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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Grand Erie HS Championship-Brantford,Ontario

For Players, Chess is a Like a Puzzle

By Michelle Ruby, Brantford Expositor

Grand Erie HSCC in the library at Pauline Johnson Collegiate
Photo-Michelle Ruby, The Expositor

With the quiet broken only by the tap of moving chess pieces and the slapping of timers, more than 50 students faced off Monday in the Grand Erie high school chess championship.
Lining a long row of tables in the library at Pauline Johnson Collegiate, students played in teams of four in two divisions.
In this blitz chess tourney, each player was given 15 minutes to complete a game. The top three from each division advanced to the playoffs.
North Park Collegiate, championship winner for the past two years, was looking to defend its title.
"I like the almost infinite combination of moves," Henri Romel, a Grade 12 student at North Park, said of his love of chess. "Every game is unique."
Students from Bellview Public School this year joined players from 
  • Pauline Johnson, 
  • Brantford Collegiate Institute, 
  • North Park, 
  • Tollgate Tech, 
  • Simcoe Composite, 
  • Delhi District 
  • McKinnon Park in Caledonia

Chris Mallon, a math teacher at Pauline Johnson and organizer of the championship, said students are used to the fast chess format because their playing time is usually limited to lunch hours.
Romel had already finished two games by mid-morning, winning both with times under six minutes.
For the first time this year, the championship partnered with the Chess 'n' Math Association, a non-profit organization with provincial co-ordinators dedicated to bringing chess to schools across Canada.
The game sets were supplied by the association and some were taken home by students as consolation prizes.
In Canada, a growing number of elementary schools have incorporated chess into the regular school curriculum.
Most of the players at Monday's event were boys. Mallon said that, for whatever reason, most girls don't continue to play competitively beyond elementary school.
Ten-year-old Lucas Samwell, a Grade 5 student at Bellview who was among the competitors, has been playing on his school's chess team since Christmas.
Mallon is a former teacher at Bellview and invited students from that school to join the event to even up the number of teams. He also opened the competition to schools outside Brant County.
"Chess is like a puzzle where you're trying to figure out how not to get in checkmate," said Lucas.(more)'

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