Mojácar’s Rey Alabez Secondary School hosted, once again, the second ‘Intercentre’ Chess Tournament that brought schoolchildren from the region together for an intensive day of chess.
32 pupils from schools in Mojácar, Garrucha and Turre had gained places in the final, although next year they will be also have their counterparts from Vera and La Mojonera joining in to compete.
This year, a team of Garrucha players were victorious, after an exciting final with some players from the same town.
The tournament was organized by the ATAL School of Language Adaptation, in collaboration with the schools involved and, just as last year, the popularity of the event left many players in reserve. According to the organisers, Mojácar stands out from the others, with almost half of its pupils using their leisure time to advance their chess skills.
The high level of play shown by these youngsters was impressive, along with their enthusiasm and determined approach. The players from the different centres were matched in a draw for the competition, which saw an increased number of schools as well as players taking part.
The real success of the day, however, was the integration of Spanish children with those from a range of different countries and, more than 25 nationalities had been keen to have a place in the final.
Ana Jiménez, an ATAL teacher in Mojácar, has dedicated her career to the integration and well-being of young people and, is the promoter of this initiative which forges together her love of chess and children. It has proved to be a very valuable tool in combining skills with intellectual and emotional development, which are particularly important to children arriving from other countries, who may arrive without friends or language abilities.
Ana Jimenez is fully aware that for these youngsters “to make friends”, having left behind their culture and some family can be so difficult. Yet, it is essential part of fully integrating into school and social day to day life.