Chess Club

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Eric L., the 2016 IHMS Chess Champion

 

Chess is a popular winter pastime at IHMS when students are looking for a quiet activity to do during indoor recesses. Appropriately, the chess club begins in January, and runs until March or April. Students who wish to participate sign up, and after a schedule is created, play against other students from their own grade. Everyone is responsible for arranging their own games and recording the outcome of those games.

 

king-h2 Students are given about 2 months to challenge and play other students in their class. On the day of the deadline (usually the beginning of March), the person from each class with the most wins is declared the “classroom champion”, and is scheduled to participate in the playoffs. This year, there were 5 classroom champions from grades 4 to 8. They were:

 

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  • Grade 4 –  Julian B.
  • Grade 5 –  Nicholas W.
  • Grade 6 –  Jade D.
  • Grade 7 –  Cedric C.
  • Grade 8 –  Eric L.
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The class champions (l-r): Cedric C., Nicholas W., Jade D., Julian B., and Eric L.

 

kings3 These classroom champions played a series of games against each other in order to narrow the field down to two finalists. The grade 6 classroom champion, Jade, did not want to participate any further and was therefore immediately eliminated, reducing the competition to four players.

 

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Nicholas W. using humour to demonstrate some of the emotions felt by the classroom champions while competing in the playoffs

 

 

Within a week or so, two more players were eliminated as well – Julian (from grade 4) and Nicholas (from grade 5). Although both of these classroom champions played intelligent and strategic games, Julian and Nicholas were the youngest and least experienced of the four competitors and should continue to improve as they get older and more experienced. With these two classroom champions eliminated, the remaining two players, Eric L. and Cedric C., moved on to the chess finals.

 

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The classroom champions posing with their certificates

 

kinggreen Eric was the most experienced chess player in the school, and has been classroom champion for his class every year since grade 4. He was also last year’s overall chess champion. Cedric was a new student in his first year at IHMS, so his chess experience and abilities were not as well known.

 

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Cedric concentrating in one of the final 5 games

 

So in the final round of play, Eric and Cedric squared off to determine the winner in a set of five games – the first person to win 3 games out of 5 would be the chess champion for 2016.

 

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Eric contemplating his next move in the final game

 

It was an exciting final round of play! Cedric very quickly and unexpectedly won the first two games, and was poised to become the overall champion with only one more win. Although visibly shaken after losing the first two games, Eric roared back, winning the next two games. So after dozens of games played over the past few months, the overall championship came down to whoever won one last, crucial game.

 

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Eric and Cedric in their final game

 

After a very tense and closely matched battle of the minds, the winner of the final and deciding game was … Eric! Demonstrating the analytical skills that made him last year’s champ, Eric emerged victorious as the IHMS chess champion for the second consecutive year! chesswin

 

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Eric after the winning game

 

Cedric placed a very close second after forcing and eventually losing a 5th and deciding game! It was a tough loss for Cedric (who nevertheless played exceptionally well), and a remarkable comeback for Eric.

 

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These two classroom champions demonstrated tremendous sportsmanship and showed great respect and admiration for each other despite their competitive rivalry while playing chess

 

2016 Chess Club final standings

1 – Eric L.
2 – Cedric C
3 – Nicholas W.