Chess tournament brings battle to the board

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The 30th Service Division hosted a chess tournament at the Vandenberg Center on Saturday.

Due to the number of participants the civilian and military divisions were combined. Six Airmen and civilians competed in the division. The winner of the division was Randolph DeVera, 30th Logistic Readiness Squadron civilian. Mr. DeVera was able to win all five games he played.

Although the group was a combined field, the top three military finishers are going to Ft. MacArthur to compete in the MAJCOM chess tournament. The military top three were Airman 1st Class Daniel Hartley, 30th Security Forces officer, 2nd Lt. Thomas Skora, 533rd Training Squadron Student, and 2nd Lt. Sean Mortenson, 533rd TRS student.

"These three will be going on April 11 to represent Vandenberg in the MAJCOM chess tournament," said Warlina Warner, a 30th Services Division recreation specialist.

The youth division was won by Tyler Burnett, son of Tech. Sgt. Robert Burnett of 614th Space Operations Squadron.

The tournament, which allowed each player to play everyone at least once, was directed by reigning Air Force chess champion Tech. Sgt. Nathanial Ola, 614th SOPS missile warning duty officer.

Sergeant Ola has been involved in the Air Force chess program since 1997 and has benefited from his experience.

"I've done a lot of traveling and met a lot of people playing," he said. "It's been a great way to build friendships."

If successful at MAJCOM level, they will continue to Air Force level.