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Chess tournament continues to thrill

Published on April 13, 2015
Pictured (L-R) are Cameron Baggs, 10, from St George, in Long Sault; Raymond Lacroix, founder Au Diapason School Chess Tournament; and Camryn Wells, 10, also of St George.

CORNWALL, Ontario - Despite the decline in participation over the years, the 29th annual Au Diapason School Chess Tournament was held on Friday, at L’Heritage.

Approximately 80 students from 12 area schools from the United Counties and Ottawa, participated.

“One year, there were 853 kids, said Raymond Lacroix, tournament founder, who is dedicated to keeping the opportunity available for those who want it. “Even if the numbers have been going down, we want to continue for the kids who do want to participate.”

“This is a qualifying tournament where the winners of medals have an opportunity to go to Toronto and compete provincially, so, against the best.”

Lacroix explains the theory behind chess and those who excel at it, as a thinking process. “It’s a matter of stopping and thinking and being able to analyze.

It’s applied math, physics, science, anything theoretical.”

He says that people who have a propensity for the game have the ability to see a path and to think ahead.

“Not only the immediate move, the move that’s coming. What happens if the other person does this or does that, what will I do? You have 20 things to think about before you make the one move.”

Lacroix says that, often, good chess players are good at many different interests, excel in many areas, such as arts or sports, and are high achievers.

He remembers one exceptional student who, during the matches, who would read unrelated school work between chess moves at the tournaments. “We’ve had 7 or 8, in the 29 years, that were really gifted.”

In particular, Curtis Peterson, a grade 12 student from L’Heritage, who won the national championship, in the early 2000s.

With the hopes of repeating that exceptional feat, Lacroix says that he will to continue on with the event.

“We’re going to keep on as long as we can.”

Here are this year’s winners:

Ethan Major, Viscount Alexander, Grade 2,   Gold

Richard Feng, W.Erskine Johnston Public School (Ottawa), Grade 3, Gold

Daniel Stefanich, Ste-Lucie, Grade 4, Bronze

Rohan Mullur, St. Anne, Grade 4, Bronze

Aiden Vachon, Viscount Alexander, Grade 6, Silver

Bobby Benoit, Viscount Alexander, Grade 6, Bronze

Liam Benoit, Viscount Alexander, Grade 6, Bronze

Theinushan Veluppillai, CCVS, Grade 7, Gold

Riley Lalonde, Citadelle, Grade 7, Bronze

Christopher McKen, C.C.V.S., Grade, 12  Gold

Sam Chambre, Char-Lan, Grade 11, Bronze

Neerav Mullur, Holy Trinity, Grade 9, Bronze

All of the above students qualify for the Provincial Competitions in Toronto on April 19. Scholarships were awarded to high school students (total of $220).