James Cook Chess Tournament 2018

On Friday 14th September, James Cook High School hosted its second school chess tournament in over 20 years.  28 students took part in the competitive seven round event, battling it out for the title of JC chess champion.  Throughout the day, students were also able to solve chess puzzles and receive coaching clinics.  Students soon got into the grove of the games and tension mounted as each round began.  As the tournament entered its final round, four players were still able to win the event, with Nephi Popata, Brandon Popata, Christian Maroroa all coming close, but ultimately, they were unable to stop Cruz Lazarus-Diamond winning on 5/7 points and retaining the chess champion title.

JCHS 2018 Chess Tournament collection 1

Special thanks to Papatoetoe chess club for returning to help run the show and lending us their chess sets, their clocks and giving vital support in putting the event together.  Because of the clocks and decent chess sets there was a real sense of purpose and added excitement for the students.  The event was much more of a spectacle not least because we host so many more students in our tournament.  Thanks to John and Alex’s expertise, students were able to receive one to one advice throughout the day as well as see the results table being updated live on the big screen!

JCHS 2018 Chess Tournament collection 2

This provided a genuinely memorable experience for the students and they went away more confident and more excited to add to their successes during the tournament day.  Here’s what Raimona, Logan and Victar had to say about their day.

It was fun, pretty hard, good for my first time.  I learnt not to give up on the challenge.
You got to meet people you’d never met before and I enjoyed good competition against other players.
I was proud to win more than two games and I’ll practice more for next time.

JCHS 2018 Chess Tournament single

Every player scored some points on the day and showed the great character and competition that exists in James Cook High School.  Thanks again, to Papatoetoe club for helping making chess be a buzz word around the school, and seeing students grow in endeavour and achievement.

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

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