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Annual French chess tournament showdown at J.H. Sissons School
Students compete to be chess champions while practicing language skills

Robin Grant
Northern News Services
Friday, May 27, 2016

With intense, thoughtful expressions on their faces and speaking completely in French, J.H. Sissons students participated in the school's annual French chess tournament on Wednesday.

NNSL photo/graphic

Henry McLean, 7, makes a move on the chess board during J.H. Sissons annual French chess tournament - Robin Grant/NNSL photo

The school's language arts specialist Julien Le Guen said the goal of the event is for students to learn and use French vocabulary associated with the game throughout the year, helping them develop practical language skills.

"It's all in French. The students speak French while they play and learn French vocabulary," said Le Guen.

Held in the school's gym, 73 students from grades 1 to 5 sat at long tables to play four games, each 20 minutes, to determine the championship.

Throughout one OF his games, Henry McLean, 7, focused intently on the chess board in front of him.

"I like putting the players in their spots and thinking," he said. So far in the tournament, he said he has tied one game and won another two.

Leah Horn, 8, said she enjoys the social and tactical aspects of the game.

"I like chess because you can play with your friends and learn techniques and stuff," she said.

In addition to playing chess and learning French, the students were given neon yellow t-shirts that classmates and visitors could sign, encouraging them on with their game.

The championship and finalists will be determined next week.

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