Aaron Hinks photo Ten-year-old Peace Arch Elementary student Denman Hertz has recently been named a chess champion.

Young South Surrey chess player wins regional tournament

Denman Hertz, 10, has been playing the game for three years

Peace Arch Elementary student Denman Hertz, 10, is starting to build a name for himself in the world of chess.

The unassuming Grade 4 student with a competitive edge has recently been crowned the winner of the City of North Vancouver Chess Championship.

The April 28 tournament attracted by 57 chess players, 28 of which played in the Grade 4-7 section.

Now ranked sixth in the province for his age, Hertz told Peace Arch News Wednesday that he has participated in about 20 chess tournaments since he took up the game three years ago.

He has participated in the National Canada Youth Chess Championship in Windsor, Ont., in 2015, where he finished 20th out of 40. More recently, the youngster participated in two provincial championships, one of which he tied for first but lost in a tie-breaker.

What drew him to the game, he said, is the level of strategy it takes to win a match.

“When I decided to go to the first tournament, I went there and didn’t do so well,” he said. “That’s when I started to take lessons.”

Hertz attributes part of his success in the game to his coaches, Surrey brothers Neil, Joshua and John Doknjas. He said he also gets practice time with his family, and will confidently say that he’s the one to beat.

“I usually have a little bit of a plan before the game, I know how to start it,” he said, adding that a well-thought opening move can swing the match in his favour.

“It’s really important. It really depends on how you develop the pieces. If you don’t start it off right, then your opponent has a huge advantage.”

Hertz has a rating of 978; a grandmaster has a rating of 2,500-2,700.

Norwegian grandmaster and current World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen has a current rating of 2,882.

Just Posted

Accident shuts down Highway 10 at 152 Street in Surrey

Road remains closed, assessment in progress: DriveBC

Replica totem pole to be raised at Peace Arch Park

‘Reconciliation ceremony’ will include SFN leaders, provincial politicians

ELECTION QUESTIONS: Does Surrey need its own police force?

Who’s on the right side of Surrey RCMP’s contract issue debate? That’s for voters to decide on Oct. 20

WEB POLL: Is Surrey a safer city since the last election?

Crime and public safety continue to be hot button election issues

Delta resident raises more than $100K for Easter Seals

Archie Campbell has rappelled down the side of a building six times to raise money for disabled kids

VIDEO: Tour de Valley riders visit Surrey elementary school

Students create signs to support riders

Horvat leads Canucks to 4-3 shootout victory over Kings

Vancouver dumps L.A. in NHL pre-season contest

Update: Search called off for missing plane between Edmonton and Chilliwack

Search efforts were concentrated along the Highway 5 corridor between Valemount and Kamloops

VIDEO: Woman files complaint over treatment of cat with two broken legs

Ariel Johnston of Abbotsford says her pet was sent home without pain medication

Why Whistler for ski jumping in 2026? Calgary proposal gets pushback

Calgary 2026 proposes re-using the 2010 ski jumping venue Whistler for that sport and nordic

VIDEO: Hundreds line highway as family brings home body of B.C. teen

Northern B.C. showed their support by lining Hwy 16 as Jessica Patrick’s body returned to Smithers.

Despite progress, threat of 232 tariffs dominates NAFTA negotiations

Any deal is seen to require congressional approval before Dec. 1 to survive new Mexican government

B.C. MP Todd Doherty receives award for saving man who collapsed on a plane

Conservative MP was flying from Vancouver to Prince George, B.C., in June last year

Alleged border jumper from Oregon facing 2 charges after police chase in B.C.

Colin Patrick Wilson charged with dangerous operation of motor vehicle, flight from a peace officer

Most Read