North East Connected

Student beats Expert Chess player

CaptureA SIXTH former stunned his classmates and teachers after defeating a top chess player at his own game.

Emmanuel College student James Cummins was one of 40 players taking part in simultaneous matches with tournament ranked expert Jonathan McLatchie.

The Gateshead 17-year-old became the final opponent in a tense match. But as Mr McLatchie turned up the pressure by imposing a five-second move rule, he inadvertently made an error and James forced him into checkmate.

“When you play 40 games at once you do occasionally make a mistake,” Mr McLatchie said. “But I was very impressed with the way James played and the standard in the college’s chess club as a whole.”

James said: “It was really tense. I have been playing for years and usually am quite aggressive. This time I was more cautious.

“It had been a long and complex game and I didn’t really notice his mistake. Then I saw a chance and couldn’t believe it when it was checkmate. I was ecstatic.”

Teacher Dieter Schneider, who runs the chess club, said: “To be able to play someone of such a high standard is an amazing experience for all the players – to win is even better.

“News spread around the college instantly and I am sure will encourage more people to play what is an excellent game that encourages strategic thinking, boosts memory and enriches learning.”

One of the youngest players was Year 7 student Scott Brown. He said: “It was really hard but I think I did quite well; I just got beaten by a better player.

“I’m sure the experience will up my game. I have been playing about five years – my dad taught me. Perhaps now I will be able to beat him.”

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