15 September, 2008
3rd Mt. Alexander Cluster Chess Tournament.
Schools chess is 'big' in Castlemaine. And when they built the Old Castlemaine Gaol 150-odd years ago, nobody thought one day it would be full of schoolchildren playing the Royal Game.
A record number of 270 students from far and wide participated in the third annual Mt. Alexander Cluster Primary Schools Chess Tournament held at the old Castlemaine Gaol.
The event is officially the largest regional schools chess tournament held in Australia.
Castlemaine Primary School won the event for the second successive year, with new entry the Maryborough Education Centre (MEC) surpassing all expectations producing the overall individual winner.
For the second year running Ross Allengame's class from Castlemaine Primary won the A_Division and will be representing the cluster at the State Finals in October. MEC finished second and Castlemaine North finished third in the elite category.
St. Mary's won the B-Division, from Winters Flat and Castlemaine Primary while Maryborough Education Centre won C-Division from Castlemaine Primary and Castlemaine North.
Other participating schools included Winters Flat, Castlemaine North, Castlemaine Primary, Chewton, Campbells Creek, Newstead, Taradale, Elphinstone, Maldon, Guildfrod, St. Mary’s, and Harcourt Valley.
And a week earlier, 75 students from Daylesford, Kyneton, Maryborough and Castlemaine ventured to our CSC Junior Campus to do battle for bragging honours in the secondary school version.
Students from the Junior Campus, under the guidance of schoolteacher Mark Johansson, filled six of the first seven placings in that event.
The Chess-Squared Program sees community tutors deliver chess tuition in classtime. It started in the Castlemaine schools three years ago, has won a State Numeracy Award, last year delivered a Keynote Presentation at an International Conference in Scotland, and has a research component auspiced by James Cook University.
Castlemaine Primary has won eight places and MEC have secured 5 places in the State Finals. The Castlemaine Secondary College through strategic tournament play throughout the year has a maximum of 10 players representing the region at the State Finals in October