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3 - Tuesday, November 17, 2015
Chess players move up a board
Caroline Chisholm students Kathleen Laidlaw, 9, the Vea sisters Nicole, 11, Amelia, 12, Gisela, 12, and
Imojean, 9, and Melody McKenzie, 11.
Photo: Jamila Toderas
Mary Lynn Mather
Whether they favour blitz games or
prefer to take hours to topple their
opponents, the chess-playing girls
of Caroline Chisholm School have
mastered all the right moves.
Last month, the primary school
team emerged as the winners when
they defeated three other top groups
in the play-offs.
Now Melody McKenzie, 11,
twins Amelia and Gisela Vea, 12,
and Kathleen Laidlaw, 9, will
represent the ACT in the Australian
National School Teams
They are entered in the primary
girls section of the national
tournament, which takes place at
Melbourne High School on the
weekend of December 5 and 6.
Proud coach Steven Sengstock,
who teaches Indonesian and history
at the school, said the girls were
amazing students .
A former Queensland junior
champion, he is ideally qualified to
help improve their games.
The highest ranked player,
Melody McKenzie, has won
individual ACT Chess titles.
She received third place in the
under-12 Australian Junior
Lightning Chess championships.
Melody won the title at the
Australian Junior Chess
Championship in Canberra in
Blitz or lightning chess allows
each participant only five minutes
to make all their moves in the game.
I began playing competitively
two years ago, Melody said.
A lot of people don t know
chess is a sport.
Gisela and Amelia Vea started
playing the game last year, with
their two younger sisters, Nicole,
11, and Imojean, 9.
It s challenging, Amelia said.
When the twins qualified to
represent the Southside in the ACT
athletics final, their siblings
The interschool chess teams have
four players each and Nicole and
Imojean filled their positions in the
chess team. It s a wonderful
family story, Mr Sengstock said.
Support and encouragement
flows through the Caroline
Chisholm School chess coaching
program and community.
We ve got a real peer tuition
element developing, said
Kathleen s father, Malik Enright.
Learning is being done at home
and in the school as well.
Kathleen is in year 3 and she is
the team s most junior player.
Her dad warns people who play
against her not to go easy on her
as it is not about letting her win.
She regularly beats adults at the
Tuggeranong Vikings Chess club,
Mr Sengstock said.
Kathleen described chess as a
very fun game to play and said it
warms your brain up .
The school s chess club meets
every Friday afternoon and has
close to 50 members from
kindergarten to year 10.
Call for bold reforms to reduce congestion as cost mounts
The cost of congestion on Canberra
roads is set to double to
$400 million by 2030 unless major
infrastructure projects are
completed, a government agency
Department of Infrastructure and
Regional Development modelling
has found the total kilometres
travelled on ACT roads could
increase from 3.9 billion to
5.2 billion by 2030.
The cost of congestion in
Canberra has increased from
$54 million in 1990 to $200 million
in 2015, largely due to growing
populations in Gungahlin and
Nationally, the total cost of
congestion is tipped to reach
$30 billion in 2030.
Australia chief executive Brendan
Lyons said the report was a warning
for Canberra policy makers to
introduce bold reforms.
Canberra has its own distinct
challenges such as Northbourne
Avenue, which is a nationally
significant corridor with continuing
congestion problems, Mr Lyons
Technology options, such as
the rapid deployment of semi or
fully autonomous vehicles, have the
potential to significantly reduce
projected congestion costs, the
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