Checkmate! Macleans Chess team national champs

The Macleans College chess team has been crowned National Chess Champions for the second year in a row.

At the end of September the team travelled to Palmerston North to compete in the New Zealand Interschools Chess Finals.

The team members were Richard Jiang (Upham House), Jasmine Zhang (Hillary), Kevin Guan (Upham), Terry Shen (Te Kanawa) and Oliver Dai (Snell).

The tournament is the culmination of many rounds of regional play during the year and the country’s top 18 secondary school teams come together to find out which is New Zealand’s best team.

Photo supplied

As defending champions the pressure was on the Macleans College team to maintain their very high standard. However during the first half of the tournament they suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of Auckland Grammar who became the clear favourites to win the title.

Undeterred by this setback the Macleans College team maintained their composure and concentrated on securing as many points as possible. Their tenacity was rewarded during the second half of the tournament when Mount Roskill Grammar scored a surprise win over Auckland Grammar which turned the leader board on its head.