Do it God’s way’
March 1, 2023
Come visit ‘Lady of Lourdes Grotto’
March 1, 2023

First time Bethlehem Boys’ RC participates in chess competition

Two pupils of the Bethlehem Boys’ RC took part in the Trinidad and Tobago Chess Association National Junior Chess Championship 2023 at Presentation College, Chaguanas, January 28–29 and February 4–5. It was open to persons under 20 years and had a total of 48 competitors.

Principal Sherry-Ann Celestine said chess and football clubs were introduced prior to the Covid-19 pandemic by the Police Youth Club under then Sgt Kevin Martin and chess continued online when classes were virtual.

Teacher Felix Brown created a WhatsApp chat for the chess group and she said Sgt Martin tried to get the boys exposed to competitive chess playing against their neighbour school, Bethlehem Girls’ RC and external competitions.  “Anytime there was a tournament he would alert Mr Brown for the best chess players to take part,” Celestine said.

On January 28, Round One, Zaric Elliot, 11 years played against Keegan Ragoobar, of Naparima College, a runner-up in the national youth championship held weeks prior.

Zaric was nervous because it was his first time competing but calmed down and played better. Though he did not win he learned a lot. Zaric won round six on February 4 against the 2021 female champion.

Jadon Brown, 12 years, also competed and was able to out-manoeuvre an older student from a secondary school.

Celestine was pleased with the boys’ performance in their first competition and that they were able to hold their own despite inexperience. “I was proud of having two students of our school chess club compete in a physical national tournament. Chess is not a popular sport for boys but as we celebrated their participation, we look forward to increase not only participation but improvement in their ranking.”

Despite the competitive atmosphere, experienced players offered advice to the novices. The principal hoped the strategising used in chess would transfer to academics. The boys received medals for their involvement.