East teams excel at National Inter School Chess Championships
By Nick Dunn, Chair of Activities, UWCSEA East
UWCSEA East had nine teams and 36 students participating in the 57th National Inter School Chess Championship of Singapore, held at Northland Primary School.
The students played with confidence and showed excellent sportsmanship throughout the two days of the tournament. In spite of many of students being relatively new to competitive chess, they performed admirably.
The U9 Girls team (Aarushi M, Aadya G, Khenzom S, Arsheya S) were crowned East Zone Champions and also third position out of all schools in Singapore. They demonstrated great effort and improvement after finishing third in the East Zone last year. Considering they were up against schools that have large chess programmes, such as Raffles Primary, Nanyang Primary, Northland Primary, and Methodist Girls', this was a superb achievement.
The U14 Boys team A (Kunsel S, Darsh P, Arunav M, Omkar M) also emerged as East Zone Champions after playing very strong games against established schools like Hwa Chong Institution, NUS High School and Victoria School. Nationally, they finished a close fourth in the U14 category, missing the third spot to the team from Anglo Chinese School, one of the very strong teams in chess, by just two points.
The A teams, of Primary Boys U9 and U11, went very close to a zonal medal, also showing great progress from last year.
The best outcome was the sense of togetherness and joy from our students. All of them were keen to play more, even after the final round. The learning of the students was not restricted to the intensely competitive rounds, as they played friendly games even off the tournament with local teams during breaks and engaged in exchange of chess ideas as well as jokes!
The second day of the tournament, saw three East Campus teams participating in the Secondary category of the competition. Secondary U14 had two teams while one team participated in Secondary Open. In spite of many of the team members being relatively new to competitive chess, they performed admirably, showed great sportsmanship in cheering and supporting each other all throughout.
All of the above was possible due to the efforts of Ian Deeth, Terry Hassler and Emma Crombie who led the students through the weeks of practice rounds in school, encouraging them to keep the learning in mind and not the result of a single game, and helping the students gather themselves and keep going after a closely lost game. Their words of encouragement and broader perspective helped the students take the best out of the tournament.