BSB Chess fans were provided with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to pit their wits against world class opposition as Grandmaster Zhao Xue visited the school to play 21simultaneous matches against 19 students (from Years 6 to 13) and 2 teachers on 22nd February 2019.
If are a Chess enthusiast you may know that at the present moment, of the 800 Million Chess players in the world, only 1500 have the rank of Grandmaster and of these 1500, only 37 female players have the rank of Grandmaster.
The matches were played at a relentless pace as Zhao visited each table in turn to make her move. Some fearsome offensive play by the Grandmaster was defended by the BSB students with a fierce determination and many matches went past the prescribed finishing time due to the quality of her opposition.
Bearing in mind that many of Zhao’s previous visits to other local schools had not lasted beyond 30 minutes, the fact that it took her over 1 hour and 20 minutes to finally defeat our ‘last man standing’ (Felipe Frigini of 8C), the BSB students (and Mr Hartland, who bravely fought till the end) can be rightly proud of their efforts.
All the students were given brief feedback from Zhao about the moves that had set the course for their defeat. A very excited and partisan crowd thoroughly enjoyed the spectacle on Friday lunchtime and it is hoped that students will further develop their chess skills at lunchtime clubs, Season 4 ASAs and other local chess events.
The words of Heiko Weideman (13B) sum up the event perfectly:
‘Growing up in a household where Father and Mother both loved chess, the opportunity to play against a chess Grandmaster was a dream come true. My school, BSB, invited Grandmaster Zhao Xue to play chess against an impressive collection of 20 players.
Zhao was magnificent. With a piercing logic and swift movement I saw my inevitable loss as a win. After my defeat, Grandmaster Zhao pointed out two fatal moves that I had made which had set the course for my annihilation. This was truly one experience I will never forget. Thank you for presenting me with this opportunity to observe a master in her full glory.’
Thank you to all the participants for their willingness to put their Chess playing skills to the test, they were: Emanuel Prieto, Eric Niu, Leopold Pitner, YueXian Xiao, Kristie Chi, Louis Dreher, Zahit Sentürk, Miguel Martinez Chen, Alex Morys, Edward Sun, Joseph Hei, Igor Toribio, Jerry Wang, Felipe Frigini, MinJae Kim, Gilbert Ahn, Giovanni Galvao, Shreya Thapa, Andrew Ocampochua, Heiko Weideman, Mr Hardman and Mr Hartland.
Mr. Mark Hardman
Assistant Headteacher Secondary (Pastoral)
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