Chess is an ancient game with a lot to teach about critical thinking. Benjamin Franklin compared the game of chess to life itself, “with struggle, competition, good and ill events”.
This week, chess took centre-stage when Makarios Lau (Year 10), two-time winner of the SGCS Chess Championship, challenged our Principal, Mr James Honor, to a game. Mr Honor, a former school representative chess player, readily accepted the invitation. In his youth, Mr Honor played chess avidly and participated in tournaments up to the end of Year 10.
The intense game unfolded as follows:
Makarios is playing white and has chosen the e4 opening, Mr Honor with black responded with e5. White developed his knight into f3 and black responded with a controversial move of c5 and set the game into what is known as “Sicilian Defense – Jalalabad Variation”. White has a tough decision to make and has chosen the development move Nc3 instead of taking on e5. Black continues with developing moves and gambits the e5 pawn. After white bishop moves to c4, black responds by charging the d pawn to d5. White seized the opportunity and took the pawn with exd5, gaining material.
At the 6th move, black plays Bg4, which is considered a blunder because the g4 square is protected by two white pieces, and the bishop is only protected by the knight. However, white did not capitalise on this move. At move 15, black blundered again by leaving the b7 pawn vulnerable. This allowed the white queen to infiltrate and black loses their rook on move 17. After this, black is at a serious disadvantage. White continues to simplify by trading pieces and eventually black loses on time. Further analysis indicates that black will lose with mate in 5.
The game may be viewed via this link:
Mr Isaac Honor, SGCS alumni and son of Mr James Honor, holding an unofficial ELO of 2078 on the Chess platform, chess.com, and ranked 40th in Australia, also played three highly experienced and capable students simultaneously and proceeded to win all three games. He applauded the SGCS students, recognising their talent and seeing the potential in their playing.
Mr James Honor congratulated our SGCS Chess Champion and encouraged all students in attendance to continue to pursue chess beyond their school years.
Reported by Mr Nathan Stavropoulos and Mr Wilson Cheng