Throughout term three Echuca College has been running a chess competition. Every Tuesday lunchtime the College’s library was full of students and staff matching their wits on the board of battle. Starting with over 30 players the competition slowly whittled down to the last eight players for the sudden death finals in September.
In round one of the finals Neal Rivera, Joseph Case, Mitchel Crust, Josh Heddle, Isaac Duffy, Haley Barnard, Mitchell Chapman and Lara Rivera played off with the Rivera siblings, Duffy and Heddle making the final four players. These players made a very worthy quartet, with the undefeated Duffy as one of the favourites. The other three players had all suffered a single loss throughout the season – to each other. Lara Rivera had beaten her brother, but had been beaten by Heddle who had inturn been beaten by Neal Rivera.
In the semi-finals Lara Rivera was able to get past Isaac Duffy’s defences to claim the first opening for the grand final. The other game between Josh Heddle and Neal Rivera was very close with Heddle in a dominate position for most of the game only to fall short when Rivera was able to box in his king and take the game.
With the brother and sister facing each other in the final, and their fierce rivalry on the chessboard throughout the rounds, it was always going to be a close final. Neal was able to overcome Lara in a hard fought battle to take out the inaugural Echuca College Chess Championship and gain his place as the first name on the perpetual trophy as the 2014 Champion.