for the game. His recent tournament performance is currently averaged at about 1950-2050, and he is still improving. These two players actually provided a large amount of motivation for me. Primarily because they were the ones that were always getting the trophies and medals. Needless to say I was a little bit jealous... But I was able to turn this jealousy into motivation to become a better player. And before I knew it, I was up there playing with them as one of the top scholastic players in the state.  I have gained 5 new students in recent months, both old and young and am enjoying working with them. If you are in northern Colorado and want to play, check out the CSU Chess club and the Lory Student Center. It is awesome and offers a chance to play stronger players in and out of tournaments. If you want more info, feel free to send me a message and I'll be happy to provide more info. :) Thanks for reading! Luke Stephens 
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