The ECF sends its congratulations to Shreyas on an excellent performance.
Shreyas Royal achieved a well deserved Silver Medal in the U7 section of the 2016 European Schools Chess Championships in Halkidiki, Greece. This was Shreyas’ first international tournament and despite starting ranked 16th with no FIDE rating, he was unbeaten during the 9 rounds, ending up with a score of 7/9.
The ECF sends its congratulations to Shreyas on an excellent performance.
The last day! It was an early start so a few yawns around the playing hall but Team England was raring to go! The 10am start caused some quick games in the U7 section – at one point, it looked like the Blitz tournament had begun!
Shreyas was the first to finish and returned from the hall with the half point he needed to ensure a 2nd place finish in the section. Having fought back from a challenging position, Shreyas maintained his unbeaten record, finishing with 7 points. It was a great individual performance and a welcome lift for the team, who supported him the whole way. A phenomenal start to his international chess career – a big trophy and a prominent spot on the podium during the awards ceremony!
With U7s still going at a pace, Shlok soon appeared, beaming, having shaken off the previous day’s disappointment. With some neat play, he comfortably won his game and climbed the leader board to earn his own spot on the podium during prize-giving with a very respectable fifth place.
While England was dominating the U7 category, the older players were holding their own, with many finishing the tournament on positive notes. In the U15 section, Elliot was a little under the weather the previous day but today he was fighting fit. Starting well, he gradually built up an advantage with more active pieces and secured his point with a decisive tactic. Charlie and Giulio both had tricky Russian opponents but played well and both earned half points.
Arushi started her game with a little trepidation but clearly proved more than a match for her opponent and recorded her third win. For Jason it was definitely a tournament of two halves; he finished with a win underlining strong performances in the last 5 games (winning 4 of them) after getting off to a slow start. Dominic was another whose tournament started a little slowly but some good play from game three onwards led to another win, a very respectable total of 5 points, and a top 10 overall position in the U15s.
All the players can be proud of their performances, even more-so given the very stiff competition from players from 20 other countries. Everyone earned wins for the team, and over half of the England team earned at least half of their available 9 points or more. Well done guys!!
And finally, to the coaches Meri, Sarah, Andrew and Glenn, a big thank you from all the players for their guidance, patience and understanding but mostly for their patience.
After a welcome break from the confines of the Athos Palace Hotel last night, in the form of a team dinner in Kallithea, the players returned to day 7 of the tournament looking refreshed and ready to go.
We took 4.5 from the first 5 matches with Tarun, Shreyas, Nischal and Jason winning and Leif getting a draw. Shreyas’s victory was particularly impressive, as he was playing on Board 2 against a player from the strong Turkish team, and entered the round only ½ a point off the leader.
The next batch of games were dominated by draws – Elliot and Andrew drew against each other in a very tough game with a Dutch opening, only to see Charlie, Giulio and William come out in quick succession with draws too.
Shlok was a rock in his game, out-playing his Russian opponent by mating him with a sacrifice in the end-game after 77 moves. Arushi and Naomi again both had long games against players from a strong Turkish team with games that flowed back and forth as each player vied for an advantage. Despite their best efforts our players just couldn’t make enough headroom and both returned with draws but justifiably proud in the fact that they both pressed for the win to the very end.
Seven down and two to play!
Day 6 was always going to be interesting, with Team England having earned a solid 9.5 points in the previous round, setting themselves up for some hard games today. There were a number of close games where we just missed out on wins, suggesting we were not far off on a few occasions.
On the upside, Anshu Ramaiya looked in fine form from the beginning. His preparation paid off and he cruised to his third win. Nilomi Desai had a relatively short game (by her standards) and emerged with a big smile having picked another point to take her total to 3.5. Shreyas Royal was involved in a titanic battle with leader in his section; both Shreyas and his Azerbaijani opponent gave it their all but in the end, neither could force the win so they shared the point.
Shlok Verma also had a long tussle, but he gradually eased ahead before patiently squeezing his opponent into an impossible position, earning another point for Team England. Giulio fought very hard in an epic battle, but despite his best efforts he could not overcome his Greek opponent and had to settle for a well-earned draw. William Zheng’s game was a change in pace from his previous affair and his patience paid dividends. After some neat play he overcame his Russian opponent for his third point.
Jason Covey took the momentum from day 5 into his sixth game for a start-to-finish win in which he was never really in any danger. Dominic Miller’s stock is on the up and he was determined to show his abilities against his strong Turkish opponent. Producing his best chess to date, he prevailed to take his tally to 3.
We are now getting used to the ebb and flow of our team scores but there is plenty of optimism as we enter the final stages.
Day 4 was our toughest yet. The players fought hard but for the majority of our players, it was a bit of a struggle.
On the upside, Shreyas Royal maintained his progress with win number three on the top board. This was a crash bang game before a straightforward finish. Dominic Miller was in a determined mood from the off and capitalised on his early play to record his first win of the tournament.
Anshu Ramaiya found a neat tactic in what he described as ‘tactical soup’ to record his second win with minutes left on the clock. Leif Hafstad was next to appear with a solid draw against his Greek opponent whilst Elliot Cocks has continued his improvement with his fine play delivering his first win.
Tomorrow is another day as they say but there is a positive mood in the camp and high expectations for day 5 as we approach the half way stage.
We’ve reached the midpoint of the 9-day tournament, testing the kid’s energy levels after some very long and well-fought games in rounds 1-4. The day started out very well for England (better than last night was for the football team!). Giulio was out first, winning as white in a Queen’s gambit opening from start to finish. Shreyas, out next, was playing on board 1, having not lost a match yet. After coolly fending off an attack on the kingside in the early middle-game, he later found a nifty 3-move mate involving a queen sacrifice. Charlie made it 3 wins in the first 3 finished games today, taking some 15-20 minutes to simultaneously give his father heartburn and forcing his opponents queen into a trapped position. Elizabeth was out next, winning as black against d4 in a Cambridge Springs opening. Dominic drew a 2000-rated player, a tight affair throughout, giving England 4.5 points out of the team’s first 5 finished matches on the day.
The points continued to come in, suggesting fatigue is no issue for the team. Nilomi won as white playing the Catalan, winning a pawn, gaining a passed pawn and winning after a strong middle-game attack, and is now on 2.5 points. Jason also won as white, in a 2+ hour affair, and Tim also won in the Under-13 group, putting him on 3 points. Elliot lulled his opponent into a false sense of security, playing seemingly passive moves but he knew his theory, and was only consolidating before making devastating attacks on opposing pieces. He won as well. Nischal earned a draw in the competitive U-9 group. Anshu drew in the U-15s, playing black in a Dutch Leningrad in which there was no real opportunities for a break. Even the losses were well-contested. One of note was Arushi’s game, a close-fought match lasting over 3 hours, in which she almost snatched a draw against a WCM who has yet to drop any points.
All in all, England came away with 9.5 points on the day, the team’s best day yet. Let’s hope it continues tomorrow!
Copyright © 2016 The English Chess Federation
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