Grandmasters of the future
KINGS, queens, pawns and castles dominated the minds of students and filled the learning centre at St Johns Woodlawn on Tuesday.
Round one of the Northern Rivers Inter-School Teams Championship was held at the school where 157 kids battled it out for both fun and for a spot at the State championships to be held in Sydney later this year.
Gardiner Chess is the organiser of the event, which tours 2000 schools in Northern NSW and Queensland each year.
This is the third consecutive year St Johns Woodlawn has hosted the competition and over the next two school terms, two other local schools will hold rounds two and three of the chess championships.
Trinity Catholic College student Tait Jenkins and Kadina High School student Tobin Davitt went head-to-head in an intense chess game where Tobin’s experience won in the end.
“I’ve been playing for about six years since a friend in high school invited me to play,” Tobin, 17, said.
“I hope to get at least five wins out of seven today. I have won one and drawn one so far.
“I’ve been playing for about three years and I’m constantly playing chess on my computer,” Tait, 13, said.
“This is my first competition so I probably won’t get to the finals but I’m hoping for a few wins.”
The competition is the biggest between Newcastle and Brisbane and is open to both primary and high school students from across the region.
St Johns Woodlawn’s Gifted and Talented program co-ordinator Kevin Bell heads the school’s chess club and explains the logic behind the chess tournaments.
“The kids play in teams of four and those who lose a game go on to play someone else who has lost a game,” Mr Bell said.
“So at the end of the day you have the better kids playing each other and the less experienced kids playing one another.
“They also have 30 minutes to play each game so they have a good game and have to push it along a little bit.”
In the primary school category, Wyrallah Road Public School came out on top, followed by Holy Family Catholic Primary School and St Josephs School in second place.
As for the high schools, Trinity Catholic College finished first, St Johns Woodlawn second and Kadina High School third.
Individually, Callum Laycock from Wyrallah Road Public School was the primary schools champ, with Jarad Sciffert from Trinity Catholic College dominating the high school category.