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.