Short, clean return to daytime routine for the world chess competitor


Nelson College student Alexandre de Maupeou d'Ableiges recorded four wins, one draw and five losses in the

Martin De Ruyter / Tips

Nelson College student Alexandre de Maupeou d’Ableiges recorded four wins, one draw and five losses in the World Chess Federation’s “Youth Online Fast World Cup”.

Playing chess at 3 a.m., five nights in a row, required a little adaptation from Alexandre de Maupeou d’Ableiges.

But the 15-year-old’s return to normality (like Covid-19) has been a little less gradual, after a week of online chess games overnight last week.

“I was hoping to do a slow readjustment.

“But my dad did it very abruptly and woke me up at the right time for the first few days.”

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The International Chess Federation’s “Youth Online Fast World Cup” began the night New Zealand’s lockdown went into effect last Wednesday, meaning the Nelson College student had missed any of his schoolwork.

De Maupeou d’Ableiges won his first world tournament in stride, winning four games, one draw and five losses.


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That places him 112th out of 190 players in the Under-16 category, with the other two New Zealand players ranking at 139 and 170.

A highlight was winning against strong global players.

But just being in the competition – playing against the top three players from each nation by age group – was “a highlight in itself,” he said.

Competitors had 10 seconds on the clock before each movement, with three seconds added after their movement.

Of all the games he has played, 104 moves have been the most timed in a game.

One match stood out against a “very strong player” from Bangladesh.

“I managed to hold on on my own for most of the game so I was pretty happy with the way I played.”

Among the things he learned from the tournament, which has already been played in Russia and Ukraine, is “how to stay awake late,” the teenager said.

He played two games a night, one at 3 a.m. and 4:30 a.m.

“The first few nights it was difficult, I had already tried to change my sleep schedule, but I was not quite prepared.

“But as the tournament went on it got easier because I went to bed later and woke up later. So at one point I was waking up at 3 to 4 p.m. and that wouldn’t make the wait that long for the game.

New Zealand and some Pacific countries had the least sociable hours, with matches played in the evening in Europe and Russia, and in the morning in America.

The next chess competition he planned to participate in was the National Congress in January in Christchurch. After that he was hoping to represent New Zealand in other international competitions, hopefully not all online.

“I just got my first vaccine, so once I get my second I can start looking more specifically for which ones. “

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