Year 7 Mullumbimby High School students outplayed much older rivals to win the school’s first ever North Coast Chess Championships.
The team of Callum Wilson, Oliver Arthur-Andrews, Artemis Arthur-Andrews, and Theo Bourgoin has now qualified for the state finals in November in Sydney.
The team had good wins over Ballina High, Xavier and Trinity Colleges before taking on mid-north coast champions St Joseph’s Port Macquarie in the final last Thursday.
Leading two games to one, the outcome came down to top board where Callum Wilson, against a higher-rated opponent, eventually made his extra pawns work to secure the win.
St Joseph’s teacher Richard Battiston called it the highest-quality match he had witnessed in years.
The win was also a tribute to the school’s late maths teacher and chess coordinator Clifford Schwartz, who passed away suddenly a week before the final.
Mullumbimby Junior Chess Club coordinator Mike Duffin told Echonetdaily that if not for Clifford’s efforts, the team would not have even been entered in the competition.
‘He was well loved by staff and students and had done much to organise, teach, and promote chess in the school and I know he was proud of the team’s achievements,’ Mr Duffin said.