Check Mate

Federica , Editor

It’s Friday and, as usual, Filippo V (year 12) is spending the afternoon in the Math room, playing board games with the other members of the games club.

That is where I found him last week; even though it was not pleasant to interrupt the game I just could not wait to ask him about his achievements. Filippo is, in fact, the Champion of Milan and province – a chess competition that he won two weekends ago.

It’s much more than moving pieces on a chessboard

— Filippo

When I asked Filippo how he felt about this achievement he told me he was “glad he won” and very humbly told me that he “wasn’t really expecting it at the start”. It is the first time that he has won such an important event. After 6 games played against people of different ages, he was announced winner and consequently admitted to the regionals (if he wins these too, he will compete in the nationals).

I was really surprised by the fact that he played against people of all ages but it was completely normal for him. He told me that the competitions under 16 were not serious enough and that he plays often with people younger or older than him. He also told me that he learned how to play with his dad and that every weekend he plays in tournaments.

Filippo is a member of the Federazione Scacchistica Italiana (the official Italian chess association) and told me that he believes his hobby is “fascinating” and “deep”. As our conversation was coming to an end I asked him if he had any message about chess that he wanted to share with people who did not know the game. He passionately told me: “It’s much more than moving pieces on a chessboard”.

Filippo’s story teaches us that being passionate about something is the key to success. Hopefully, after reading his story, some of you will be inspired to pick up chess, or any other activity that you think you may be passionate about. In any case, on behalf of our St. Louis School community, we all wish him good luck!