Future grandmasters impress at Canterbury Boys High

The school played host to some of the sharpest young chess minds in the state earlier this month. Ben Worsley reports.

A boy playing chess. A boy playing chess.
Image: Campsie Public School Year 4 student Bryan Yang won the primary school competition.

At Canterbury Boys High School, chess is not just a pastime – it's a passion.

What started as a lunchtime activity has evolved into a comprehensive program, complete with morning and afternoon coaching sessions.

And now the school hosts one of the largest public school competitions in NSW - the Maxwell L Fuller Invitational Chess Tournament.

Principal Ross Dummett said the 2024 tournament involved more than 140 players from 16 different primary and secondary schools.

“This is more than just a competition, it’s a celebration of intellect, strategy, and sportsmanship,” he said.

“We’re thrilled to welcome players from diverse backgrounds and skill levels to showcase their talent and passion for the game."

The tournament is named after Maxwell Fuller, an esteemed alumnus of Canterbury Boys High School and former Australian chess champion.

“His legacy as a brilliant mind and dedicated contributor to both his alma mater and the broader chess community is honoured through this event,” Mr Dummett said.

The winner of the primary school competition was Bryan Yang, a Year 4 student at Campsie Public School.

“I feel really good,” he said after being named champion following six gruelling games.

“I thought I might finish in the top three, but not first place.”

Bryan has been playing chess for three years and worked to a tried and tested strategy to reach the final.

“I think a few moves forward, like three moves forward, and sometimes when there’s a really obvious move, I don’t think at all!” he said.

“I like how you get to meet new people when you do the competitions,” he said.

“I like how the pieces all have different ways of moving and how they collaborate to checkmate the opponent.”

Mr Dummett is a firm believer in the benefits of the centuries-old game and said it would be great to see similar tournaments hosted by other schools across the state.

“Chess offers myriad rewards for young minds,” he said.

“It’s not merely about moving pieces on a board, it’s about critical thinking, problem-solving, and strategic planning.”

A boy playing chess. A boy playing chess.
Image: Maxwell Fuller was a former student at Canterbury Boys High School and an Australian chess champion.
  • News
Return to top of page Back to top