Pupil Owen Robinson is making all the right moves – and earning a name as one of the county’s up-and-coming chess players.
Owen, a Year 8 student at Corby Business Academy, beat older players from across Northamptonshire to be crowned Under 18 champion at the 32nd Northants Junior Congress.
It was organised by Northamptonshire Schools Chess Association and was held at Cedar Road Primary School, Northampton.
Owen, 12, is also the Corby Business Academy’s reigning chess champ and saw off competition from sixth-form players to clinch the title.
And he was thrilled to reign supreme against the county’s best young players in the county tournament.
He said: “I won five and drew one of my six games. I was so pleased to have won as I practiced really hard before the tournament.”
Owen started playing chess when he was just eight-years-old and a pupil at Studfall Junior School, Corby.
He said: “I just enjoyed the game straight away and found that I had a natural talent for it.
“I find it really fun, and particularly enjoy the problem-solving part of the game.
“I don’t know what my ambitions are as yet, I will just see where it takes me.”
Owen has private home tuition and also regularly plays as part of the Northants Schools Association squad.
He also practices regularly against his home computer, which he sets to the hardest level, and uses a software programme to analyse his performances.
Librarian at Corby Business Academy Amy McKay, who organises the school’s chess competitions, said: “Owen’s performance in the academy’s tournament last year was very impressive.
“Despite only being in Year 7 at the time, he had no problem beating our strongest sixth form players.
“It will be interesting to see who has the nerve to take him on this year!”
Owen, who lives in Wheatley Avenue, Corby, will be playing his next big game this month in Liverpool.
Last year he was placed second in the British Land UK chess challenge 2010 Northern final, a major tournament.
The talented pupil also enjoys sport, especially karate and judo.