Gatherers play on a larger-than-life chess board while tournament participants focus on their matches in the background during the B.C. Junior Chess Championship.

Gatherers play on a larger-than-life chess board while tournament participants focus on their matches in the background during the B.C. Junior Chess Championship.

Richardson fourth at B.C. championships

Williams Lake chess sensation Kai Richardson finished fourth Nov. 7-9 in Richmond at the 47th Annual B.C. Junior Chess Championship.

Williams Lake chess sensation Kai Richardson finished fourth Nov. 7-9 in Richmond at the 47th Annual B.C. Junior Chess Championship.

Kai, 11, completed the tournament with three wins and two losses in a field of 84 players (18 of the top players in B.C. played in the championship division) in the under-20 class at the championships.

“In his last game on board one playing for the championship he was in an equal position making his older, more experienced, opponent nervous,” said Kai’s dad, Scott Richardson.

“Just going into the endgame after two hours of play he [Kai] brushed his bishop with his hand by mistake.”

His opponent, Langley’s John Doknjas, seized the opportunity and disrupted the game by seeking out the tournament director only to have the director ask them to continue the game.

“This psychological maneuver completely threw Kai off,” Scott said. “He lost the game quickly after that. The rule is there has to be intention to move the piece before there is a touch move infraction which the tournament director determined wasn’t the case.”

Scott said had the event not occurred Kai stood a good chance of drawing in the match, which would have placed him second. If he’d won he would have been B.C.’s junior under-20 champion.

Kai’s wins came against the Lower Mainland’s Daniel Du, Michael Su and Leo Qu.

“It would have been quite the upset for an 11-year-old from the bush to be junior champ,” Scott said.