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Making a move

Regulus // Issue 1 // May 2023

More news for Academic

Gavith Dharmasena (Year 13 – second right) setting a challenge during Chess Club for from left, James Anthony (Year 11), Owen Menzies (Year 12) and Cayden Wang (Year 11).

Chess is a fast-growing activity at St Andrew’s College, with increasing numbers of students involved in both the Secondary and Preparatory Schools, says Teacher in Charge, Conrad Wing. “We’ve had an influx of Year 9 students joining the Chess Club this year, and more students than usual are enjoying chess in The Green Library and Innovation Centre throughout the day. There is also a thriving Chess Club in the Preparatory School, where some of our experienced senior players have spent time helping out, and a few of the younger students have had coaching from Richie Christie, a former president of the Canterbury Chess Club. The future looks bright for chess at St Andrew’s.”

The College’s star player is Gavith Dharmasena (Year 13), who won an U19 New Zealand title at the New Zealand Junior Chess Congress for junior players aged under 20 last year. “Gavith is a key member of the St Andrew’s A team and is a positive mentor and coach for students in the Chess Club. He uses his experience to come up with interesting puzzles, variations on openings, and middle and end game tactics, to help students learn the whole gamut of chess play.”

The two St Andrew’s College chess teams had great success in 2022, winning both the A and B Divisions in the Canterbury Interschools Chess Championships. “All of the players from last year are back in 2023, and many if not all of them have improved, which bodes for another successful year of chess for our teams,” says Conrad.

The College sees a surge in chess participation, with more students playing, including two championship-winning teams.