James Cook Chess Tournament 2017

James Cook High School Tournament 2017 banner

On Friday 15th September, James Cook High School hosted its first school chess tournament in over 20 years.  33 students took part in the competitive six round event, battling it out for the titles of senior and junior chess champion.  Throughout the day, students were also able to solve chess puzzles and receive coaching from Mr Kennedy and John McRae of Papatoetoe Chess Club.  Students soon became familiar with using the tournament chess clocks, and were problem solving new ways to win and lose with the games getting tighter as the day went on.  Going into the final round, three  players were leading the event and it was a tense finish for all.  Congratulations to the runners up Zion Williams and Shay’dyn Nehua who finished on 5/6 points.  Cruz Lazarus-Diamond also finished on 5/6 points, but was crowned the winner due to the countback system of scoring.  Congratulations Cruz, a year 10 student who takes out both the under 15 champion title and the senior champion title (pictured below).

James Cook High School Tournament 2017 collection

Thanks to the local Papatoetoe Chess Club for lending us their chess sets, their clocks and giving support in putting the event together.  At the beginning of the day, students entered the playing room, saw all the sets and clocks laid out and they were buzzing with excitement.  Because of all the extra sets and the use of clocks, the event was so much more of a spectacle and we could host so many more students in out tournament.  This provided a genuinely memorable experience for the students.

Well done to all the students who participated in the tournament.  Every player scored some points on the day and showed the great character and competition that exists in James Cook High School.  Chess is now being talked about in the corridors and played in the intervals.  Students are always asking, “Mr, when are we doing chess again?” “When’s the next tournament Mr?” There is now a real buzz around the library with heaps of chess sets being used at lunch and after school with the game growing in both popularity and enjoyment.  Thanks again, to Papatoetoe Chess Club for helping make this happen.

Jonny Kennedy
JCHS PE and Health Teacher, Chess Tournament Co-ordinator.

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