Pepi, Grade 5, is a serious chess player. She, along with Annika in Grade 4, qualified at the BC Regional Tournament:
Pepi, how did you qualify for your grade level at the BC Regionals?
Each child plays five games from 9am till 3pm. You play against better players each time you win. Next will be the BC Chess Challenge in Victoria in April and we have also been invited to the Canadian Youth Chess Challenge in Surrey in July. These games lead into the World Youth Chess Challenge which is being held in Slovenia but people at those have very high ratings.
How long have you been playing chess? How did you get involved in the game?
I have been playing since I was five. Ms. England taught our whole class the game on Tuesday mornings. Ms. England also gave out chess basics sheets so parents could learn alongside their children. She taught us to understand how to move and how to strategically plan ahead.
After that, I played with my dad at home and Luc Poitras after school at York House. We are so lucky to have them both – Ms. England taught us the moves very well and Luc is a very able player and tournament organizer. He has played over 500 tournaments – I have played in ten! I also go to a weekend mornings group in Kitsilano with Bob Brewster.
What do you love about the game?
I love how it is a new kind of thinking – it is teamwork between the pieces but at the same time, every piece must look after itself. As the whole game is taking place, one needs to think up a way to capture the king and defeat the kingdom! There are so many different things going on at the same time to think about – I like the complexity and excitement.
It is also a wonderful game because age and size don’t matter – you can sit down with anyone in the world and talk to them in chess.