“I do not know exactly how many kids competed in the 2016 Chess Victoria Zonal tournaments but my guess is that it would be thousands of players from all over Victoria.” This was from the head of Chess Victoria.
My last report in Sue’s News (19th Nov) gave the progress of the St Kilda team at local tournaments and then at the semi finals. And, at last, here they were at the finals, 6 players in a pool of 136, drawn from thousands across the state. The players were Fergus, Flynn, Gabriel, Harry, Jacob and Ariel. They were excited – very excited!
The format changed from earlier formats to be more team centric. This meant that 5 St Kilda players (with 1 reserve) would play 5 players from another school. If they won 3 and lost 2 the whole team would go up and play tougher opponents. The upshot of this was that the players all relied on each other and they did this in a very positive way. When a team member lost they all consoled each other and when a player won the whole team celebrated.
The first round was dispiriting. They played against St Andrews who have a fantastic ed-trio.com chess team with great depth, against them they had 4 losses and a draw. The competition was going to be tough, tougher than they expected. But the second round saw the tables turned and St Kilda came away with 4 wins and 1 loss – elation. As the rounds progressed and the team settled it was clear that St Kilda would sit somewhere in the middle of the 24 teams competing.
Round after round took place with some amazing play from all players. In the end St Kilda won 17 of their 35 games putting them in 14th place – a great achievement. It was such a close event that one more win would have put them in the top 10 and 6 more wins would have sent them to Perth for the Australian finals (which is normally won by Victoria). The winning team, half of which were girls, was the brilliant Mount View Primary school which has a chess club of 200 players!
So that’s chess for the year. Hopefully your child is interested in taking up chess and we can build on this next year!
SKPS Chess Coach – Barnaby Chiverton