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Inverness pupils are Scottish chess champions

Issued: 15 Jun 2010

Balloch Primary school has won the Scottish Primary P5 and Under Team at the Scottish Primary Team Chess Championships 2009-10 which took place
last weekend (12 June) in Braehead, Glasgow.

The team started off with a 2 - 2 draw and four 4 rounds later and a couple of close 2.5 - 1.5 victories they were unbeaten which placed them in the top 4 against the best teams.

In the fifth round they played against Sciennes Primary from Edinburgh (the 2009 victors) and secured a 3 - 1 victory. The final match against St Brides Primary, Glasgow A-team saw the Balloch pupils with straight 4 - 0 victories.

The winning team from Balloch Primary were: Nayeem Hussain, Alastair Watson, Calum Donaldson and Lewis MacGowan. Lewis MacGowan was unbeaten in any of his games - a rare achievement at a chess tournament.

Team Coach and parent helper Arun Sharma said: "We are totally stunned with this achievement. This is the fourth time that we have attended the competition and never expected to come home with such a coup. Well done to all the children for their amazing efforts. Part of our winning strategy was to get outside for fresh air, exercise and sunshine between rounds, which helped counter the effects of getting the 6.45am train from Inverness to Glasgow."

The P6/7 team did very well finishing in the top half of the tournament. They put in an impressive performance winning two matches, drawing three and only losing one. Kai Fraser, P7 played very well on top board scoring two victories and two draws out of six, against the best players from the other schools. Nathan Crush P5 played board two and put in the best performance of the team by winning 4 out of 6 - an outstanding result. Daisy Macgowan P7 did very well winning two games and drawing a third. Christopher Falkingham P6 supported the team very well with 3 victories out of 5.

Christine Scott, Head Teacher, Balloch Primary School said: "This is a landmark achievement for the school chess club which has been running for 5 years. Many thanks to the parents who have supported the club at school and at tournaments including: Brian Crush, Arun Sharma, Forbes
Scott-Lodge, Nick Green, and Laura and Andrew MacGowan. Our thanks also go to Nassim and Lee-mon Hussain provided support on the trip to Glasgow, and all the parents and families who have encouraged their children to play chess at home."

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Project part-financed by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund) within the INTERREG IIIB Northern Periphery Programme