CORNER BROOK  The competition was fierce and the losses hard to take, but Cameron Locke believes a late win is what helped his son end his first national chess tournament on a high note.

Six-year-old Sebastian Locke was the lone west coast representative on the provincial chess team that competed at the nationals in Ottawa this past weekend.

A student at St. Gerard’s Elementary, Sebastian earned a spot on the team after he won gold in the Grade 1 group at the provincial chess tournament in St. John’s.

Cameron said Sebastian played the Grade 1 champs from all the other provinces and in nine rounds of play he won two rounds and lost seven.

“He had a string where he lost a number of games in a row and he was down,” said Cameron. He said Sebastian’s attitude then was he wouldn’t win anymore.

Cameron, who also coaches his son, said Sebastian was playing a little too fast and watching his body language he could tell when the games weren’t going well.

He said the magnitude of the competition may have affected him.

“Obviously it’s a step up in the level of competition no doubt and, of course, your mistakes get punished all the more severely as you move up in competition.”

Cameron said as the tournament wore on Sebastian settled in and started to play better and in the last round he scored a good win against Nova Scotia.

“I think it was important for him to get that win,” said Cameron.

Even with the losses, Cameron said, the competition was a great experience for Sebastian.

“I think he got to see it on a bigger scale than he’s used to seeing.”

And those losses haven’t dampened his love of the game. Cameron said since getting home Sebastian has asked a couple of times to play a game with him.

Overall, the Newfoundland team finished sixth in the competition after losing a tie-breaker with New Brunswick.


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