14 May Nayland College hosts Regional Chess Tournament

The tapping of timers and clinking of pieces was all that could be heard in the Nayland College school hall on Tuesday, as 114 players from 9 regional schools fought for placings in the Nelson-Tasman regional inter-school chess tournament. Students fought through? seven rounds of competitive play for top placings, both as teams and as individual competitors.

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The Nayland College Senior A and Senior B teams put in strong performances, placing second and third respectively. However, as Nayland College Senior A captain Blake Winstanley? explained, the real focus of the event was fun: “It’s? a gathering of people who all have one thing in common, an enjoyment of the sport.” Many of the junior students in the Nayland team had not played competitive chess before, and their enthusiasm and sporting attitude was a credit to the school.

The tournament also fueled some local rivalries, and B team top performer Ruben Castaing was left lamenting his performance against his Nayland team mates. “I really wish I’d beaten Gerry [Toft], but I’ll get him next time,” Ruben said. He’ll get his chance at the second inter-school tournament held later this year, when players will compete for spaces at the invitation-only national championships.