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JUNIOR CHESS

Season 2014/2015 & 2015/2016

 Sponsored by the Devon County Chess Association

 

More news and reports on junior chess can be seen on www.onionschess.co.uk/content/events

 

   DCCA  JUNIOR DIVISION    BLOODWORTH SHIELD 2015-16

 

REPORT AND RESULTS

ive teams entered the Bloodworth Shield Competition and it was decided to run it on a different basis this year with two jamboree pairing events to be held, one in each half of the season, with results combined to give a final table. Teams were of four players all of whom were under 16.

Part 1  Held at Newton Abbot Chess Club  26.11.15    

Two rounds

Newton Abbot Juniors                                     7 ½

Sidmouth Juniors                                              4 ½

Exeter School                                                     4

Torquay Boys’ Grammar School                     3

Broadclyst Primary School                               1    

Part 2  Held at Exeter School           22.4.16 

Broadclyst PS withdrew from this event at the last minute so a decision was made to run a three-round team all-play-all competition but for the results to be combined with the part 1 scores on the basis of game points. This led to a very close finish with three of the four teams in contention.  Newton Abbot’s strong showing in part one just about enabled them to remain on top and win the Shield.

 Round 3:    Newton Abbot  1 Exeter School 3    Sidmouth 2 ½  Torquay Boys’ GS 1 ½

Round 4:     Sidmouth 2 ½  Newton Abbot 1 ½   Torquay Boys’ G.S. 1 Exeter School 3

Round 5:  Exeter School 2  Sidmouth  2  Newton Abbot  4 Torquay Boys’ G.S. 0

FINAL TABLE:

NEWTON ABBOT JUNIORS          14

EXETER SCHOOL                             12

SIDMOUTH JUNIORS                     11 ½

TOTQUAY BOYS’G.S.                      5 ½

(BROADCLYST P.S.                          1)

This  format worked well and avoided the need for teams to travel long distances for just a single game.  It should be retained for the future. The Bloodworth Shield players an important role in giving competitive experience to Devon junior players. It is open to any school or club team. Entries can be made via the DCCA Team Competition Secretary at the beginning of the season.

My thanks to the other team managers: Julian Bacon (Sidmouth), Adrian Rowland (Exeter School0 Matthew Pitts (Broadclyst PS) for their enthusiasm and co-operation in running this competition.

 

Trefor Thynne

DCCA General Secretary

Manager Newton Abbot Juniors/TBGS teams

 

25.4.16

                       

 

 

F

 

                          ECF SCHOOLS’ UNDER 19 CUP 2015-16

QUALIFYING TOURNAMENT:  TORQUAY BOYS’ G.S.    18.11.15

                                                  Result

                                                    Round 1                                                      Round 2     Total

Torquay Boys G.S “B”                        5                                                                      5              10

1 Luke Glasson                                    1                            Luke Glasson                    1

2 Toby O’Donoghue                           1                            Toby O’Donoghue           0

3 Edward Ironside-Smith                   0                            Edward Ironside-Smith   1

4 Oliver Mortimer                               1                            Oliver Mortimer               1

5 Evan McMullan                                1                             Evan McMullan               1

6 Dylan Edwards                                 1                             Archie Vourdas                1

Clyst Vale Community School          3                                                                        3                6

1 Reece Whittington                          1                              Reece Whittington         1

2 Tom Ferdinand                                0                               Tom Ferdinand               1

3 Joachim Boyden                              1                               Joachim Boyden             0  

4 Hayden Williams                             1                               Hayden Williams            0          

5 Krystaian Tyrrell                              0                               Krystian Tyrrell               0

6 Marcus Ebanks                                0                               Marcus Ebanks               1 

Teignmouth Community School    1                                                                          1                 2

1 Adam Frey                                        0                               Adam Frey                       0

2 Oliver Stewart                                 0                                Oliver Stewart                0

3 Cameron Dann                                0                                Cameron Dann               0 

4 Max Barnard                                    0                                Max Barnard                  1  

5 Alex Jeffs                                          1                                 Alex Jeffs                        0            

6 Azriel Bowles                                   0                                 Azriel Bowles                 0

(T.F.Thynne    TBGS  23.11.15)

 

 

 

 

JOHN FRASER REPORTS ON THE GLORNEY CUP

 

The 2015 Glorney Cup took place at the Johnstown House Hotel in Ireland from 19th to 23rd July, with junior teams from England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland competing against each other for the various titles (and bragging rights!). The tournament was impeccably organised, and was certainly one of the best tournaments I have been to.

At the opening ceremony, the Irish President was there to open the event. It was fantastic to see such an influential figure backing chess, and hopefully this will pave the way for advances in chess not just in Ireland, but across the UK.

The tournament itself consists of 4 sections: Glorney Cup (U18), Gilbert Cup (U18 girls), Robinson Cup (U14) and Stokes Cup (U12), each being played over 6 rounds (2 rounds against each country). Three of the Cups went right to the final few games to decide the winner.

The venue and playing conditions were outstanding, as the room was very spacious, and live boards were used on every board in every section. This made for some nail-biting moments for people watching the games online! The general standard of play in all tournaments was of course very high.

I was playing in the Glorney Cup on Board 2 for England in a team of 5, and managed to lose my first 4 games, including blundering to mate in one in Round 2! This was obviously completely gutting, but thankfully I was able to win my last 2 games. The team did a fantastic job in getting results from their games, meaning we beat Wales (twice) and Scotland, and drew to Ireland. This left us half a game point ahead of Ireland going into the final 2 matches.

In Round 5 we convincingly beat Scotland, but Ireland even more convincingly beat Wales. This left England and Ireland completely level on match points and game points going into the final round against each other. We learnt at the start of Round 6 that if we drew the match, we would lose on tiebreak, so we needed at least 3 points from 5 games. Unfortunately, despite fighting to the bitter end, we were only able to draw the match 2.5-2.5, meaning that Ireland won the competition.

As for the other competitions, England won the Gilbert Cup on tie-break in an equally close-run tournament, Ireland won the Robinson Cup, and England won the Stokes Cup by half a point from Wales. These results meant that the England delegation could cross the Irish Sea the following day feeling fairly happy.

 

England v Scotland

 

A casual team blitz tournament was held on the last night where I was lucky enough to play against GM Alex Baburin (and was subsequently crushed), and many new friends were made from all 4 federations. An “exchange chess” tournament was held after the blitz; any people who have played it before will understand that complete chaos ensued – it was a fantastic way to wrap up the event!!

Overall, credit must go to the Irish Chess Union for putting on an outstanding tournament which was enjoyed by players, coaches and parents alike. I have to thank Andrew Martin and Lawrence Cooper for their superb coaching at the event, as well as Jay Atara, the Head of Delegation. I would thoroughly encourage any juniors to play in this event in the future, should they get the chance. If there was anything to complain about, it was that the tournament ended too soon!!!

 

             DELANCEY UK CHESS CHALLENGE 2015

 A total of 22 juniors from Devon aged from 7 to 17 competed in the Southern GigaFinal of the annual UK Chess Challenge sponsored by DELANCEY. Here is a summary of their results giving their age group and the name of their school. This latter information may well be of interest to Devon chess clubs on the lookout for local talent.

         
Name Age Group School Score (out of 6)  

Henry Batty

U7 Boys A

Abbey,Torquay

1  

Awen Pringle

U9 Boys A

Widdicombe PS

1  

Nathan Ng

U9 Boys B

Exeter Juniors

1½  

Nirinjana Narayanan

U9 Girls      

Sherwell Valley PS, Torquay

2½  

Henry Howells

U10 Boys A

Kingsbridge PS

3½  

Mathew Hill

U10 Boys A

Kingsbridge PS

2  

Ethan Hwang

U10 Boys B

Exeter Juniors

4½  

Joshua Griffiths

U11 Boys A

Bickleigh-on-Exe PS

3  

Evam McMullan

U11 Boys A  

Ilsham Academy, Torquay

3  

Zak Zaffiro

U11 Boys B

Devonport, HSB

2  

Joseph Rizk

U11 Boys B

Mount Kelly, Tavistock

1  

Oliver Zaffiro

U11 Boys C

Kingsbridge PS

1½  

Oscar Wright

U11 Boys C

Ilsham Academy, Torquay

0  

Aidan Ricketts

U12 Boys A

Devonport HSB

1  

Toby O'Donoghue

U12 Boys B

Torquay Boys' GS

2  

Nicholas Bacon

U13 Boys

Colyton GS

3  

Leif Hafstad

U13 Boys

Exeter School

3  

Vignesh Ramesh

U14 Boys

Torquay Boys' GS

2½  

Nandaja Narayanan

U15

Torquay Girls' GS

2½

3rd placed girl

Nicholas Hodge

U16

Devonport HSB

4½

2nd placed

John Fraser

U17/18

Torquay Boys' GS

4½

Runner-up

Sam Nicholls

U17/16

Devonport HSB

3  

 

West Of England & South Wales Team Tournament 2015

Cullompton Community School, Saturday 28th February 2015

Just the facts…

 

U14

Name

R1

Opp

Col

R2

 

col

R3

 

col

Total

1

Vignesh RAMESH

0

M

B

1

P

W

0

L

W

1

2

Leif HAFSTAD

0

P

B

½

L

B

0

M

W

½

3

Edmund KELLY

0

L

W

1

M

B

0

P

W

1

4

Jim KNOTT

1

M

W

½

P

B

1

L

B

5

Ben STURT

½

P

W

1

L

W

0

M

B

6

Guy SUSEVEE

1

L

B

0

M

W

0

P

B

1

7

Bracken LOCKETT

0

M

B

0

P

W

1

L

W

1

8

Ben SANDERS-WYATT

1

P

B

1

L

B

1

M

W

3

9

Henry COLEMAN

1

L

W

½

M

B

1

P

W

10

Redmond / Alfie / Toby

1

M

W

1

P

B

0

L

B

2

10

Redmond COLEMAN

1

M

W

0

 

 

0

 

 

1

R1

Alfie EAST

1

L

B

1

P

B

 

 

 

2

R2

Toby O'DONOGHUE

1

bye

bye

?

 

 

0

L

B

?

 

Round score

 

 

 

 

4

 

 

 

 

Total score

 

 

12

 

 

16

 

 

 

 

Position

2nd

 

 

1st

 

 

2nd

 

 

 

We rotated the last three players, so everyone had a chance to play a real game for Devon.

The other teams were Wiltshire (L) 16, Somerset (M) 11½ and Glamorgan (P) 16½.

A terrific day's chess, very exciting – well done to everyone!

It is always a bit hard to see what is going on in a Jamboree, but I was very cheerful with 2nd place after Round 1 and I was absolutely delighted to find us top after Round 2. 


In the end, Round 3 was desperately close between the three top teams: we were just a point short of an overall victory – but Wiltshire could say the same!  We were given the second-place medals on tie-break – so I'm very pleased we came home with something having tried so hard and done so well. 

The top boards of other teams were all very strong, and so every half-point gained there was well-earned.

Many congratulations to our reserves, who comfortably won the Reserves section.

 

 

U11 TEAM SCORES

Cullompton Community College, SATURDAY 28TH Feb 2015

Round 1

Team name

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

Round 1

Total after Round 1

Position

21

22

23

24

Round 1

Total after Round 1

Position

F

Somerset

1

1

0

0

1

1

0

1

1

1

1

0

1

1

1

1

12

12

1

0

0

1

G

Gwent

0

0

1

1

0

1

1

1

1

0

1

0.5

0

0.5

0

1

9

9

3

0

0

1

H

Glamorgan

1

1

1

1

1

0

1

0.5

0

1

1

1

1

0.5

0

0

11

11

2

0

0

1

J

Wiltshire

1

0

1

0

0

1

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

4

4

4

0

0

1

K

Devon

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0.5

0

0

0

0.5

0

1

1

1

4

4

4

0

0

1

 

Round 2 U11

Round 2

Team name

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

Round 2

Round 1 totals

Total after Round 2

Position

21

22

23

24

Round 2

Round 1 totals

Total after Round 2

Position

F

Somerset

0

0

0

0

0

1

1

0

1

1

0

0

0.5

1

0

0

5.5

12

17.5

3

0

0

0

1

G

Gwent

1

0

1

0.5

0

1

0

1

1

1

1

0

1

1

1

1

11.5

9

20.5

2

0

0

0

1

H

Glamorgan

1

1

0.5

0.5

1

0.5

1

1

1

0

1

1

0.5

1

0

0

11

11

22

1

0

0

0

1

J

Wiltshire

1

0

0.5

0.5

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

4

6

5

0

0

0

1

K

Devon

0

1

1

0.5

1

0.5

1

0

0

0

1

1

0

0

1

1

9

4

13

4

0

0

0

1

Round 3  U11

Round 3

Team name

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

Round 3

Round 2 totals

Total after Round 3

Position

21

22

23

24

Round 3

Round 2 totals

Total after Round 3

Position

F

Somerset

0.5

0.5

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

0

1

1

1

14

17.5

31.5

2

0

0

1

G

Gwent

0.5

0

1

0

0

0

1

1

0

0

1

1

0

0

1

1

7.5

20.5

28

3

0

0

1

H

Glamorgan

1

1

0

1

1

1

1

0

1

1

0

0

1

1

0

0

10

22

32

1

0

0

1

J

Wiltshire

0

0

1

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

6

8

5

0

0

1

K

Devon

0.5

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

1

1

1

1

0

6.5

13

19.5

4

0

0

1

 

 ECF SCHOOLS’ TEAM CHESS CHALLENGE 2015

South-West Regional Final: Torquay Boys’ Grammar School, 11.2.15

REPORT

The English Chess Federation’s latest initiative to promote chess in secondary schools was started in 2013-14 by Neill Cooper, the ECF manager for Secondary Schools’ Chess.   The concept involves a series of regional finals held all over the country with a National  Final  for the regional winners to be held at Imperial College, London in the spring. It was suggested that Torquay Boys’ G.S. host a South-West regional tournament in 2014-15 and so invitations were sent to all secondary schools in Devon. The regional tournaments are intended to be held over the course of a single afternoon of about 2 ½- 3 hours play which should make participation much more attractive to a larger number of schools. 

The format of the competition is for teams of four to play four rounds of 25 minutes each. No teams are knocked out and the Swiss pairing system means that schools will mostly play against teams of a comparable strength.

It  was with  pleasant surprise  that I received entries from 21 teams representing  10 different schools so the event can be considered a great success on that score alone in that it showed an interest in and a commitment to chess in a number of schools which  had never previously taken part in  such an event. Additionally It was gratifying to see at least one school from each of the geographical areas of Devon –north, south, east and west- and also to see representation from the independent sector with teams from Shebbear College in North Devon and Millfield School in Somerset (the latter of whom, having already qualified for the National Final via a regional event held in Bristol, were taking part simply to give competitive practice to some of their keen chessplayers).

 The competition was fiercely contested with the host school’s “A” team coming out on top by a margin of ½ point ahead of their own “B” team who nearly shocked them in the last round (2-2) and with Clyst Vale Community College showing up well in 3rd place. However the overall success of the event lies in the enjoyment of all 84 players and the opportunity to make new chess friends from all over the region.

I am grateful to all the teachers and drivers who gave up their time to bring their teams to Torquay and I am  sure that this is an event which will become a permanent part of the chess calendar.

The tournament has a website (www.teamchesschallenge.org.uk) on which the further progress of the competition can be followed.

T.F.Thynne                  12.2.15

 

 

RESULTS

1st            TORQUAY BOYS’ GRAMMAR SCHOOL  “A”                         12  ½   (out of 16)

2nd           TORQUAY BOYS’ GRAMMAR SCHOOL, “B”                           12

3rd           CLYST VALE COMMUNITY COLLEGE                                        11 ½

4th-7th    DEVONPORT HIGH SCHOOL

                 GREAT TORRINGTON SCHOOL “B”     

                 TORQUAY BOYS’ GRAMMAR SCHOOL “C”

                 TORQUAY BOYS’GRAMMAR SCHOOL  “D”                               9 ½

8th-10th  ST. BONIFACE’S  CATHOLIC COLLEGE,PLYMOUTH 

                 GREAT TORRINGTON SCHOOL “A”

                 MILLFIELD SCHOOL “A”

11th         DAWLISH  COMMUNITY COLLEGE “A”                                                                8 ½

12th         MILLFIELD SCHOOL “B”                                                                 8

13th-14th   SHEBBEAR COLLEGE          

                    ST BONIFACE’S CATTHOLIC COLLEGE, PLYMOUTH “B”        7 ½

15th-17th  COOMBESHEAD ACADEMY, NEWTON ABBOT “A”      

                   GREAT TORRINGTON SCHOOL “C”

                   ST. CUTHBERT MAYNE SCHOOL, TORQUAY “A”                            7

18th-20th COOMBESHEAD ACADEMY, NEWTON ABBOT “B” 

                   DAWLISH  COMMUNITY COLLEGE “B”              

                  GREAT TORRINGTON SCHOOL “D”                                              6

21st          ST.CUTHBERT MAYNE SCHOOL, TORQUAY                                4 ½     

 

 

  

RESULTS OF DEVON JUNIOR CHESS CHAMPIONSHIPS 2014

 

U9 section

Joint U9 champions: Charlie Hill & Nathan Ng
3rd & Best Girl: Niranjana Narayanan
4th=: Albert Cooper Wedge & Marcus Lee
Best Year 3: Ash Williams
Team champions: Exeter Junior School

U11 section

U11 Champion & Best Year 5: Ethan Hwang
2nd: Henry Howells
3rd=: Joshua Quinn Rice & Ben Vassall
Best Girl: Catriona Mason
Team champions: Kingsbridge School

U15 section

U15 Champion: Reece Whittington
2nd & Best Year 9: Vigneshwar Ramesh
3rd = & Best Year 8: Leif Hafstad
3rd = : James Milne
Best Year 7: Alfie East
Joint Best Girl: Bracken Lockett & Nandaja Narayanan

 
-- 

 

  THE EUSTIS U14 CUP

Dave Regis reports:

Dear Team

Well done!  We won the Eustis U14 cup for the first time since 2006, and
did so with a thumping score.

The Welsh were very sporting to spread their considerable strength over
two teams (Glamorgan and Gwent) so we stood a much better chance this
year, but I was enormously pleased with the eventual score (23½/30) and
the style of our victory.  I think our boards 2,3 and 4 were outgraded
in every game, and yet over 9 games the dropped just one point between
them - fantastic results!

Special congratulations are due to Theo, Vignesh, Nicky, Taylor, Leif
and James, who all scored 3 points (James on his birthday!).  I was also
really pleased with Round 2, where I thought we were clearly losing in
four games (you know who you are...) but out of those four games we
scored 3½ points!  I mean, any fool can win a won game, but to win a
lost one takes a bit extra.

So, win or lose, thanks to everyone for turning out, and thanks very
much also to all mums and dads (and others!) for their support and
organisation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DEVON JUNIOR CHESS CHAMPIONSHIPS

Teign School, Kingsteignton      Saturday 7th December 201

 

The annual Devon Junior Championships,superbly organised as ever by Tim Onions, took place on Saturday 7th December at the excellent venue of Teign School. An above-average entry reflected an upsurge in interest in Devon junior chess and the play reflected an improving standard overall. 

Results:

DEVON UNDER 15 Championship

1st Jim Knott        (St Cuthbert Mayne School, Torquay)    5.5/6

2nd – 6th   Reece Whittington   (Clyst Vale College)     

                    Ben Sturt                    (Torquay Boys’ G.S.)

                    James Milne               (Torquay Boys’ G.S.)

                    Edmund Kelly             (Exeter School)

                    Leif Hafstadt               (Exeter School)        

Devon Girls’ Under 15 Champion: Nandaja Narayanan (Torquay Girls’ G.S.)

DEVON UNDER 11 CHAMPIONSHIP

1st Marcus Kaye  (Trinity School, Teignmouth)

2nd – 4th    William  Ash               (North Tawton P.S.)

                    Alfie East                      (North Tawton P.S.)

                   Thomas Metcalfe         (Exeter Juniors)

Devon Girls’ Under 11 Champion: Catriona Mason   (Abbey School, Torquay)

DEVON UNDER 9 CHAMPIONSHIP

1st Ethan Hwang    (Exeter School)

     

World Schools Chess Championships 2013 Halkidiki, Greece by John Fraser

 

 

John Fraser v Baris Guven - First round

 

Coaching with Glenn Flear

GAMES PLAYED BY JOHN CAN BE SEEN HERE

The World School Chess Championships, that took place between 6th May and 15th May 2013 in Halkidiki, Greece, was my first international event, and was certainly very memorable. I qualified for this tournament by coming 3rd= in a Terafinal Challengers section last year. In total, 48 juniors set off on the trip, myself being the oldest and the only player playing in the U17 section. We were accompanied by 12 England coaches which included several masters. The list of entries was available before travelling, and I found that there were 21 people in my section including an IM, 2 FMs and a CM! I really looked forward to playing tough opposition, 14 players had a rating of over 2050. My starting rank (as I did not have a FIDE rating) was 20 of 21.

In round 1 I played one of the strong Turkish entries: Baris Guven, rated 2099 – who some people in Devon may now know! There were several announcements and welcomes before the round started, as there was no official opening ceremony. The smiles between opponents gave the indication that everybody just wanted to start playing though! Eventually hands were shaken between 600 participants from 42 countries, and play finally started. My preparation with my coach beforehand was ideal, with the game starting with 20 moves of opening theory from both sides. This led to a fairly even position until I made a small inaccuracy that gradually my opponent took advantage of, and eventually an ending was reached. With the time control having a 30 second increment, we both went down to a few seconds on the clock at several points – this continued until I made another small inaccuracy that my opponent pounced on, and after 5 hours and 40 minutes, the game concluded with a loss for myself –by far my longest game to date, and even with the result I was fairly happy with having that as my England debut!

After the game I gave him a postcard of Torquay, and to my surprise he said he would be coming to Torquay in July, on a languages trip! He said to me he would like to maybe play some chess while there, and conveniently the day he was free happened to be on the day of the 1st Newton Abbot Rapidplay tournament! He jointly won this tournament, and people were very intrigued to see a Turkish player competing! I couldn’t believe this set of coincidences – it’s a small world!

After a bye in the second round, which 8 other people would be getting over the course of the tournament, I played an Azerbaijani player rated 2141, so I was in for another tough game – again, a small inaccuracy in the middle game gave my opponent the upper hand, but I still definitely had chances. Unfortunately a blunder with a few seconds on the clock gave the game away, and I had another loss on my scorecard. I knew if I were to beat these players, I would have to clear the small inaccuracies, and use my time more effectively.

The next day was a double round day – in round 4 I lost to another Turkish player (whom I am now good friends with) rated 2056, and in Round 5 I played Raul Escobedo Bigoria, a Peruvian player rated 1819, and to my surprise I easily won, playing some unique opening moves (an unusual opening involving moving the king to f3 by move 12!) which seemed to confuse my opponent and thus he thought for longer. I won 12 moves later with convincing and commanding play.

In round 6 I played another different nationality, this time a Venezuelan player. He played strong moves throughout and slowly outplayed me to bring home the point. By now I was getting used to the busy daily schedule – getting up, having breakfast, walking along the amazing beaches by the hotel, having an expert 1 hour coaching session from grandmaster Glenn Flear, having lunch, doing some last minute study and preparation, then walking in the bright sunshine to the venue to play the game. I was loving the whole experience of it, and was feeling very fortunate that I had the opportunity to go on this trip.

My draw for round 7 was a Sri Lankan player rated 1794, and unlike some rounds previously, it was my turn to slowly turn small advantages in to something greater, outplaying my opponent and winning after 37 moves. As he spoke English, I got to know him better and am now good friends with him also.

In the final 2 rounds, I wanted to push for results even more, even though I was feeling pretty tired! I played Alexei Terzi from Belarus in round 8, and this was another really interesting game where I played the same opening moves as I did against the Peruvian player – this time my higher rated opponent (2150) coped better but still handed me some initiative. From this spurred a tactical battle in which I had a chance to take a bigger advantage, which I unfortunately missed in a complicated position. After some exchanges which probably led me to being slightly better, a draw was agreed after reaching the time control.

So this led me to being on 3.5/8, and in the final round I desperately wanted to win to achieve a 50% score overall. I played a Zimbabwean player (we were surprised that Zimbabwe had entered a team, as they are not really known for entering worldwide competitions) who, like myself, was unrated. In all fairness I underestimated him, as he came out slightly better from the opening – but a nice sequence of moves changed the course of the game, and I took the initiative. However it still ended up being a close endgame, but after playing fully accurate moves I took the whole point – I felt ecstatic, and rushed straight back to the England analysis room to tell my coach and show him the game. Without the brilliant coaching from Glenn, there is no doubt that I would have finished with a lower score than I did. It was not just preparation in the allocated 1 hour sessions, but also in the evenings looking up the next round draw and doing some research on opponents, as well as even sometimes shortly before the start of the round. Not only did I learn the played openings a lot better and more thoroughly, but I also learnt skills of preparation along with certain techniques, that I did not even know existed before going to the tournament!   I felt that finishing with 4.5/9 meant I had performed well at the tournament, especially having been the 20th seed out of 21!  Overall I came 11th=, with the international master coming clear 1st.

It was good meeting lots of England juniors, some of which had performed very well and one even won a medal in his respective section. One of my strongest memories is playing football at night on a pitch with open manholes – as it was completely dark, we did not know where they were! It certainly made for an interesting game!

So, in the aftermath of the tournament, my success rate has generally been a lot higher, and I feel more confident and assured in my play - I will be going to the European Youth Chess Championships later this year, taking place in Montenegro, where I will be lucky enough to have Glenn Flear as my coach again – this time at one of the biggest junior tournaments on the calendar. Overall I loved the tournament in Greece, and feel extremely grateful for the donations from many people & clubs that helped me to go on this trip, as without them I wouldn’t have been able to go and have that experience. 

 

 

View from the hotel

 

Team photo after the tournament