Steve finally meets his chess match

By Laura Briggs

A keen chess enthusiast has gone to battle at last.

Shepparton Villages resident Steve Szmola, 91, appeared on the front page of the News last week in search of a chess opponent.

Zaryhe Briggs, 10, was not worried about the age gap and was willing to take on the challenge of Mr Szmola.

Zaryhe said he too had a difficult time finding opponents who would play against him.

He said his Nan saw last week’s story in the newspaper and told him about Mr Szmola’s search.

Zaryhe jumped at the opportunity to play the game he loved and arranged a time to take on Mr Szmola.

He said he enjoyed the challenge of chess and the thinking and concentration involved.

Zaryhe said he owned a special edition Mario Kart chess set his grandpa, Larry, had occasionally played on against him.

‘‘But my Pa gets angry because the queen is a boy and he can’t see the names on the bottom of the pieces properly, so he doesn’t really know what he’s moving,’’ Zaryhe said.

In the early minutes of Zaryhe’s and Mr Szmola’s first chess game concentration levels were high and they were determined to bring their A-game.

Shepparton Villages spokeswoman Jo Breen said as a result of last week’s story, Mr Szmola had also found another opponent in a chess enthusiast from Tatura’s Park Villa.

She said the two 91-year-old men would meet this month for a chess showdown.