Chess competition

Game on: Notkhawit Chonepoo of Plumpton High School v Martin Zhang of Oakhill College, Castle Hill. Picture: Gary Warrick

Game on: Notkhawit Chonepoo of Plumpton High School v Martin Zhang of Oakhill College, Castle Hill. Picture: Gary Warrick

Plumpton High school students became check mates when they competed with 10 other schools in Penrith RSL's annual chess tournament.

The school's A team placed third overall with a score of 18, and year 7 student Azeal Pihena won round 6 of the seven chess puzzles done between game rounds.

They played under the Swiss system, where all players compete in a predetermined number of 30-minute rounds and are scored on the number of points they accumulate against players of equal strength.

Elijah Nackre, 14, said the queen was his favourite chess piece.

"It defends, it attacks and does everything except what the horse does," he said.

"I found the tournament really fun and it was excellent having a lot of people play and make it serious. It shows you what your skill is in the game."

Teammate Volcan Mert, 14, said the game developed problem solving skills, planning and strategy.

"It's interesting, fun and challenging," he said.

The event was introduced for western Sydney primary and high schools in 2008 and has grown to include about 400 students across two days of play.

‘‘It’s a great opportunity for kids who don’t normally get to represent their school in sports to represent their school in chess,’’ RSL chess competition co-ordinator John Norman said.

‘‘It builds experience in learning sportsmanship and they meet students from other schools. The teachers love it, and the kids love it. They keep coming back.

''I love what Winston Churchill said about the benefits of chess. It's not an idle game. It's good for many life skills including planning.’’

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