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Alexandre Boyce makes all the right moves

He may be only 9 years old, but Alexandre Boyce is already getting a reputation for making all the right moves.

Boyce, a Bull Mountain middle schooler, recently brought home the gold at an international chess tournament held in Las Vegas.

Alexandre, a student at Hope Chinese Charter School in Beaverton, attended the Las Vegas International Chess Festival, competing against hundreds of chess players from across the globe. SUBMITTED PHOTO - Alexandre Boyce brought home gold from the Las Vegas International Chess Festival.

“Chess is an international language,” said his father, Dwayne Boyce. “Even if you don’t speak the same language, you can sit down and play chess together.”

Alexandre played in the festival with two teammates from his school’s chess team, competing both individually and as a team.

Alexandre was almost unstoppable in the competition, bringing home a first-place trophy in the international tournament.

Beyond Alexandre’s individual success, the Hope Chinese Charter School team took fifth place in the competition, which Dwayne Boyce said was a good showing for the inexperienced team.

“Other schools had 10-15 kids there so they had a much better chance of doing well than us, (since we) only had three players,” he said. “It was a great showing.”

Dwayne Boyce said that the chess club is the most popular club in the school.

This was the first year that the school has participated in the festival.

“It’s definitely something we’ll do again,” Dwayne Boyce said. “And we’ll get more kids to come with us.”

Alexandre’s school is well known on the local chess scene, competing in statewide tournaments throughout the year.

“My son has far surpassed what I can teach him,” Dwayne Boyce said. “He and most of the team have surpassed me. There’s nothing more in my arsenal to show them.”

In addition to the competition, Alexandre and his teammates also got to learn from grand master players during the festival.

“These guys, they play in their head and don’t even watch the board,” Dwayne Boyce said. “One guy played 33 games simultaneously in his head. I can’t fathom how they can do that, but they were there to help teach the youngsters a little something about what they know.”

Despite his relative youth, Alexandre already has five years of experience under his belt since he began playing chess at age 5.

“My uncle and dad both play, and they taught me to play,” he said. “Now I know a lot about chess.”

Alexandre said he’s drawn to the game because it isn’t like a traditional sport.

“It’s very quiet,” he said. “There’s not much talking. I like it when it’s not that wild.”

Asked if he wants to continue playing chess competitively, Alexandre says “Yes,” at least for now.

“I have a list of stuff that I like to do and sometimes I lose interest in stuff,” he said. “Chess, right now, I have a lot of interest in. I may stop in a few years, or maybe I’ll play my whole life. We’ll have to wait and see.”