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County Council Honors Chess Champion Tori Whatley at Tuesday's Meeting

web posted May 7, 2014

EDGEFIELD – Merriwether has claim to one of the biggest stars on the national chess stage, and she is now poised to make that star shine even brighter. Tori Whatley, a Strom Thurmond Senior, has accepted a scholarship to Webster University where she will be a member of the #1 ranked collegiate chess team. She was honored Tuesday evening by the county council with a resolution sponsored by Vice-chair Genia Blackwell.

Ms. Whatley is the daughter of David and Melinda Whatley of Merriwether.

"I am so proud of you," Mrs. Blackwell said upon presenting Tori with a copy of the resolution that will be framed and presented to her later. Ms. Whatley's entire family attended the meeting, though Tori was told she was only to attend to have her picture taken with Vice Chair Blackwell after the meeting.

She was shocked when Chairman Dean Campbell brought the resolution up and then read it aloud as she stood for recognition of her long list of accomplishments.

"I really appreciate this," Ms. Whatley said after the meeting. "It's very special," she said, hugging Councilwoman Blackwell. "We're so proud of you," Blackwell said, adding that Ms. Whatley will continue her success on the national collegiate stage and will continue to make Edgefield County proud.

The body of the resolution is below, less the introduction, recounting some of Ms. Whatley's achievements:

WHEREAS, Ms. Tori Whatley is a resident of Edgefield County; and
WHEREAS, Ms. Whatley is an outstanding chess player with many accomplishments; and
WHEREAS, Ms. Whatley has had more wins than any other female member of the South Carolina Chess Association since their founding; and
WHEREAS, Ms. Whatley was the first female to represent South Carolina in national competition at the Susan Polgar Girl’s Invitational; and
WHEREAS, Ms. Whatley has won 46 trophies and medals on her way to 8 chess state titles; and
WHEREAS, Ms. Whatley is the only female player to be recorded by FIDE (World Chess Federation); and
WHEREAS, Ms. Whatley is the only South Carolina female to be mentioned in USCF’s “Chess Life” magazine and the only SC female to play exhibition matches against two different U.S. Women’s Champions and Women’s World Champion; and
WHEREAS, Ms. Whatley, through her many accomplishments and leadership, has inspired other females to play chess in South Carolina; and
WHEREAS, Ms. Whatley has received a chess scholarship to Webster University in St. Louis, where she will become a member of the nation’s #1 ranked collegiate chess team; and
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED on this 6th day of May 2014, that Edgefield County Council honors the outstanding achievement of Ms. Tori Whatley.

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