Thanks to Scott for the following report. The winning team features Wellington Chess Club's new young star on board 1, Karthik Konakanchi
Wellington Region Primary Interschool Championship 2013
By Scott Wastney
Eleven schools competed this year for the title of Wellington Primary School’s Champion. The host school Johnsonville School had two teams making the competition a 6 round-Swiss with 12 teams. From experience I have found this is a good size for a tournament. For practical reasons I try to not run tournaments with more than 50 children – though I try to cater for all the schools that have a keen group of chess players. Various teams were brought together by an enthusiastic parent or teacher and some teams from my chess classes. The only disappointment was not having any entries from schools that Mark van der Hoorn coaches.
Karori Normal School entered with a team name. This seemed a good idea, so I invited the other teams to also come up with names as well. You can see the team names in the score-table table below. Games were played with clocks with 20 minutes + 5 second increments (a time control I copied from an Auckland event). The chess level was pretty good – I got away without needing to explain the different between checkmate and stalemate or other similar things. There was the odd illegal move, with Kings being moved into check and they did play way too fast for the time control…even one game I saw with the winner having 21 minutes on his clock at the end! But overall it was a pretty good level for a group of 50-odd children.
Now to the results…
Eastern Hutt School took the early lead with 7/8 after two rounds and continued to hold the lead after the third round. Johnsonville then took the lead in round 4 with a 4-0 result against Karori Normal and held the lead with a 3.5-0.5 win over Newlands. Going into the last round the top two teams were paired against each other with Eastern Hutt being 2 points behind Johnsonville. In the board one clash, Sam Merton from Eastern Hutt defeated Karthik Konacanchi. But his wasn’t enough and Johnsonville still took the match 2.5-1.5 claiming the Wellington Primary Schools Champion’s trophy. The final game in progress would decide 2nd and 3rd places. A win for Maungaraki’s ‘Kentucky Fried Checkmate’ team denied Newlands and Eastern Hutt came second with Newlands third. Medals were awarded to the members of the top 3 teams and certificates to all children that took part.
Congratulations to the winning team: Karthik Konakanchi, Cameron Phillips, Pramodh Konakanchi and Evgeny Zhilken. A young team with a lot of potential. Karthik and Cameron are both year 4 students. Karthik is already playing at the Wellington Chess Club. His younger brother Pramodh is only a year 1 student (6 years old) and sees things very quickly on the chessboard - he is the speedster I witnessed with 21 minutes left on his clock. Evgeny is a year 5 student, a very enthusiastic chess player who is quickly making progress. The team qualify for the National school finals in Mt Maunganui in September. Final places are below.
The Johnsonville 1 team (left) against Karori Normal
Place Name Score
1 Johnsonville 1 (Revenge of the Dragons) 19
2 Eastern Hutt (Kings of capture) 16
3 Newlands (The Forks) 15.5
4 Johnsonville 2 (King of the Nerds) 13
5-8 St Brigid’s (King's Army) 12
Cashmere Av (The Knightmares) 12
Maungaraki (Kentucky Fried Checkmate) 12
Karori Normal (Knights and Forks) 12
9 Northland 11
10 Crofton Downs (Prawns on Forks) 9.5
11 Waterloo (Royal Court) 712 St Theresas (All Saints) 5