|The 2014 IHMS Chess Champion – Russell C.
|Chess is a popular pastime at IHMS, especially in winter 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.
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:
|The five classroom champions displaying their certificates
These classroom champions played a series of games against each other in order to narrow the field down to 2 finalists, and within a week or so, Collin A., Dominic J., and Alex P. were eliminated. The remaining two players, Russell C. and Eric L., moved on to the chess finals.
|Grade 7 classroom champion Collin A. was a formidable opponent
Up to this point, Russell was undefeated – he hadn’t lost a single chess game all year! He became class champion by easily beating all his classmates, and continued this pattern of victories by dominating every game in the early rounds of the playoffs.
|Russell C. was unstoppable going into the final round of play!
So in the final round of play, Russell and Eric 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 2014. However, just like last year, it turned out to be a more exciting set of matches than anyone anticipated!
|Eric L. had plans to spoil Russell’s long winning streak!
Russell won the first game and appeared to be poised to win the overall championship with a perfect record. But Eric had different plans and roared back with two consecutive wins. And just to make things even more interesting, Russell won the next game, tying things up and setting the stage for one final game. So after dozens of games played over the past few months, the overall championship came down to whoever won one last, crucial game.
|The two chess tournament finalists – Eric (left) and Russell (right)
|After a very tense and closely matched battle of the minds, the winner of the final and deciding game was … Russell!And for the second consecutive year, Eric placed a very close second after forcing and eventually losing a 5th and deciding game!
|2014 Chess Club final standings
1st – Russell C.
UPDATE (April 2014)
|The Manitoba Scholastic Chess Association has monthly tournaments throughout the school year at the University of Manitoba. Eric L. entered the April tournament as an unranked player, won all 6 of his games, and received a gold medal!