Most lunchtimes you will find around 30 students vigorously playing chess in the newly built STEM Learning Hub. These students vary in age and gender. There is an open-door policy for MRSHS Chess Club, where all students of any age or ability are welcome. Students are invited to come and go as they please; some drop in for an occasional game to get out of the cold weather, and others come along to watch their friends. A core group of students will be found deep in concentration over a game most lunchtimes.

Throughout Term 2, close tabs were kept on all games played, allowing student ability to be ranked. Honourable mentions include “Most Improved Player” Sonny Moroney, “Most Consistent Player” Myles Bucat and “Exceptional New Talent” Robert Rose and Manny Cartell-Smith.

This term began the MRSHS Grand Master Rapid 10-minute Chess Competition. It was held over multiple lunchtimes with players from all year levels. Wild card entries for the competition included Edward Bancroft and Eleka Marshall due to the talent seen in the few games played this year. Everyone else needed to play 4 games to make it into the competition.

In the end it came down to Jaxon Deighton and Ryan Hendry. Jaxon fought hard and almost took down the undefeated Ryan, however time got the better of him, affording Ryan the win. The fight for bronze was held between Eleka Marshall and Sonny Moroney, which was also as fierce. Both players came equally close to check mating one another in the final stage. Sonny came home with the win and secured 3rd Place. Congratulations to all players and our 2022 MRSHS Grand Master Champion Ryan Hendry.

Perhaps what has been most encouraging to witness is the growing support and interest in Chess from the younger years. They are actively participating in the Chess club and are quick to learn new skills. It is also encouraging to see the involvement of the Year 12s who are willing to help out and lead their peers in School Chess. I look forward to seeing new and old faces in the up-and-coming Lightning Chess Tournament which will be a 5 minute blitz tournament.

Paul Chamberlain