Local News / Regional

By REMO ZACCAGNA, Herald-Tribune staff

Posted 1 day ago

With one national tournament appearance under his belt, local chess champion David Miller has his eyes set firmly on another chance at a national title.

On Sunday, Miller, 16, captured his first Alberta Junior championship at the Edmonton Chess Club.

“Pretty much the other top people all lost in the early rounds, so it was actually pretty easy to win,” he said of his championship win. “It was not too challenging just because a lot of the other top people lost to weaker players.”

This follows his fourth-place showing for Grade 10 students at the Canadian Chess Challenge in Montreal in May.

With Sunday’s victory, the Composite High student will move on to the national championships in the spring.

In doing so, he will become the first Alberta representative not from the Edmonton or Calgary region to make it.

“I think it’s pretty good because it’s a pretty rare thing, it’s almost always somebody from Edmonton or Calgary,” he said. “So to be the first person outside of that is kind of distinguished.”

Miller was introduced to the game by his father, Dave, at a young age and hones his skills at Grande Prairie Chess Club, which meets every Tuesday evening in the Abundant Life Church on 100 Street at 91 Avenue.

He said he hopes his ascension to the national stage will help inspire others get into the game.

“I hope so, because the guy who was tied with me going into the final round is from Medicine Hat, so I think people outside of Edmonton and Calgary are starting to a little more interested in it,” he said. “I’m sure other people from Grande Prairie are going to try for this now.”

Advertisement

While he said he thoroughly enjoyed the Chess Challenge in Montreal, he was disappointed that he was not able to come back home with any hardware.

“I was kind of disappointed, actually. I didn’t play very well. I was making bad mistakes and I was probably out a little too late the night before,” he said.

Miller said he hopes to not repeat the same mistakes and will be practising hard between now and the nationals, as well as possibly enlisting the help of an international chess master from Ontario.

He will also participate in the annual GP Trumpeter Classic in January.

And he said he would start working out.

“I’m going to be getting into shape physically, because strangely you have to be in shape for that sort of thing to be able to concentrate for three hours,” he said.

As far as his goal for the nationals, he said he wants a better showing than at the Chess Challenge, but admits it won’t be easy.

“There are some pretty strong players there. I’ll probably shoot for third place, but I, of course, want to win, but that will take a lot of work,” he said.