09 November, 2007
The 'J' Factor
Mark Johansson has ‘gone the extra yard’ this year with chess coaching on the junior campus of Castlemaine Secondary College. And the tournament results have been rewarding.
Twice a week, for the whole year, Johansson’s voice booms over the lunchtime announcements: : “CHESSSSSSS……. IS……ONNNNNN….….IN …..LAWWWSON….. HAAAALL!” where the ‘true believers’ refine their skills in a relaxed and informal environment. But, on the tournament circuit it’s a different story.
On August 16 a team competed at Bendigo where they won their age division and finished third overall behind Red Cliffs Secondary College seniors and Bendigo Senior Secondary College.
The troupe ventured over to Ballarat in early September, where they won not only their age group (junior secondary) but won the open secondary division also. Out of 50 students the team monopolised individual placings earning 14 of the top 20 spots.
In the September holidays, Mark and Harry took 6 students to the Victorian Youth Masters. The best finisher was Shay Keillor-Reed, coming third in his age category.
Hungry for match practice, Johansson organised a tournament at CSC Junior Campus where players ventured over from Maryborough. Again, Johansson’s team won their category.
Having now qualified 10 players for the State Finals they finishied a creditable ninth in Victoria. Shay Keillor-Reed finished 16th and Max Nanchman finished 20th out of the state’s elite 110 players.
Johansson was upbeat: “These guys were great- they are only in yr 7 but were competing against yr 8’s and 9’s. The next few years should see our school perform really well.”
As recognition to our cluster’s commitment to promoting chess, the junior campus has been given a ‘wild-card entry’ into the National Interschool Championships to be held in Melbourne in December.
Overall Mark, a great years work!