1st Cavalry Division Trooper Competes at NATO Chess Championship
FORT HOOD - The 32nd NATO Chess Championship was held from June 27th to July 1st in the city of Tartu, Estonia. Spc. Edward Wendler II, military intelligence systems maintainer and integrator, A 1st Cavalry Division, competed as a member of the U.S. Armed Forced Chess Team due to his rating for both the Chess Federation and World Chess Federation (FIDE).
The tournament ended for all NATO personnel on July 2nd. Maj. Gen. John B. Richardson IV, commanding general of the 1CD, personally congratulated Wendler in representing the First Team at the chess competition. Richardson also challenged Wendler to a friendly game.
Retired Col. David A. Hater, team captain for the U.S. Armed Forces chess team said, “It is my great pleasure as Team Captain of the USA NATO Chess Team to announce that Specialist Edward Wendler has been selected to participate in the 2022 NATO Chess Championship.”
Wendler currently serves in the First Team’s Military Intelligence Staff section. “It was a really proud moment for me to represent the 1st Cavalry Division, on the international stage,” said Wendler.
Sgt. Christoffer Lund, intelligence and electronic warfare team leader for 1 CD, one of Wendler’s supervisors also expressed how proud he was helping to strengthen the partnership with our NATO allies by sending him to Estonia for the tournament.
“Spc. Wendler has shown nothing but gratefulness in representing the U.S. Army,” said Lund. “He is a very motivated Soldier in the success of our mission. He has hit the ground running by learning and working on the different systems that our job requires. Him being a top chess contender directly correlates to how serious he takes his job at the 1st Cavalry Division.”
Lund also mentioned that he can very easily see Wendler competing in future chess tournaments for the Army and that him playing for 1CD is something that he will remember for the rest of his life.
Wendler, originally from Phoenix, Arizona expressed great excitement when he first heard the news that he was selected to compete in an international chess competition and deep gratitude for the support his leadership gave in facilitating his trip to Europe.
Wendler said that his first game was an easy win because he was facing a lower rated player; however, the following two rounds he faced opponents much higher rated than he was and unfortunately Wendler was not able to secure victory for himself. His next four matches ended in two more victories, a loss and a draw.
“It was more competitive than I thought it was gonna be,” Wendler said. “I didn’t think there would be as many strong players as there were.”
The competition was held at the Estonian Military academy and featured various NATO members such as the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, Netherlands, Poland, and Belgium to name a few. The players were given seven rounds with a rate of play of 90 minutes with an increment of 30 seconds each move. The best four players of six teams will then take part in a blitz tournament that was organized on July 1st.