ALMOST 200 budding chess masters will battle for national supremacy in Mooroolbark this week.

Entries have been flowing in for the Australian Junior Chess Championships, with more than 192 youngsters signing up for the January 15-23 competition.

Tournament director Yew Sze Lim said it was shaping up to be one of the largest events in the junior chess championships’ history.

With entries closing on Friday, January 14, he was hopeful they could beat the record of 210 entrants at the 2007 championships in Canberra.

The junior championships – with categories ranging from under eights to under 18s – are being hosted by Billanook College.

While many of the youngsters competing have proven their ability by winning school and club competitions around Australia, others are unrated unknowns who have built their skills playing family and friends.

Spectators are welcome, with details and entry available at or on 0417 357 416.