Lakeland Chess Prodigy Goes to Nationals


Matthew Wirtz, News Writer

One Lakeland High School student has made his way to the national chess tournament. Darwin Porth is Lakeland’s chess prodigy. He is the only person from LHS to make it to the national level in chess.

Darwin Porth has recently made his way to the national chess tournament. The tournament takes place in Jerryville, New Jersey and takes place this summer.

Porth has been playing chess since he was a child. When he was a kid he had high hopes.

“When I was a kid, I thought that I would make it this far, but when I entered I didn’t think I would’ve made it where I am now,” stated Darwin Porth. 

Chess club leader and teacher, Adam Porth, shares Darwin’s enthusiasm for him making it to the national level.

“I’m really excited to see Darwin play at the national level. It’s going to be hard because he will be playing national masters, international masters, and grand masters,” Adam Porth stated.

To be entered into nationals, one must place in first in the state chess tournament. This is called the Dunn Kirk chess tournament. 

Darwin had placed second in the Dunn Kirk. Normally, this would mean he wouldn’t make it to nationals. However, the person who placed first was disqualified for cheating. Which led to Darwin achieving the number one spot. 

Darwin Porth still believes his placement at the national level. He thinks it could go anyway.

Porth stated, “I think I have a shot of placing high. However, it depends who I go up against in my first couple matches. There are some high rated players that when I play them, could go anyway.”

The highest score anyone has gotten from Idaho is two and a half points. This means they got two wins and one draw.

“If Darwin can win a match in this, then I would be super proud,” Adam Porth said.

Darwin Porth also takes part in Chess Club. Chess Club takes place every Wednesday after school. Students play chess until they don’t want to anymore. Chess Club also has free food for people that join.