Champion chess player Luke Tulfer

Champion chess player Luke Tulfer

Surrey chess mates master nationals

Peninsula prodigy Luke Tulfer among B.C. team winners

South Surrey chess prodigy Luke Pulfer, 10, has scored another first.

The South Meridian Elementary Grade 5 student placed first in his grade in the Canadian Chess Challenge 2014, held May 18-19 in Winnipeg, Man.

He was part of a 12-member B.C. team of students in grades 1-12 at the competition,  the Canadian national scholastic chess championship.

B.C. placed third overall, but Surrey was well represented – in addition to Pulfer’s first place, fellow Surrey students Joshua Doknjas (Grade 6) and Tanraj Sohal (Grade 12) also claimed the top spot for their respective grades.

It’s the second first in the competition for Pulfer, also current Canadian Youth Champion, who was the top player in his grade three years ago when the challenge was held in Victoria.

“Luke was quite thrilled,” said dad Robert .

“The smile on his face when he was presented with his trophy said it all – and the trophy is practically as big as he is.”

Pulfer, who has been playing since he was five, also competed in the youth chess world championships in Dubai last Christmas, and also two years earlier when it was held in Brazil.

Both times he did well, and in the most recent tournament, showed he was capable of defeating a player who went on to second place, Robert said.

Sadly, although  he’s qualified for the world championships again – this year held in Durban, South Africa – he won’t be competing.

Robert – himself a former Olympic cyclist as member of the national team – explained that, unlike some other countries, chess is not considered a sport in Canada,, and thus is not eligible for national sports funding.

“With no funding there’s only so many events he can go to,” Robert said, adding that the majority of national tournaments are held in Eastern Canada.

“So he won’t be going to Durban, unless there’s some chess fan out there who’s willing to donate $10,000 for him to go.”

As a consequence, Pulfer won’t be competing in the lead-in Canadian Youth Championships again in Montreal in July, but the bright side is that he will be competing in a Canadian open championship immediately afterwards in the same city.

“It’s a completely open championship, so he could be matched against players much older than himself,” Robert said, noting that his son relishes thinking through and strategizing during games.

“He has the ability – if he stays with it – to be really quite good.”


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey Vaisakhi parade crowd in Newton, pre-pandemic. (Photo: Crystal Scuor)
Surrey Mounties urge Vaisakhi, Kissan celebrants to heed public health orders

Report violations to the City of Surrey Bylaw call centre at 604-591-4370 or the Surrey RCMP non-emergency line at 604-599-0502

Anita Nielsen and a group of her neighbours argued last year that a proposed four-storey apartment building would destroy the historic character of Elm Street, as well as bringing increased traffic, blocking ocean views and causinge parking issues along the street and Beachview Avenue in White Rock. (File photo)
Elm Street OCP designation changed by White Rock council

Motion aimed at keeping historic pocket ‘as it is’

A woman crosses 176th Street in Cloverdale April 12, 2021. 176th will not host Cloverdale Market Days this year as the popular street fest is just the latest casualty in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: Malin Jordan)
Cloverdale Market Days cancelled again

Organizer says popular street fest will return in 2022

Residents of 15156 Victoria Ave. say they’re at risk of losing their affordable housing, from left, Elizabeth Soper, Jack, Jane, Dan, Anthony. (Aaron Hinks photo)
White Rock tenants, landlord to go to RTB hearing over ‘renoviction’

Low-income tenants dispute claim they must relocate for work to be completed

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Top doctor warns B.C.’s daily cases could reach 3,000 as COVID hospitalizations surge

There are more than 400 people in hospital, with 125 of them in ICU

Archibald bowl near Chilliwack. (Submitted)
Cheam First Nation ‘shocked’ over all-season mountain resort proposal near Chilliwack

For five years the band has been working on a gondola project of their own

The plane blasted through an airport fence and down a hill, before stopping before a cement barrier on Highway 5A, right in front of a school bus. Photo submitted.
Student pilot crashes plane onto Highway 5A almost hitting school bus

Aircraft hit pavement right in front of school bus

Eight-year-old Piper and her family were raising money to help Guinevere, the bearded dragon, get a gynecological surgery. Sadly, the reptile didn’t survive the procedure. (Jackee Sullivan/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Lizard fails to survive surgery, GoFundMe dollars help Langley family offset medical bills

Guinevere, a pet bearded dragon, underwent an ovariectomy on Tuesday

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A driver stopped by Saanich police following a road rage incident on April 15 was found to be impaired, in violation of a license restriction and in a damaged vehicle. They received a 90-day driving prohibition and a 30-day vehicle impound. (Saanich Police Traffic Safety Unit/Twitter)
Road rager fails breathalyzer on busy B.C. highway in vehicle he shouldn’t be driving

Saanich police say man was operating vehicle without required ignition lock

B.C. Premier John Horgan wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Premier John Horgan booked to get AstraZeneca shot Friday

‘Let’s show all British Columbians that the best vaccine is the one that’s available to you now,’ he said

Doses of the Moderna COVID‑19 vaccine in a freezer trailer, to be transported to Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Pfizer to increase vaccine deliveries in Canada as Moderna supply slashed

Moderna plans to ship 650,000 doses of its vaccine to Canada by the end of the month, instead of the expected 1.2 million

Dr. Bonnie Henry speaks about the province’s COVID-19 vaccine plans during a news conference at the legislature in Victoria. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
P.1 variant likely highest in B.C. due to more testing for it: Dr. Henry

Overall, just under 60% of new daily cases in the province involve variants

Most Read