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Chess success

Budding players made their moves at the Tairawhiti intermediate school chess competition in Gisborne this week.

Eighty-two students from 10 schools across Tairawhiti came together to play in the tournament held at Gisborne Intermediate School's hall.

Tournament co-ordinator Nick Chapman said the annual tournament was a huge success.

Plans to make the tournament a quarterly event, with one tournament each term, were halted by Covid-19.

“We were very lucky to have run the one yesterday,” Mr Chapman said of the Tuesday competition. “It worked out for a great crowd.”

They were already talking about having four tournaments next year.

“Gisborne is very strong with chess. We have some wonderful players.”

Eastland Knights Chess Club provided boards and the computer software for the tournament.

Games were played in a 15-minute blitz format —where players are each given a quarter of an hour to play, pausing their clock and restarting their opponent's when they have made their move.

The software also provided the draw, which was updated based on performance.

Players who won their first round games were matched up against each other and so on.

The tournament was split into Year 7 and Y8 age groups.

Mr Chapman thanked Eastland Knights for their support.

Eastland Knights president Colin Albert said despite club members having fulltime work, it had been a “no-brainer” to help.

“We always go out of the way to help the young ones, wherever possible.

“Thanks to the arbiters on the day and to the teachers and tutors for bringing the students.”

The explosion of live streaming online chess by world championship level chess players in recent months had seen the game's popularity increase, said Albert.

Watching it live online helped budding chess players understand the thought pattern behind moves made.

Overall top school — Year 7: Ilminster 1, Nga Uri a Maui 2, Muriwai 3.

Y8: ILM 1, Nga Uri a Maui 2, Waikirikiri 3.

Top students — Y7 boys: Judah Frazer (Gisborne Intermediate).

Y7 girls: Gorgina Moeke (ILM).

Y8 boys: Kingston Biddle-Whitehead (Waikirikiri).

Y8 girls: Nikki Pewhairangi (Nga Uri a Maui).

YOUR MOVE SETON: Seton McKinnon, of Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Nga Uri A Maui, contemplates his move.
DOWN TO THE BUSINESS END: The white queen poses a problem for Shaelaani Te Kira, of Muriwai School, as she looks to protect her king in the latter stages of a game.
CHECK THIS OUT: Aasha Ngarangione, of Muriwai School, moves her king out of potential trouble.
THE ROYAL GAME: Isaac Ng, of Ilminster Intermediate, competes at the Tairawhiti intermediate school chess competition held at Gisborne Intermediate School's hall. He was among 82 students who took part. Chess has been known as 'the royal game' since at least the 15th century because of its popularity among the nobility.