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Chess takes South End School to nationals for third year

Aug 25th, 2013 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, Most Popular, News

A TEAM of young chess players from South End School have earned a spot at Chess Power’s national tournament for the third year in a row.

The team of Zac Brown, Samson Dell, Connor Pogson and Joseph Teofilo, won first place at the regional competition at Makoura College last Tuesday.

The gold medal allows the team to travel to Auckland for the tournament next month.

Alastair Kay, principal of South End School, said he was very proud of the team and their efforts.

“I think it’s an outstanding achievement. I have a lot of gratitude for the people who work with them,” he said.

The team are hoping for a placing at nationals this year, after receiving fifth place last year and 17th place in 2011.

At regionals last week, the team of boys each played seven games of chess and received certificates based on their results.

Team member Zac Brown (13), right,said he won six games and lost one.

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He was in the top five per cent of the region’s participants and won second place individually overall.

Samson Dell and Joseph Teofilo (11) were both within the top 10 per cent of participants and Samson individually won third place overall.

Connor Pogson (8) was also a part of the first place team and within the top 25 per cent of participants.

School secretary Elaine Scully said the team gained their skills by practicing each Monday with a parent.

“Each Monday they have a parent come in, Minty Hunter; he comes in and coaches them,” she said.

She said board games are somethin g the kids play at home, particularly in the winter..

Top competitor Zac said he used to play chess with his friends and only started getting competitive in the last few years.

“I used to play with my mates, until I started beating them and they didn’t want to play me,” he said.

Both Connor and Joseph have been playing with their fathers for years.

Joseph’s grandmother, Tina Rahui is a supporter of the team and said chess was a part of her family life.

“My children have always played chess so I really support them,” she said of the team’s recent win.

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TEAM EFFORT: (from left) Joseph Teofilo, Connor Pogson, Samson Dell and Zac Brown with their medals and certificates from last week’s regionals

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