Ida Freeman Students Win Elementary Chess National Championship

Monday, May 12th 2014, 10:32 pm
By: News 9

A team of fourth and fifth-graders from Edmond's Ida Freeman Elementary School won a National Chess Championship this past weekend in Dallas.

Ida Freeman has won 14 state championships, but this is the first national championship.

This group of 25 kids beat not only teams from public schools, but from private and charter schools as well. The second and third place teams were schools from Queens and the Bronx, NY.

Ida Freeman Coach David Nichols said it was a total team effort. He said selfless efforts from other teachers at the school also played a large role.

"I'm not surprised," said Nichols. "I'm surprised at how they won it."

Nichols said the team's bus broke down Saturday night on the way back to the competition from dinner. He said only quick thinking by parents—who banded together to form a large car pool—is what saved the team from disqualification.

Ida Freeman Principal Keith Pautler said everyone should be proud.

"Making chess become cool was very important for us," said Pautler. "At Ida Freeman, chess is absolutely cool."