Orange junior chess tournament attracts players from around Central West | Photos, videos

ENDGAME: Mathew McKenna and adjudicator Joe Cummins practise the endgame while Andrew Schumann, Archie Casey and Abel Alexander watch.
ENDGAME: Mathew McKenna and adjudicator Joe Cummins practise the endgame while Andrew Schumann, Archie Casey and Abel Alexander watch.

The best junior chess players in the Central West filled St Barnabas Church hall on Thursday.

There may have been 63 players aged from six-years-old to 16 but you could hear a pin drop at times.

Among the best players at the junior chess tournament was Paul Schumann, ranked in top 10 senior players on the day.

He’s been playing competitively for three years.

“I love the strategy,” Paul said.

Paul’s younger brother Andrew is one of the top junior players.

“We played for a long time with our dad at home,” Paul said.

“I’ve been to tournaments and had a lot of fun.

“It’s a great place to meet up with other people who play chess and make friends.”

“The worst thing that can happen is you lose, it’s only a game and it’s a lot of fun.”

Adjudicator Alexander Aich said the competition was fierce.

“This tournament is endorsed by the NSW Junior Chess League, a player’s performance affects their junior rating,” Mr Aich said.

“It’s a fun activity but it’s got a serious side.”

Mr Aich said the tournament attracted players from Orange, Bathurst, Dubbo, Kandos, Molong and Millthorpe.

Kandos’ Emerson Maunder has been playing chess for 18 months, and was playing on the tournament’s “top table”.

“I just like the competition and the diversity of players who are better than you and trying to beat them,” Emerson said.

“It’s all down to nerves, if they’re a top player you can get a bit nervous before your game.

“It’s extremely scary how talented some of the younger players are.”

Seven-year-old Sarayu Prakashbabu said she really enjoyed playing the game.

“You can use your brain and it makes you concentrate on the game,” Sarayu said.

“It takes a lot of thinking to win.”