Chess at St John’s College, Woodlawn
What’s so good about chess? Chess helps develop one’s thinking. It promotes problem solving, logic, patience and regard for an opponent. Our competition games always begin with the shaking of hands and end with the same. Over the years that I have been taking the Woodlawn chess teams I have seen young people develop their thinking skills, taking these skills to other areas including maths, science and more generally life. And I have witnessed bright, disciplined young boys and girls representing the College at Chess, who would not be given that opportunity at other sports.
Woodlawn competes in a number of chess competitions each year. For the past 7 years Woodlawn has hosted the First Round of the Gardiner Chess Competition. Over 150 students from local primary and secondary schools compete in a day of challenging competition. Over the calendar year Gardiner Chess promotes three more competitions at schools in the local area. At each of these competitions Woodlawn consistently enters over 20 students; both boys and girls, which highlights the popularity of chess amongst the students. In 2015 the College was ranked 2nd in the Gardiner Chess Competition.
Chess is promoted at school through an open invitation to students to come to the library at lunchtimes. There is a regular bunch of players wanting to play chess; keen to try their skills against one of the more recognised players or against teachers.
For the past 16 years Woodlawn has also entered the Northern Region Country Schools chess knockout. The college has been successful in winning this competition on three occasions. The competition invites schools to enter teams of 4. The winning teams from the six country districts meet in Sydney to play off for the title of best in Country NSW. In 2012 the College ranked 3rd; a wonderful achievement for our four competitors and the College more generally. Whilst we haven't had the success in the past years, we are slowly improving our younger players for future success.
We look forward to the continuation of the promotion of chess in the college and to continued success at the various competitions.
Mr Kevin Bell