230 Students Vied for Top Spot in Respective Categories at Board Wide Chess Tournament

Over 200 chess masters , and a packed audience of parents and classmates, filled the gym at St. Peter Catholic Elementary School for the Wellington Catholic District School Board district wide chess tournament this week.

Convened by Bob Schmalz from Holy Trinity Catholic Elementary School, the tournament saw 230 students from 17 elementary schools in grades 2-8 compete in their respective age category.

“The day really was a success, we worked to get as much participation in chess that we could!” shared Schmalz. “You come to an event like this and you see 230 kids all at tables, all quiet concentrated on the game. It’s such a unique experience. 17 of our 18 schools, with 14 kids from each school - how cool is that! It’s just beautiful.”

The day was a cumulation of a ton of hard work for organizers, but also for students who, for some, have been practicing for years to get to this point.

“Three years ago me and my brother found a chess board in our basement and he taught me how to play and later that year the chess club started and I joined it!,” shared Levi Pereda-Rodriguez.

Pereda-Rodriguez, a grade 4 competitor from St. Peter CS with nice home team advantage, had a specific strategy going into his games.

“I have been trying to do the four move checkmate.”

And Levi’s strategy for the day was successful, winning three of his five games finishing with a respectable 11th place.

While there were winners named in each game, the day was about much more then that - unity.

“We all came together as one, I’m really proud of everyone who was involved!” said Schmalz. “I am looking forward to next year.”

Top 3 from each category are as follows:

    • Grade 2
      1. Edison Costello – Holy Trinity
      2. Liam Tayes - St. Ignatius
      3. Tommy Casagrande – St. Michael
    • Grade 3
      1. Sebastian Strahija – St. Peter
      2. Henol Adhanum – Holy Rosary
      3. Solomon Frank – St. Ignatius
    • Grade 4   
      1. Anthony Zhu – St. Paul
      2. Kaden Strangherlin – St. Mary in Elora
      3. Sullivan Skinner – St. Joseph in Fergus
    • Grade 5
      1. William Plat - Holy Rosary
      2. Ian Hood – Mary Phelan
      3. Eistein Sijo – St. John CS in Guelph
    • Grade 6
      1. Nicolas Susa – St Ignatius
      2. Tristan Costopoulos – St. John Brebeuf
      3. Peter Casagrande – St. Michael
    • Grade 7
      1. Mason English – Holy Trinity
      2. Kai Hostick – Holy Trinity
      3. Orlando Vasquez – Holy Trinity
    • Grade 8
      1. James Puddle – St. Peter
      2. Jayden Steunebrink – St. John CS in Arthur
      3. Aryan Sachan – St. Michael