Regional Chess Championships challenge student players to think carefully about their next move

CONCENTRATION: Grade five pupil Frederick Finch contemplates his next move during the Regional Chess Championships, which saw more than 160 students from nine schools compete at Ballarat Clarendon College this week for a place in the state finals.
CONCENTRATION: Grade five pupil Frederick Finch contemplates his next move during the Regional Chess Championships, which saw more than 160 students from nine schools compete at Ballarat Clarendon College this week for a place in the state finals.

In the fast-paced online age of social media, many parents fear their children are losing the ability to concentrate for more than a short space of time.

For the 168 students competing in the Regional Chess Championships at Ballarat Clarendon College this week, concentration, calculation and deep thought were in strong supply.

Primary, middle school and open competitors played the Chess Kids tournament with the top two teams in each category progressing to state finals.

“You can see the progression as you go up the years of improved concentration and calculation of students and thought processes,” said BCC chess coach Ben Naughton.

“Juniors play by instinct, senior players take time and plan strategy and tactics. Chess is really good for development of patience, thought process, knowledge, observation and is character building because you are responsible for your choices,” Mr Naughton said.

“Unfortunately when you lose a game of chess it’s because you made an error so learning from failure is how you become a better chess player.”

Mr Naughton said Ballarat Chess Club hosted the annual Begonia Tournament each March, said to be the second biggest chess tournament in Australia, and there were more competitors in this week’s school competition than the Begonia Tournament.