Jarod Pamatmat, of Tyler, has played chess since he was 5 years old. Taught by his father and eventually by a coach, his skill at the game has allowed him to travel throughout the world.
Throughout the years, he’s been to countries, such as Greece, Turkey, Brazil, Argentina, the Philippines and Vietnam.
This week, he is traveling to Al Ain in the United Arab Emirates to compete in the 2013 World Youth Chess Championships.
Pamatmat, 16, an All Saints Episcopal School junior, will compete in the U16 Open Section.
He earned this opportunity to compete because his chess rating surpassed 2300, according to an email he sent.
“I think it is a great opportunity and an honor to represent my country, and even though I have been several other times, it is just as special to qualify for such a prestigious tournament,” he said in his emailed statements.
The tournament involves one game a day, with a rest day in between and 11 games played in all. His goal is to place in the top 10, he said in the email.
His strengths include his ability to focus, strong work ethic and the stamina to play for many hours.
His greatest weakness is memorizing all of his openings (the series of moves made at the beginning of a game) because he doesn’t have as much time to study chess with all his schoolwork.
Pamatmat said he would like to earn a chess scholarship and play in college. But, as an adult, he plans to play for fun.
In addition to playing chess, Jarod plays basketball and piano.
Kyle Edgemon, All Saints’ Head of Upper School, said Pamatmat is a well-rounded student who has contributed in many ways to the campus. He’s competed on the debate team and in the Number Sense event in addition to his other activities.
He’s also willing to sacrifice to compete at chess, Edgemon said. For example, because he’s leaving school before the winter break, he’s going to have to come back early in January to complete his finals before the rest of his peers return.
Edgemon also credited Pamatmat and his family with getting the chess teams started at All Saints. He said it’s an incredible opportunity for Pamatmat to get to travel and compete overseas.