17 September, 2010

5th Annual Mt. Alexander Cluster Schools Tournament.

The fifth annual Mt. Alexander Cluster Chess-Squared Tournament was the largest and most successful to date.

Students from Castlemaine North P.S, Castlemaine South P.S, Campbells Creek, Maldon, Harcourt Valley, Winters Flat, Elphinstone, Taradale, St. Mary’s, MEC, Malmsbury, and Newstead converged on Castlemaine Secondary College for the day.

Over 250 students attended and Castlemaine Primary School(CPS) won on countback from Winters Flat Primary School in the A-division. Maryborough Education Centre (MEC) won the B division convincingly with CPS second and Maldon P.S third.
WFPS won the C-Team division, St Mary P.S came second and Castlemaine P.S came third.

The event was held at Blakeley Rd Campus with over 30 junior campus students working behind the scenes to make the event a reality. CSC teacher Steve Carroll said: “Most of these students were involved in the chess program when they were at primary school, so they feel a bit of a connection to this event. Setting up tables, acting as judges, meeting and greeting on arrival, and providing catering for 260 people was a big a job and these students are to be commended.”

Chess-Squared co-convenor and local chess stalwart Harry Poulton said: “I admire the feisty competitive spirit of all the kids from our region and they behaved terrifically. Chess is a mind sport. The program is about resilience building and learning to think logically and creatively under time constraints and the pressure of competition. The hope is the skills students learn in the chess program will generalise to other areas of their lives. “

“At the Chess Squared Program we would like to thank teachers, school staff, parents and all volunteers for all their help and support. The feed back was tremendous and parents really appreciated the concept of a competitive mind sport where where kids engage in a battle of ideas and learn thinking is not nerdy. It is for the brave-hearts.”

Students from the winning teams will progress to State Finals later in the year.