Yesterday, the Abbey School sent a chess team to take part in the National Primary Schools Chess Championship. This is an event in which the school have a good record having come within a whisker of qualifying for the National Finals in the U9s section last year. This year Mr Hunt led the U11 team to Moulsham Junior School in Chelmsford. The team delivered in fine fashion to qualify for the Semi-Finals, which will be held over a weekend at Pontins this summer.
Having taken two reserves, the team got off to a good start, winning 4 out of 5 games on the scoring boards, and winning both of their reserve games. The second round saw a perfect result with all seven players winning their games. As the competition got tougher, the team lost their number 2 player, Marina Pommier, who had to depart to swim for Suffolk! The rest of the team had to step up a board, with Marina's sister, Georgia, playing board 2, and Henry Allen stepping up from the reserves to play board 5. It was a tougher round and a 3:2 win was well deserved with wins for Rowan Kent, Georgia Pommier, and Theo Pommier (yet another of the chess playing Pommier clan).
Success in chess always leads to tough matches and the 4th round was no different. The Abbey were drawn to play against Number 1 seeds Brentwood Prep school, led by ex Ipswich player Richard Pert. This was a tough round and proved to be the team's sole loss. The final round saw a return to form with a 3.5:1.5 win for the Abbey including a crucial draw on Board 1 for Rowan and wins from Fred Bartlett-Smith, Theo & Georgia to secure another win for the team.
Overall the teams finished 3rd out of 15 schools - a fantastic result.
With 2 wins from 2 for Henry Allen in the reserves, before stepping up to Board 5, and 4 wins from 5 for Lade Laguda (still only 8 years old) in the reserves, this shows the strength in depth available to the school.
Overall, the points were as follows:
Rowan Kent: 3.5/5
Marina Pommier: 2/2
Georgia Pommier: 4/5
Fred Bartlett-Smith: 2/5
Theo Pommier: 4/5
Henry Allen: 2/5
Lade Laguda: 4/5
Below are Photos and positions from the event.
Top Left: Spot the chess piece - Theo Pommier, Lade Laguda, Henry Allen, Fred Bartlett-Smith, and Georgia Pommier are seen here hiding a chess piece - where is it?
Top Right: Mate-in-One for White - This is a position from Rowan Kent's 3rd round game - he Check-Mated next move - can you see how?
Bottom Left: This is a position from the same game, but one move earlier. The chess computer assures us that there is Mate-in-5 for Rowan (playing white) - can you see how? I believe it starts Queen takes the Rook on b3. The first person to email firstname.lastname@example.org with the correct solution gets their name "in lights" when we publish their solution here.
Bottom Right: The Abbey Chess team - Henry Allen, Rowan Kent, Fred Bartlett-Smith, Theo Pommier, & Georgia Pommier collecting their medals for 3rd place. Marina Pommier and Lade Laguda had had to leave early.
Sunday 21st January saw the inaugural Martlesham Heath Chess Open, run by local International Master Dagne Ciuksyte. In a mixed field including junior players and some of the top players from Suffolk's adult players there was good competition. Woodbridge School's own International Master, Adam Hunt, won the event with a perfect 6 wins from 6 games, including wins against the 2nd and 3rd placed competitors, Peter Gemmel & Dagne Ciuksyte. A position from their game is shown below with Dagne's thoughts on the game.
There were some very good performances by Suffolk's Junior players. Jenni Rochford gave a stand out performance in winning 4 from 6 games, including a loss against Dagne Ciuksyte. Woodbridge School's Abhiram Durbakula also put in an extremely strong performance including a memorable win against 139 graded player, Cameron Little. A loss against Adam Hunt will no doubt also be remembered for a long time.
The next of Dagne's series of events is the Martlesham Heath Exchange Chess Tournament which is to be held on Sunday 25th February. More information available on the tournaments page here.
The full results can be downloaded here.
Check here for articles about the Suffolk Juniors.