Term 1, Issue 3 - Chess | Siena College
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Year 7 Chess Incursion

The Year 7 students had a wonderful opportunity to experience and participate in the annual chess incursion on Friday, 28 February, organised by the Learning Diversity Department. The guest coaches from Dark Horse Chess taught the girls how to play the game and some clever strategies to use.

After the initial welcome and introduction to the coaches, each student was placed into a group based on her level of experience and expertise in playing chess. All levels of ability were represented, from absolute first time beginners to advanced chess enthusiasts. In their groups, the students worked with one of the four Dark Horse staff to learn more about the game, to become familiar with and practise the different moves of each chess piece and to apply some clever strategies when playing.

The Year 7 students enjoyed the day immensely and after the sessions, many girls were able to say that they had learnt something new about how to play the game. Some of the skills that learning chess helps to develop are:

  • Pattern visualisation
  • Patience
  • Memory
  • Abstract reasoning
  • Originality and creativity
  • Awareness of the consequences of actions
  • Confidence and self esteem
  • Concentration and focus
  • Self discipline
  • Planning
  • Problem solving

Siena also offers all students the opportunity to join the Chess Club, which meets every Wednesday at lunchtime in the Learning Centre. Club members benefit from the support of Denise, a staff member of Dark Horse Chess. Denise attends each week during the term, coaching and encouraging the students to build upon and practise their skills, regardless of level. It is also a wonderful opportunity to see the girls from all year levels enjoying each other’s company as they play against each other.

Those students who attend may have the opportunity to participate in chess tournaments at other schools to further enhance their chess skills and may qualify for State finals at the end of the year through Chess Australia.

Heather O'Keefe
Learning Diversity

Siena College

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