SEASON 2012/2013

Sponsored by The Devon County Chess Association


More news and reports on junior chess can be seen on www.onionschess.co.uk/content/events-0


   THE 2013 DEVON MEGAFINAL - Report by Dave Regis

The 2013 Devon Megafinal (part of the UK Chess Challenge) was held at Churston Grammar School, Brixham, on Saturday 15th June. The top players of each sex in each age group, and anyone scoring 4/6 points, can go on to play in the Gigafinal, to be held in Reading on Sunday 7th July.

Age  Name  Gender School Supremo/Suprema

U7 Niranjana Narayanan (Girl), Sherwell Valley [S]
U7 Ash Williams (Boy), Preston Torquay [S]

U8 Ethan Hwang (Boy), Exeter Junior [S]
U8 Catriona Mason (Girl), Abbey [S]
U8 Jago Joscelyne (Boy), Broadhempston
U8 Archie Redfern (Boy), Exeter Junior
U8 James Robinson (Boy), Stokeinteignhead

U9 Jessica Bryant (Girl), Priory Torquay [S]
U9 Christopher Kiddey (Boy), Ilsham Academy [S]
U9 James Donegan (Boy), Exeter Junior
U9 Owen Jones (Boy), Kingsbridge
U9 Thomas Metcalf (Boy), Exeter Junior
U9 Matthew Rutland (Boy), Abbey
U9 Benjamin Vassall (Boy), Kingsbridge

U10 Maddy Cotton (Girl), Bickleigh-on-Exe  [S]
U10 James Lloyd (Boy), Kelly College [S]
U10 Will Ash (Boy), North Tawton
U10 Toby O'Donoghue (Boy), Stover School
U10 Jonathan Turner (Boy), Oldway

U11 Nicolas Bacon (Boy), Offwell  [S]
U11 Lois Thornton (Girl), Kelly College Prep [S]
U11 Jack Bellamy (Boy), Kelly College Prep
U11 Redmond Coleman (Boy), Exeter Junior
U11 Codie Finch (Girl), Exeter Junior
U11 Samuel Gray (Boy), Kelly College Prep
U11 Leif Hafstad (Boy), Exeter Junior
U11 Finlay Parr (Boy), Cheriton Fitzpaine
U11 Guy Susevee (Boy), Awliscombe PS

U12 Theo Slade (Boy), Shebbear College [S]
U12 Benjamin Sturt (Boy), TBGS

U13 Nandaja Narayanan (Girl), TGGS [S]
U13 Reece Whittington (Boy), Clyst Vale [S]
U13 James Milne (Boy), TBGS
U13 Greg Susevee (Boy), Colyton GS

U14 Nicholas Hodge (Boy), Devonport HSB [S]
U14 Oliver Matthews (Boy), Great Torrington

U15 John Fraser (Boy), TBGS [S]

U16 Peter Allin (Boy), Great Torrington [S]
U16 Luke Bewes (Boy), Great Torrington

U17 Jed Light (Boy), Shebbear College [S]


The Last Chance Saloon tournament was held at Exeter on Mon 4th May as a qualifying event for next round of the UK Chess Challenge, the Devon Megafinal.


1st= 19/21 Taylor Finch, Greg Susuvee
3rd= 17/21 Edmund Kelly, Nandaja Narayanan
5th= 16/21 Nicky Bacon, Marcus Kaye

Prizewinners and qualifying as top in their year group for each sex were:

Y1B: Benny Bacon
Y2G: Niranjana Narayanan
Y3B: Fred Croft
Y4B: Ollie Bacon
Y5B: Marcus Kaye
Y6B: Nicky Bacon
Y6F: Codie Finch
Y7B: Edmund Kelly
Y8B: Taylor Finch, Greg Susuvee
Y8G: Nandaja Narayanan
Y10: Michael Katz

Qualifying on 15/21 points: Tom Ferdinand, Jim Knott, William Rutland, Reece Whittington.

The Year 8 section was a real shark tank, with several of our best U14 county players fighting it out for places, and the Year 7 section was rather similar. There was a lot of really good chess played and some great performances: Greg, Taylor, Edmund and Nandaja all showed how the game should be played; Greg led from the front and looked untouchable until Taylor beat him with Black in Round 6. I'd also pick out Nicky (Y6) and Marcus (Y5) with fine scores of 16 each, and Y4 Ollie's excellent 15/21, as being outstanding for their ages. I also expect Alfie's score 15 of would have qualified a Year 5 pupil in other company.

Special mention for their outstanding contribution to karaoke: Jim & William.

Exeter Junior Chess Club would like to thank Heavitree Social Club for letting us use their rooms for the event (and the bouncy castle!), and Sally Heggie for support on the day.

Dave Regis

May 2013


Riviera International Centre, Torquay   28th July – 10th August 2013

The Devon County Chess Association, as the host county for this year’s British Championships, is keen to encourage local junior players to enter for the Junior Championships which take place during the Congress. There are separate championships for each age group from Under 8 (born 2005 or later) to Under 16 (born 1997 or later). Each specific age group tournament (except the Under 8 and Under 9 tournaments ) takes place over either the  first or the second  week of the congress. The Under 8 tournament takes place over one day (Friday 2nd August) and the Under 9 tournament over the weekend of the 3rd-4th August). Full details of dates and timings are accessible on the congress website (www.BritishChessChampionships.co.uk).

The Devon County Chess Association is offering 8 bursaries of £25 as a contribution towards the cost of entry fees for the tournaments.

Any junior wishing to apply for one of these bursaries should write a short letter of application giving details of age and  tournament entered together with a brief outline of his/her recent chess career. This letter should be sent to the DCCA Acting Secretary, TREFOR THYNNE, at: 54  Silverwood  Avenue,  Newton Abbot,  Devon TQ12 4LG no later than the 31st May.



It is not sufficiently widely known within Devon chess circles that the DCCA runs one of its team competitions as a junior league: the BLOODWORTH SHIELD appropriately  named after one of the great stalwarts of Devon  and Westcountry chess Ken Bloodworth who died at the age of 96 a year or so ago.

Ken did an enormous amount of work for junior chess at  local, regional and national levels and it is  entirely appropriate for one of Devon’s team competitions to bear his name.

This competition is for junior teams of 4 players with a maximum individual grade under  135. Typically in recent years the age range of players has been 9-14 so that it has become seen as an ideal division for the younger juniors who are getting their first taste of league chess. Matches  are played with a time limit of 30 moves in 1 hour plus 15 minutes QPF so that match duration is 2 ½ hours.

The current holders are Torquay Boys’ Grammar School who won the division in 2011 and 2012. This year (2012-13) there will be a different name on the shield as TBGS have lost 2 of their three matches). The competing teams are: Exeter Juniors, Torquay Boys’ Grammar School,  Broadclyst  Primary School and Newton Abbot Juniors who play one match against each of the other teams.

The matches in recent seasons have all been well-contested and close with no one team dominating.  It would be even better if new teams were to join next year. Teams from junior sections of local clubs or teams from schools are equally qualified to enter. The Bloodworth Shield offers an ideal way of introducing promising younger Devon juniors to the pleasures of competitive league chess.

Trefor Thynne



                   ABBEY TOURNAMENTS


Periodically Tim Onions and Victor Cross run tournaments at the Abbey School, Torquay, the latest being played on 22nd February in which 28 players aged 8 - 11 took part.

The results were:-

Overall winner Ben Sanders - Wyatt TBGS
Under 11 winners (joint) Jack Bellamy and Lois Thornton both from Kelly College. Prep school.
Runner-up  Sam Gray  Kelly College. Prep and Marcus Kaye - Trinity, Teignmouth
U9 Winner Archie Vourdas   Warberry Primary School, Torquay.
Runner-up Sam Thurlbeck - North Tawton Primary

There is a DJCA event on at Exeter Junior School (coaching / tournament) on Sat 9th March - the form for this is on Tim's website - see above for link..



Babbacombe All Saints Primary School have an enthusiastic chess club of some two dozen members and would like to play matches against  teams from other primary schools or youth organisations.  Please contact  Graham Ross Andrews (Telephone 07903 375 021) for details.



19 Devon juniors competed in a hard fought Abbey Tournament at the start of January. More than half the players have represented Devon at junior level and the chess was of a very good standard.

The overall winner was Ben Sturt of Torquay Boys' Grammar School who scored a maximum 7/7. The impressive runner up was 9 year old Christopher Kiddey of Ilsham Academy who scored 5/7 and won the under 9 prize. Joint third were Lois Thornton of Kelly College Preparatory School and Joshua Young of Oldway Primary School who each scored 4.5/7.




What’s coming up in 2013 for junior chess players in Devon?

In many schools January is the time when the UK CHESS CHALLENGE gets under way.  For those unfamiliar with this, it claims to be the world’s biggest chess tournament  with over 30,000 entrants and is the brainchild of UK chess master Michael Basman who, very appropriately, lives in Chessington, Surrey. The tournament is run in four stages:

Stage 1: Seven-round Swiss tournaments held within individual schools.  These are always popular as competitors can win small prizes for achieving certain points  totals. The top scoring players qualify for:

Stage 2 – the county MEGAFINAL: this is held in early summer usually at Churston G.S. From this the winners in various age-groups can aim to qualify for:

Stage 3 – the Regional GIGAFINAL:  usually there are two of these held in mid-summer – one for the North and one for the South. From these the winners in the age groups qualify for:

Stage 4 – the National TERAFINAL: held in London in late August and featuring winners and runners-up from the GIGAFINALS.

In 2012 Devon had a representative in the TERAFINAL: 14 year-old John Fraser of Torquay Boys’ Grammar School and Newton Abbot Chess Club.

One of the features of the tournament is the scoring system: 3 points for a win, 2 for a draw, 1 for a loss (and 0 for a default) as used in the LONDON CHESS CLASSIC.

The UK CHESS CHALLENGE has introduced chess into many schools where it was previously not played.  It can be run very easily by one adult using the instructional guidelines  even if he or she  has no previous experience of chess organisation.

WEST OF ENGLAND JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIPS: held in Swindon 16-17th  February 2013:  a strong and important tournament for ambitious juniors and a good way to get noticed by organisers on a national level. Details are available on the CHESSDEVON website (www.chessdevon.co.uk).


It is not known sufficiently widely that the DCCA runs a team competition for juniors. Teams are of 4 players with a maximum individual grade of 135. The current holders are Torquay Boys’ Grammar School and for 2012-13 there are 4 teams competing: TBGS, Newton Abbot Chess Club, Exeter Juniors and Broadclyst Primary School. In recent years teams have tended to be between the ages of 11 and 14 though technically it is an under 18 event.

Any club or school with small nucleus of keen players might wish to consider entering for 2013-14. Matches can be arranged at any time and are usually played on a time-limit of one hour per player.

BRITISH CHESS CHAMPIONSHIPS 2013: TORQUAY 28th July- 10th August  2013

Devon’s juniors have a wonderful opportunity this summer to compete in the relevant age-group national championship.  Each tournament lasts one week though it is possible to play for 2 weeks by entering for instance both the under 12 and under 13 events or the under 10 and under 11 tournaments. Full details can be found on the English Chess Federation website (www.englishchess.org.uk). Ambitious Devon juniors are strongly encouraged to plan their summer around this congress!

    T.F.Thynne December 2012




The youngest entry in the Open Tournament was Theo Slade who finished in a very creditable 38th place in a field of 78 having scored 3½ points from the seven rounds played and a tournament rating of 165 grading points.  This is probably the strongest tournament that he has played in to date. One of his finest games was played against the 79 year old German player Rudiger von Saidern playing in his 37th Guernsey Open!  This game won the "Most Brilliant Game" trophy and can be seen HERE.

Below is a photograph of Theo after being awarded the trophy.  The demonstration board indicates that some analysis of the game had been presented.