ACT News

Australia's best young chess players descend on the capital for the annual Australian Junior Chess Championships

Some of the country's best junior chess players are in Canberra for the next eight days to compete in the Australian Junior Chess Championships.

The competition is being held at Canberra Grammar School in Red Hill, where about 250 chess players aged from eight to 18 will compete for prize money of up to $500.

Henry Slater-Jones, 12, of Brisbane, is competing in the Australian Junior Chess Championships at Canberra Boys ...
Henry Slater-Jones, 12, of Brisbane, is competing in the Australian Junior Chess Championships at Canberra Boys Grammar School.  Photo: Graham Tidy

Junior players have travelled far and wide for The tournament, with at least one player registered from every state and territory in Australia.

Henry Slater-Jones,12, and his brother Tom, 15, love the mental challenge that comes with every game of chess.

With their parents, David and Karen, the family drove about 13 hours from Brisbane to compete in the competition. 

Henry started playing eight years ago, after Tom learnt to play in primary school.

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"I wanted to try to be as good as him one day, so I started to play and it just dragged on from there," he said.

Although his brother always beats him when they play each other, Henry said he still enjoyed the competitiveness.

His main practise mechanism is online, but Henry said he enjoyed playing people his own age, especially when he won.

Organisers said the lightning chess challenge, starting Tuesday at 3pm, would be the most exciting event for spectators.

Players battle it out in 10-minute games, which would be like "listening to gun fire" in the halls at Canberra Grammar School, an organiser said.