The Finals of the Press Chess Schools Competition 2010 were held on Thursday evening August 5th.
Preparations for the event were fraught, as several key players had conflicting commitments and were unable to play on that evening. Fortunately, two unlikely heroes stepped into the breach – Hushdon Tohovaka and Daniel Swiggs had played socially before, but never in a competition event. Both players won their games – Hushdon in the ‘A’ Grade, forcing a draw against St Andrew’s College, and Daniel in the ‘B’ Grade, clinching a win against Christchurch Boy’s High School and 3rd place in the competition.
The quality of play was excellent. Spectators were particularly impressed by Hushdon’s crushing bravado, but in the ‘A’ Grade Darren Coyne, Angus Simpson and Luchio Park all played closely contended and interesting games. In the ‘B’ Grade Charles Cheng, Roger Dehn and Matthew Gall played really well.
Matthew Gall’s presence as a consistent winner throughout the season was especially appreciated, as he dragged himself from his sickbed to take his place in the contest.
Coaches Ron Kelly and Peter Johnson wish to thank all those who participated as players and reserves during the competition. Thanks also to Euan Quaid of Cashmere High school for organising the competition (for our ‘B’ Grade 3rd place we look forward to receiving the cheque mate). There are now 26 players signed onto the Chess Ladder and plenty of new talents have emerged, so that the 2011 competition can be anticipated with optimism.