Kodiak-based Coast Guardsman to play chess for Navy at Inter-service Tournament

NAS MERIDIAN, Miss. - Petty Officer 3rd Class Marvin Breis, of the Coast Guard Cutter Munro in Kodiak, Alaska, far left, stands with the other five members of the 2011 Navy Chess Team May 1, 2011. Breis' fifth place finish at the 2011 qualifier earned him one of six spots on the team and he will go on to compete at the inter-service competition in June with a shot at the NATO championship to be held in Lithuania in August. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Marvin Breis, of the Coast Guard Cutter Munro in Kodiak, Alaska, far left, stands with the other five members of the 2011 Navy Chess Team. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

KODIAK, Alaska – Petty Officer 3rd Class Marvin Breis placed 5th at the Navy Chess Qualifier at the Naval Air Station in Meridian, Miss., May 1 earning a spot on the Navy Chess Team that will go to the Inter-service Chess Tournament in California in June.

“It was a tough field this year,” said Jane Westbay, with Navy Fleet and Family Readiness who coordinates Navy Chess. “There were upsets and close games. Some real nail biters. Going into the final round, three players were guaranteed a spot on the 2011 Navy Chess Team and the other competitors were in a close race for the final three spots.”

Breis has secured one of those three spots. The 2011 Navy Chess Qualifier was a five round Swiss format tournament commencing on April 29 and ending May 1. There were 12 competitors, 11 Navy and one Coast Guard, playing for the six spots on the 2011 Navy Chess Team. These six servicemen will compete at the Inter-service Chess tournament from June 12 to 17, a seven round Swiss format tournament. The winner will go on to be part of the U.S.-led Team that will play at the NATO Chess Championship in Lithuania in August.

Bries has been in the Coast Guard for over five years and in Kodiak for about two and a half, serving as a machinery technician aboard the 378-foot Coast Guard Cutter Munro. He took up chess 15 years ago in Valdez and learned by watching other players.

“I play chess because I want to get better and I enjoy it because it presents a new challenge every time I play,” said Bries.

Bries won the 2010 King Crab Chess Tournament held in Kodiak. He also won the 2009 Rondezvous Chess Tournament in Anchorage and was the 2008 Alaska State Chess Champion. He tied for 1st place in the 2008 Labor Day Open also held in Anchorage.

Navy finished the inter-service tournament in third place last year, with just a couple of points keeping them out of first. The NATO Chess Tournament draws participants from 20 countries. The 2010 championship was the 21st to be held and was conducted in Køge, Denmark. Germany won with 21 points and the U.S. Team was 7th with 15 points.

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