Success across the board – with youth to the fore in a QE first

Success across the board – with youth to the fore in a QE first

Some 76 boys of all ages turned out for QE’s first whole-school chess tournament.

The online weekend event brought not only a high turnout, but also some exciting chess played to a good standard, reports teacher in charge of chess, Geoff Roberts.

The inaugural tournament champion was Year 7’s Aahan Shah, who won all five of his games to secure the title, beating Year 8’s Aryan Kheterpal in the final.

Mr Roberts said: “I was very pleased with the event’s success and to see the number of highly able and enthusiastic chess players participating from all year groups. I’m particularly delighted with the performance of the younger students, which shows a bright future for chess here.”

The tournament consisted of five 30-minute rounds played on the Lichess online chess platform – the main image above shows some examples of games played on the platform. In addition to the 76 boys taking part, two members of staff also competed – Economics teacher Sheerwan O’Shea-Nejad and Mathematics teacher Marco Saccardi.

“We held a single tournament for all year groups and for the teachers, so in that context a Year 7 winning really was a great achievement,” said Mr Roberts.

After the initial rounds, Aahan and Aryan were left as the only boys to have won all of their first four games, and so they met in the final. Aahan’s victory there made him the only player to win 5 points (1 point for every win.)

Senthuran Jeevan, of Year 13, took second place with 4.5 points.

The Sonneborn–Berger scoring system, which is based on the finishing positions of players’ defeated opponents, was used to decide the places of the next four players, who all scored 4 points. Third place went accordingly to Nishchal Thatte, of Year 7; fourth to Yash Mahajan, of Year 11, and fifth to Joshua John, of Year 9, while the defeated finalist, Aryan, was sixth.

“The Lichess platform worked really well, with its ability to add small time increments after each player’s move and with its built-in features that one would expect in face-to-face chess, such as a facility for players to offer a draw,” said Mr Roberts.

“Particular thanks go to Mr O’Shea-Nejad and Mr Saccardi for playing – the boys really enjoyed the opportunity to compete against their teachers.”