Mini mas­ter

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - FRONT PAGE - Jil­lian Mc­Kee

Four-year-old Pre­ston Lake, of St Clair, is shar­ing his love of chess with his class­mates and teach­ers at Gumbirra Preschool.

PRE­STON Lake (pic­tured), of St Clair, is a young chess prodigy in the mak­ing.

The four-year-old re­versed roles at Gumbirra Preschool af­ter he picked up the chess board one morn­ing and be­gan teach­ing his ed­u­ca­tor how to play.

Child­care aide Julie Ran­som said Pre­ston came across the board af­ter it was left out by the older stu­dents.

“We have things for the six- to 12-year-olds out when the three- to five-year-olds come in — so when Pre­ston saw the chess board he ini­tially started play­ing with an­other child and teach­ing him,” Mrs Ran­som said.

“He then asked an­other staff mem­ber, Michelle, and they started play­ing.”

Mrs Ran­som has been work­ing at the cen­tre for 20 years and said Pre­ston was unique. “Pre­ston is very much an in­ter­nal thinker, he does a lot of ob­ser­va­tion — he will think out­side the square and he says and does things you wouldn’t nor­mally hear.”

Mother Pa­tri­cia Lake said Pre­ston was taught to play chess at a young age.

“Pre­ston was taught to play by his father and now plays with his younger brother at home,” she said.

“Since his brother isn’t at school with him, he is now try­ing to teach the teach­ers.”

Thanks to Pre­ston, Mrs Ran­som said the cen­tre had now added chess to its reg­u­lar sched­ule.

“We are now go­ing to down­load some chess apps onto our iPads so ev­ery­one can play,” she said. “I have even had to learn how to play chess now be­cause of the in­ter­est Pre­ston has cre­ated.”

King of the board: Pre­ston Lake. Pic­ture: Phil Rogers

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