Kuranui Year 12 student, Jayden Grey, was crowned the Wairarapa Secondary Schools Individual Champion in the New Zealand Interschools Regional Chess Qualifier held at Masterton Intermediate School on 13 May.
Run by members of the Manawatu Knights, each team was made up of four students and the championship spanned eight games per team.
Jayden was the only player to win all eight of his games demonstrating his outstanding grasp of the tactics and strategies of chess. “As white I just played the Ruy Lopez, and as Black I played the French Defense. I pretty much used those the whole day,” he explained.
“I’ve only been playing for about a year and a half, but recently I really started playing a bit more seriously by going to events.”
The use of digital technology has been a key contributor to the development of Jayden’s knowledge of chess “I mainly use a chess website called chess.com, as they also have lessons and tactic problems, but personally I like to play games.”
While chess is a mental sport, Jayden shows that it is undoubtedly a sport, requiring the same amount of training and practice as many physical sports. “It’s like any other sport I guess, I play and parctice it because I enjoy it.” Besides Chess, Jayden also plays football “It’s something which I also find fun.”
The Kuranui A team was made up of Dylan Lark, Caelum Greaves, Jayden Grey, Sam Hunter and the Kuranui B team Kael West, Charlie O’Connell, Joshua Wiegman, Josh Price.
Rathkeale College took the Team Championship title, with the Kuranui A and B teams placing third and fourth respectively overall. The 2019 New Zealand Interschools Championship National Finals will be held in Palmerston North on the weekend of 28 & 29 September.