PORTLAND — The chess team at Deering High School won first place Saturday in the novice division of the state championships held at the University of Maine in Orono.

Coached by Jeff Borland, it was the team’s first state-level competition, going up against eight other teams, according to school officials. Each team member played four, 1½-hour games in a marathon of chess.

Alsaady Thoalfakar anchored the Deering team, winning four games and the individual high score in the novice division. Also scoring high were Hilal Ahmed and Qutaiba Hassoon.

Other Deering team members are Orkhan Nadirli, Shervin Sabeti, Risopheak Ley, Jason Cheng and Antonio Rodriguez.