Though the results may not have gone their way, the Victory School Chess team has not lost their passion for the 1500-year-old game.
The school founded a club for the first time this year and even managed to qualify for nationals after finishing second in the Top of the South regionals.
This saw them travel to Christchurch for nationals, where they took on the best young players in the country.
Victory had to fundraise to make the trip happen and thanks to sponsors such as the Nelson Rotary and Embroidme Nelson, the school were able make their debut at nationals.
“A huge thank you to the public who contacted us to help,” says teacher Cathryn Hayes.
The children played up to nine games in the day which began at 9am and wrapped up at 5pm.
Player Jarvas Ormsby-Halpen says despite the team not placing, they learnt a lot and were inspired to improve their own game.
The children were each gifted a chess board upon their return and say their love affair with chess will continue.
“We are still a wee bit green, but we had fun. They learnt how to lose,” says Cathryn.