22 March, 2011

NAB Chess Cup

The inaugural NAB Chess Cup, played at the NAB Bank academy on Thursday 10th March 2011, was a brilliant day out. Students from across the Mt. Alexander cluster took a bus from Winters Flat Primary School, with 55 people plus on board, to the NAB Bank headquarters at Docklands.

We departed at 8.00am and we arrived home at 4.00 pm.

The atmosphere at the NAB Bank Tournament was electric. The NAB bank had 120 staff attending as players and spectators. Their attendance was voluntary. The Schools First staff were amazed at the NAB staff turn out. There was a certain respect for our chess students.

The financial gurus were dazzled by Mt Alexander School Cluster’s chess acumen. They approached their young spirited opponents with trepidation.

Our chess students were gracious in victory and dignified in defeat. The NAB bank staff was generous, warm and encouraging, and clearly enjoyed the atmosphere of challenging mind sports and intellectual endeavour. They saw the value of developing strategic thinking and planning skills and wished they had had a program like this when they were kids.

When asked by the “Schools First” conveners about their experience of Mathematics at school, the NAB Bank financial gurus surprisingly expressed the same feelings of anxiety and disaffection that we find across the board in most schools today.

Many expressed the wish that they had been given an innovative program like the Mt Alexander Chess Squared Program, when they were young students.

The financial gurus expressed admiration at how engaged, focused, concentrated and motivated our chess students were. There was a universal consensus that students were amazingly engaged, intellectually focused and high levels of concentration. These are skills and aptitudes many teachers feel are in decline in our schools.

Mt Alexander School Cluster won the tournament 80 wins to 21.5. It was a resounding victory. All in all, it was a brilliant, inspiring, interesting day and a wonderful success for the schools and the NAB bank.

Harry Poulton, (Chess Tutor)
**special thanks to Kevin Brown for developing this initiative.