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Students vs Teachers: Checkmate!

The day we’d been waiting for all term finally arrived, and in bright sunshine eight chess boards were set up outside the school for the termly match between the staff and the students.

Keen to improve on their 4-4 draw last term, the staff had been getting in some extra practice and coaching the previous evening. More underhand tactics were also used: at least one member of staff was seen before the match offering his opponent a fiver to throw the game.

Teachers vs Students

Tension on the Front Green.

The students struck the first blow when Brynley showed Natalie’s king no mercy. Anais, playing her first ever competitive match, made it 2-0, using her material advantage to checkmate Dominic. Then José pulled a point back for the staff by taking advantage of Shen’s lapse in concentration. Three more results soon followed. Cecilia managed an excellent win against Lourdes. Gerard held a big advantage against Carl, but, facing a resourceful opponent, had to be at his best to avoid first a checkmate trap and then a stalemate trap. Jon then scored for the teachers by putting into practice his lessons from the night before. He developed his pieces quickly, castled, soon winning a piece and eventually the game. So it was 4-2 to the students and the best the staff could hope for was a draw. It didn’t look good, though. While Guy held a slight advantage against Cameron, playing his first competitive game for a long time, Raul was in trouble, having lost his queen to Ollie, who soon found a way to coordinate his pieces and force checkmate. With only honour at stake, Guy and Cameron

Richard James Chess Teacher

Richard James delighted by his students' performances

continued their battle. Guy was a pawn ahead in the ending and seemed to have good winning chances, but Cameron was able to activate his rook and regain the pawn. Guy then offered a draw but Cameron courageously turned it down, saying he’d rather lose than draw. Showing the leadership qualities expected of a Headmaster, Guy expertly marshalled his king and rook, and, demonstrating superb endgame skills, managed to secure the full point. But it was too late to save the match, which the students won by 5 points to 3.