There has been plenty happening in Chess with Term Four being one of the busiest times of the year.

The biggest event of the year – The Queensland Interschool State Finals – was held at the end of Week 1, and Somerset students were very successful across a number of divisions.

On the Friday, the Girls State Finals were held and Somerset went into the Secondary division as the defending champions having won the last two years, including last year’s nailbiter on count-back from Brisbane Girls Grammar School. By ratings this year, Somerset were the favourites, but with the amount of school work currently on, the girls hadn’t been that active which always makes things tricky. The top team of Lyanna Chan, Jennifer Yeung, Melody Yang and Ruhara Mapabandara started strongly, but then hit a flat spot for a few rounds. The girls gathered and rallied, and came home strongly to finish =1st with our biggest rivals, King's Christian College, with Brisbane Girls Grammar a point further up. Luckily for us, Somerset again won on count-back and this will see the girls represent the state once again at the Australian Schools Teams Championships – being held in Cairns, December 3 and 4.

Individually in the secondary division, Lyanna Chan scored 6/7 (2nd on count-back, =1st overall), whilst Ruhara Mapabandara, Melody Yang and Annika Lim all scored 5/7 for =5th position.

In the Primary divisions, the top primary team had a tough time in the Championship division but will have learnt much from the experience and will come better for it next year. Somerset also fielded two teams in the Primary Open A division who did well, just missing out on some individual awards with Evie Wilson being the top player with 4/7. In the Primary Open A division, two Somerset girls scored 4.5/7 to earn Merit ribbons – Kelly Lau and Alex Lee.

Overall there were many positives from the day, with many younger girls taking the chance to compete and learn whilst having fun!

The Open State Finals were held the weekend of October 8 and 9, with Somerset fielding one team in the Secondary division and two in the Primary division. Our secondary team of Byron Morris, Eason Wang, Kenny Ming and Oliver Yang started brilliantly to take an early lead after defeating Bundaberg SHS and The Southport School 4-nil to be the only team on 8/8. Ipswich Grammar in Round 3 proved our equal with the match ending in a 2-all draw, leaving Somerset with a 1 point lead going into the second day, when we would face the top seeds Churchie in Round 4. In a see-sawing battle, it was Churchie who got the best of things and ended up winning the match 3 to 1. Round 5 saw Churchie dispatch Ipswich Grammar easily, whilst Brisbane Boys College provided some stiff competition but was seen off 2.5 to 1.5 in the end. Going into the final round, we needed an upset from Brisbane SHS over Churchie to stand a chance. This nearly happened but not quite as Churchie held on despite Somerset accounting for Centenary Heights from Toowoomba comfortably 4-nil.

This left Somerset in second position across the two days of competition. Individually, Oliver Yang was the top performer with 5.5/6 on board 4 as he scooped the board prize.

In the Primary division, we field two teams. Team 1 consisted of Calen Tang, Alessandro Martinese, Harrison Qu and Paris Liu, whilst Team 2 was a younger team featuring Sanaaya Mapabandara, Paul Sang Yum, Dylan Hu, William Zhao, Kitty Pallister and Sehaj Gill.

Somerset 1 started the event strongly with 4-nil wins against Somerset 2 and King's CC 2, before being brought back to earth by Citipointe CC in Round 3 where they were outplayed despite some really tough games. Round 4 saw the team take on Sunnybank Hills SS who are known to be a tricky team – which they proved once again, getting the better of us. Round 5 saw us paired against Brisbane Grammar who proved stronger than their rating to just get the better of us in another tough match, whilst in Round 6 the team outclasses Toowoomba Grammar 2 to finish strongly and finish =7th.

Somerset 2 started with the tough match against the top team, before getting another couple of tough pairings against up and coming schools Sunshine Coast Grammar and Toowoomba Grammar 2, each match unfortunately finishing in defeat. Round 4 saw us matched with Matthew Flinders AC from the Sunshine Coast which went the same way, before the team secured a draw with Rockhampton Grammar in Round 5 and then took apart Townsville Grammar to finish off.

The individual highlight for the primary teams was undoubtedly Harrison Qu who finished =1st on board 3 and narrowly missed out on the board prize. Out of all the players in primary that took part, there is only 1 player who moves to secondary next year so I am sure everyone will be ready to come back and have another crack next year!

Various events Somerse students participated in across the holidays
  • Leo Wilkinson Memorial Weekender:

Kenny Ming finished with 4.5/6 for a massive tie of =6th, whilst Calen Tang scored 3.5/6.

  • Nell Van de Graaff Classic:

In the Open division, Kenny Ming scored 3.5/6 whilst Calen Tang scored 3/6. In the Junior Under 1200 division, Oscar Credland-Ballantyne scored 5.5/6 to take out 1st place.

  • Gold Coast Chess Club Championships:

This event was won by Somerset coach Kerry Stead with a score of 8/8! Finishing with 5/8 and =1st in Rating Group A was Jared Consiglio-Cockle

  • Gold Coast Spring Cup:

In this junior event a large number of Somerset students participated. William Zhao, Theo Appel and Jeremy Zhang all scored 6/9 in impressive performances. Sehaj Gill, Paul Sang Yum, Kelly Lau all scored  5/9 with some other young players including Alen Zeng and Taya Liu scoring 4/9.

A great way for students to continue their learning and improving is by coming along on Fridays to the after school club from 3.30pm to 5.30pm. Students in Years 1 to 3 need to be registered via The Hub, while other students can come along after emailing me on:

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