Paremata’s budding grandmasters
These four Paremata School pupils would have felt like kings after shouting ‘‘checkmate’’ and claiming victory at an interschool tournament back in 1996.
But where are they now? We managed to track down one of the players and it turns out he’s the brother of Porirua mayor Nick Leggett.
Alex Leggett, front left, was part of the team of four – along with Nick Morten, James Morten and Daniel Reddington – that took on nearby schools for bragging rights as Porirua chess champions.
Kapi-Mana News had to go global to contact Alex Leggett.
We contacted Nick Leggett, who was in Samoa, and he gave us his brother’s email address. Alex Leggett lives in London, where he works for a bank.
‘‘There were a number of local schools taking part and our team won the tournament,’’ Alex Leggett said.
‘‘I think Paremata had three teams in the competition, because chess was very popular at the time.’’
Leggett said he was 12 in 1996 nd believed Nick Morten would have been 11, and James Morten and Daniel Reddington 8.
Chess was no doubt a popular sport at the time.
Nearly 60 competitors ranging in age from 7 to 13 played in the inaugural tournament.
Pukerua Bay, Adventure, Discovery, Postgate, Papakowhai and Paremata schools fielded teams.
Reddington, Leggett and the Morten brothers formed Paremata School’s A team and claimed top honours.
Leggett said it was pretty amazing that Paremata won the school chess competition because they were playing against older children.
Despite his brief and successful career as a chess champion, Leggett stopped playing when he left Paremata School said he had barely played a match since.
‘‘Chess had a period where everyone was playing it – the school chess club had about 70-odd members as I recall.
‘‘I don’t know if it’s like that now, but it was fantastic at the time and everyone enjoyed the strategy and the competition.’’
We wondered if Leggett had ever challenged his brother, Nick, to a game of chess.
‘‘I don’t think Nick has ever played chess, certainly not to my knowledge.’’
Chess champions, clockwise from left, Alex Leggett, Nick Morten, James Morten and Daniel Reddington.