Checkmate for girls’ chess tournament
Last updated 12:33, August 21 2015
Intense concentration and strategic play created the perfect atmosphere for hundreds of young chess players in central Auckland.
Mt Albert War Memorial Hall was packed with more than 30 schools for the New Zealand Girls Interschool Chess Championships on August 20.
The tournament was a chance to raise the profile of chess among the younger female population.
Volunteer Hans Gao from Auckland Grammar School says the sport has always been more male-dominated.
“If you look at the top 300 players in the world, only three are women,” Hans says.
Auckland International College student Lola Zhan says there are a lot more female competitors from the lower grades, which is enouraging for the future.
Melissa Tsoi from Diocesan School for Girls organised the event and says there was never any question of its popularity.
Chess boards and pieces were supplied by local clubs and the tournament was government-funded.
St Cuthberts won the primary school division (Zoe Guan, Kimberley Yuan and Brena Merz). Bucklands Beach Intermediate won the intermediate division (Jasmine Zhang, Jayti Pattni, Selena Guo and Manleen Kaur). Mt Roskill Grammar took out the secondary division (Caroline Yan, Sarah Yan, Cathy Fan and Kirushni Suthakaran).