After a two-year wait to compete in-person, over two hundred school students and their supporters participated at the Chess Power Team Nationals at Lynmore School, Rotorua over Labour weekend. Throughout 2022, the eager chess players represented themselves and their schools in regional competitions for the chance to compete against each other and qualify for the national tournaments.
Due to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2022, Chess Power moved many qualifying tournaments online to create the opportunity for students to compete and qualify for the nationals when onsite competition was not possible. In 2021, due to the pressures of COVID-19, Chess Power ran the Nationals program online. This year Chess Power ran the Nationals program concurrently both onsite and online.
After 8 months of qualifying events, Saturday 22nd of October saw the Team Nationals take place. The event at Lynmore School consisted of three divisions, Junior, Intermediate, and Senior, in which the top three schools from each regional tournament were eligible to enter. 197 players represented by thirty-seven schools, competing in nine rounds of 1-on-1 chess to accumulate points for their schools in pursuit of the ultimate prize – Team Nationals Champions. Eighteen teams competed online with ten playing for the online Junior title, and eight for the online Intermediate title. The maximum possible team score is thirty-six points with the top four players scores summed across nine rounds. No team has ever achieved a perfect score.
Willow Park Primary School won the Junior division scoring twenty-nine points, 2nd Albany School (23.5 points) and 3rd Epsom Normal School (22 points). The top individuals in the division were Grayson Po’e-Tofaeono (Hillsborough Primary School) and Patrick Jiang (Willow Park Primary School) accumulating a score of 8.5 out of a possible nine, with Sayuni Pathiranage winning third place on tie-break over Claire Gu (both Willow Park Primary School) with a score of 7.5.
The online Junior division saw the winning ACG Sunderland scoring 25.5 points, 2nd Point View School (25 points) and 3rd Sherwood Primary School (23.5 points). The top individuals in the division were Richard Jingjie Liu (ACG Sunderland) scoring eight, Brian Li (Albany School – 7.5 points) and William Liu (Sherwood Primary – 7 points).
Mt Roskill Intermediate School won the Intermediate division scoring 31.5, 2nd John Paul College (23) and 3rd Albany Junior High School (22). The top individuals in the division were Pranav Shenoy scoring a maximum nine from nine, and Daksh Bhatt placing second on tie-break against Hunter Po’e-Tofaeono following their Mt Roskill teammate with scores of eight.
Northcross Intermediate won the online Intermediate division scoring twenty-four points, Avonhead School (23) coming in second on tie-break against third-placed Mt Roskill Intermediate (23). The top individuals in the division were Matthew Keith (Clyde Quay School) scoring 7.5 out of nine, with Ayaan Vaduseva (Mt Roskill Intermediate) coming second on tie-break against Ryan Hwang (Northcross Intermediate) both on seven points.
Hamilton Boys High School won the onsite Senior division for a second year running scoring 28, 2nd Mt Albert Grammar (24) and 3rd Mt Roskill Grammar edging out One Tree Hill College on tie-break (both with 23). The top individuals in the division were Michael Lin scoring 8.5, Yaswanth Sirivuri (7.5), with Lasen Silva placing third on tie-break against Victor Coen, both scoring seven.
The following players were awarded the Junior Master title to recognise their exceptional performance at Team Nationals: Patrick Jiang (Willow Park Primary), Pranav Shenoy (Mt Roskill Intermediate), Yaswanth Sirivuri (One Tree Hill College), Richard Liu (ACG Sunderland), Ayaan Vasudeva (Mt Roskill Intermediate) and Ryan Hwang (Northcross Intermediate).
Below are the links to the complete onsite and online results for the Team Nationals.
Photos are available at https://photos.app.goo.gl/Z5qAqbcsaeFpFEMH6. All photos attributed to Leidy Monsalves.
Posted: Wed 26 Oct 2022