Oliver Bowman has already conquered the state chess tournament, and he hasn't even completed second grade.
The second grader from Washington Elementary School has taken home more than six medals and two trophies from the many chess tournaments he has traveled to.
This year, Oliver took home the gold at the grade level championship with the Kansas Scholastic Chess Association, which was held at Canton-Galva High School in January.
"This is my first time winning first place for my division. It was out of all the second graders in the state who went," Oliver said.
Out of eight second graders that attended, Oliver used one of his favorite strategies to win the title.
"I like Schooler's Mate. That's a four move check mate using the center to develop pieces," he added. Although he may have received first place, Oliver wasn't expecting the triumph.
"I felt really happy because at first I thought I wasn't going to do that good, then I got first place. It was probably because I was scared. Anybody in the state could come that was in this grade level and they would all battle against each other," Oliver noted.
Since joining the chess club at Washington Elementary, Oliver has even beaten a fifth grader with this strategy.
Even his older sister, Lucy Bowman, plays chess with the club and often travels with Oliver to the tournaments.
"My sister was playing chess before me and they had set up a chess club, so I went to join and that's how I learned to play chess. I got really into it," Oliver added.
Oliver and Lucy even get to compete as a team, as they both attend Washington Elementary School.
"He and his sister got to go together to a tournament. But because they’re both from the same school, that's considered a team, so they bring it back to the office so it's a schools win," said Jd. Bowman, their father.
Oliver and Lucy won a third place trophy for their school team in 2015 and 2016 at the Valley Center Invitational, and they took first as a team at a Canton-Glava Invitational in 2016, joined by team member Meet Patel.
Not only are Oliver and Lucy's trophies displayed at school, but at home as well.
"We have a little case that I put mine in and Lucy hangs them on her wall," Oliver said.
To keep their skills in top shape, the siblings can often be seen playing a game of chess at home.
"We play against each other a lot, but Lucy often wins," Oliver said.
Contact Brooke Haas by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @ MacSentinel.