One of Education Week’s annual activities was back in full swing, with public schools across Wagga competing in the interschool chess competition.
Eleven schools, including North Wagga, Sturt and Ashmont Public Schools went neck-to-neck in the mid-morning heats on Thursday, in the hopes of getting a spot to compete in the finals.
Held at Wagga’s Marketplace, year six student at North Wagga Public School, Tim O’Connor said he started playing chess at eight-years-old, finding time to play at home and during school.
“It’s just a strategy game and it’s really nice and fun to have competitors and play chess,” he said.
However, Tim was reluctant to share any tips and tricks to winning the game.
A casual teacher from North Wagga Lucy Walker, said her school has been involved in the competition for a few years and goes beyond a social game for the children.
“It’s a game that allows students to engage in skills like problem-solving, thinking and gathering,” she said.
Sturt’s A Team on the other hand were quick to give the best tips to increasing the chances of winning chess, by making a “four-move checkmate”
Grade five student Nethukee Jayasekera said to make this move less obvious from the opponent, it would be wise to move other pieces before making that move.
Also a part of the A Team, grade five student Andrew Stumpel-Taylor said he really enjoys playing chess.
“What I love most about chess is the fact that it is a strategy-based game that requires a lot of skill and thinking,” Andrew said.
“In my opinion, chess would be the best games you could possibly play.
“My dad used to recover from a horrible move when I was younger and learning, but now if he makes a bad move he’s out of the game.”
Sturt’s school captain, Ben Halloran was also a member of the A Team and he said he loves the concentration aspect of the game.
“You have to be so patient and look carefully and make sure that everything is safe, because if you make a wrong turn it’s basically game over,” he said .