Over the last few weeks, Suffolk's Junior players have represented the county at U9, U11, and U18 levels. The teams have had varying levels of success, but should all be very proud of their efforts in their matches and also of the way they have represented the county.
Before we get to the important business of the teams, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the clubs and schools who have provided players to the Suffolk teams. The 2 main chess clubs, Bury Knights and Ipswich Junior Chess Club provided the teams with many players and sincere thanks go to Bob Jones and Martin Tomes for the very significant time and effort they put into providing opportunities for young Suffolk players. Thanks also go to the schools with Woodbridge School, St Edmunds Catholic Primary School and Handford Hall being among the schools providing players. Without these clubs and schools, there would be no Junior Chess in Suffolk, so thank you to them all.
In all 3 of the Suffolk teams, the spirit and good natured behaviour was noticeable and I would like to thank the players and their parents for the commitment to travel to the various venues, none of which were close to Suffolk and to spend all day with the team. The players cheerful approach to the game and the team spirit were very noticeable - thank you to all.
Thank you to Ground Control for supporting the team and helping to make the event possible for the players.
On 25th February, the U18 team competed against 5 other counties in the major section in Grantham. While the team struggled against the tough opposition, the games were generally hard fought. Suffolk sent a team of 12 juniors who had an overall average grade of 122 - an impressive achievement in itself. However when competing against counties with average grades of 151, 154 & 161, it was always going to be a tall order.
Well played to the whole team: Alex Sheerin, Jaden Jermy, Adam John, Gavith Dharmasena, Kian Dharmasena, Alan John, Rowland Kerr, Tom Roy, William Moody, Rowan Kent, Mario Saenz de Villaverde, and Amy John.
Thank you also to Bob Jones for organising the team.
The report on the English Chess website can be seen here.
On Saturday 10th March, Suffolk's U9 team gathered in Richmond for the regional inter county event. Against some really strong teams we travelled in hope of strong results, but also prepared for a tough event with many of our players at the start of their chess careers.
In this 12 board event, we had a tough first round, winning only 3.5 points from a possible 12. A stronger 2nd round was needed, and the team delivered, winning 5 points and they followed that up with a further 5 points in the final round.
The team needed to finish in the top 6 to qualify for the national finals, and managed in the final round to overhaul Cambridgeshire to finish 5th - a truly fantastic result which bodes well for the future.
The stand-out performance of the day was undoubtedly by Edison Lorejo. Edison, who has a grade of 24, was asked to play opponents of grades 86, 63 and 26. In winning all three games, he managed a grading performance of 101. Surely his best performance to date.
Another notable performance was by Freddie Dannatt in securing 2.5 points from a possible 3 points which were crucial to secure qualification for the next round - well done Freddie.
The future of the U9 team will also be strengthened by our young new recruit Lade Laguda, who is only just 8. In winning 3 games out of 3, he will strengthen the team next year when the bulk of the players become too old for the U9s.
Not everyone wins all their games, and in these events, the way the matches are arranged, some players have a tougher draw than others. It was fantastic to see that all the players took their defeats and kept smiling and all enjoyed themselves, which is by far the most important thing.
Very well done to the ENTIRE team of: Rowan Kent, Raf Calumpiano, Edison Lorejo, Isaac Kim, Tania Roy, Luke Holmes, Mevin Biju, Freddie Dannatt, Hamilton Lowdell, Karthik Kamatham, Indula Dedigama, Tyler Whalen, Lade Laguda, Kara Whalen, Max Lewis, and Gabriel Kim.
The Suffolk results can be found here.
The full results can be found here.
Yesterday, 17th March, it was the turn of the U11s to represent Suffolk in a snowy Bromley. With 20 players per team, and 10 counties represented in the south-east zone, this was a big event with 200 players in the playing hall as well as reserve players.
After a tough first round in which the team scored 6/20, the team scored a good 8.5/20 to go into the final round needing plenty of wins to qualify for the national finals. Unfortunately, with some tough pairings, the team just failed to qualify.
The most notable performance was probably that of Milan Biju (Grade 53) who scored a win, a draw and a loss to score 1.5/3 against 3 players who were all graded over 100 to finish with a grading performance of 93 - very well played.
Other notable performances were by Raf Calumpiano, Eniko Stuller, Luke Holmes (all 2/3) and Marina Pommier (1.5/3).
The full Suffolk results can be found here.
As with the other teams, ALLthe players should be very proud of their performance. In these events, depending on the draw, some players can have a much tougher draw than others. Well played to EVERYONE.
Following the conclusion of the chess, it was time to travel home on a distinctly snowy and dark evening. One thing that will live long in the memory is the exceptional and ruthless aim of some of the players with snowballs, particularly at yours truly! You know who you are...
Spot the Chess Piece
Seen below is the Under 11 chess team in Bromley - can you find the Knight hiding in the photo???
A couple of weeks ago, local IM Dagne Ciuksyte organised Suffolk's first Exchange Chess Tournament. It was held in Martlesham and was a fun and boisterous event. Dagne's report is below.
"It was a great fun at the Exchange Chess Tournament! And surely I will be getting rid of the rule to be quiet in similar format (team) events in the future as it is simply impossible to stay still when you can't wait to send a message to your opponent be it desperate for an extra piece or being one move away from getting checkmate...
Anyway, the tournament started with our arbiter Mark Weidman lining the players up according to their grades and asking them to choose a teammate from the other half of the tournament. It's not often you see it happening at the chess tournament so we did have a few jokes floating around even before the event started!
I was partnered with John Painter. Both of us were rather generous to other teams (I got checkmated rather quickly in my very first game by, apparently, experienced Exchange Chess Player Russell White) so most of the time we were having a laugh sitting there at the bottom boards. John improved considerably by not only shedding me some of these precious extra pieces but also checkmating his young opponents hungry for his jokes and mistakes!
Surprisingly, the tournament was won by our arbiter Mark and his teammate 5-year-old Daniel who had a slight helping hand from another player's Mum."
The image to the right shows a position from the event.
The full results can be found here.
As I am sure everyone one is aware, the Bury St Edmunds Junior Chess Congress formed the second round of the 3 event Suffolk Junior Chess Grand Prix. The current standings are shown below. Congratulations to Rowan Kent, Marina Pommier, Jaden Jermy, and Rowland Kerr who are currently leading their sections. The final round of the Grand Prix takes place in Woodbridge on Sunday 17th June. For more information on this event, please see here. Remember that the Suffolk Junior Chess Open 50% extra points for the Grand Prix, so it is all to play for.
For the full Grand Prix Standings, please see here.
On Sunday 18th February 2018, Bob Jones hosted the annual Bury St Edmunds Junior Chess Congress in Moreton Hall. This is always a well attended and challenging event.
The Open section saw a fantastic contest between Jaden Jermy and William Stoeber. They finished up in equal first place and shared the prize. They then
played a 5 minute game of Blitz chess to decide the winner of the EACU Junior Championship, which is won by the top player in the U18 section. Congratulations to William Stoeber for winning the tie breaker.
A very strong Under 11 section was won by Dylan Stoeber with a perfect score of 6/6. Another notable performance was that of Jianzhou Mei, who could have played in the Under 9s but chose to compete in an older age group, and who scored 4.5/6
The Under 9 section was won by Rowan Kent with a perfect score of 6/6, while 6 players shared the runner-up spot all with 4/6. They were: Jackson Chen, Mae Catabay, Tommy Karpanos, Theo Pommier, Yvan Lokhmotov, and Nathan Cartledge.
The Minor section, which was open to any ungraded junior player or those with a grade under 50, was won by William Gu with a perfect score of 6/6.
The results can be found at the links below:
The Bury Junior Chess Congress also features a team event where players from the same school can enter as a four player team. This year, Woodbridge School's team put in a strong performance to win this competition with a score of 16.5/24. The scores were as follows: Rowan Kent 6/6, Marina Pommier 2.5/6, Georgia Pommier 4/6, & Theo Pommier 4/6. Well played to Woodbridge School.
Check here for articles about the Suffolk Juniors.