Chess Moves

Chess Moves
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English Youth Grand Prix 2015 – Final Standings

This year’s English Youth Grand Prix has now finished and the final standings can be found by following the links above [Play > English Youth Grand Prix] or click here.  To see a list of the 2015 champions go to Champions > English Youth or click here.

Congratulations to all the section champions, who worked very hard to achieve their titles and prizes. The standard of play by participants in the championships was high and competition for the titles fierce. I will be watching the progress of all those who took part with interest and wish them well with their chess in the coming year. I am delighted to see the success of the English Youth Grand Prix and heartily thank the controllers, Charles and Christine Golding, for all their time and endeavours this year on behalf of the ECF and those who took part.

– Traci Whitfield, Director of Junior Chess and Education

Manchester Junior Chess – Rybnik, Poland Easter Tour

A party of children from Manchester have visited Rybnik, Poland to play chess against children from a school in Rybnik. Rybnik is about two hours from Krakow and is in the industrial region close to Silesia, most famous for its coal mines. The school is one of four chess schools in Poland that has a responsibility to promote chess. Their children figure every year as winners in Polish Junior Championships.

The Manchester party included:
Tom Green, Chorlton Chess Club; Robert McLean, Three C’s Chess Club; George Harman, Worsley Chess Club; Rachel Horton, Three C’s Chess Club; Rachel Topping, Worsley Chess Club

The children played two matches against Rybnik on standard play times. Unhappily we lost both by the score of 1-4; this probably flatters the Rybnik team, but they were clearly stronger. Good wins from Tom Green and Robert McLean were the highlights.

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The party also enjoyed some sightseeing and a rapidplay event with the whole of the school chess club. On the final afternoon all the children played “Fun Chess” trying different variants of the game.

One of the highlights of the trip was a visit to the Rybnik Chess Club. A dedicated room in a community centre adorned with photographs of past champions from the club, trophies and high quality chess sets and boards available for club members 24/7, all paid for by the local government.

Report from Frydek-Mistek

– from Peter Purland

At Easter a team of 18 players and 3 adults made our usual trip to the tournament of young talents at Frydek Mistek in the Czech Republic. This was the 37th event, and the biggest for many years, with over 350 players from 15 countries. As 17 of our players were in the U15s, opportunities for prizes was limited, but nevertheless we had two in the top five. James Moreby, although only 31 days too old for the U12s won the event, being unbeaten with 7/8 whilst, a point behind, Callum Brewer was 4th.

As well as the chess, we had a good social programme – swimming and playing soccer as well as shopping, visiting the Anselm mine in Ostrava and the Tatra Museum in Kopravnice. All in all an excellent week when the players were a credit to their country.

Harrogate Junior Chess Competition 2015

The Harrogate Junior Chess Championship 2015 took place at Apley Grange on 21st March and attracted 28 entrants from local primary schools. The winners were as follows —

6-8 age group: 1st Edward Evans (Oatlands Infants) 2nd Conor Lister (Oatlands Infants) 3rd Lochlan Reah (Pannal)
8-9 age group: 1st William Bailey (Oatlands Junior) 2nd Lucas Moyser (Oatlands Junior) 3rd Isaac Young (Meadowside)
9-10 age group: 1st Max Houseman (Oatlands Junior) 2nd Kallum Shaw (Bilton Grange) 3rd Samuel Speight (Oatlands Junior)
10-12 age group: 1st Olivia Claire 2nd Matas Laukaitis (Western) 3rd Hugo O’Reilly Bolger (Oatlands Junior)

The Trumper Cup for the highest scoring school went to Oatlands Junior. All children taking part received a certificate. In addition to the competition Mick Stokes hosted a short training session for those present and the event proved very enjoyable for all involved. Harrogate Chess Club congratulates all winners and thanks the organisers for making the event happen.

For more information about the Harrogate and District Primary Schools Association, their website can be found at

British U8 Championship Results

The ECF Board responded to a complaint in September regarding the British Under 8 Chess Championship as below.  A subsequent decision was taken to accept British Under 8 Chess Championship results into the English Youth Grand Prix without alteration and this decision remains unchanged.

The British Under 8 Championship was a six round swiss system tournament.  In the penultimate round, a dispute arose in the game between the joint leaders; both claiming different positions, one including an illegal move claim, one denying the claim.  The control team investigated and asked the children about the position.  Neither child varied their accounts.  One claimed a win because of an illegal move; one claimed no illegal move was made.  Both disagreed about the board position.

The British Chess Championships Chief Arbiter and Senior Members of his team were consulted about how to handle the matter.  They concluded this was essentially a dispute about the facts rather than the application of the Laws of Chess.  The Senior Arbiter indicated that the Laws provided that in a disputed/illegal position, the game should return to the last known legal position so that they could continue.  One player was visibly upset and insisted that the illegal move was made and the game should be forfeited.  He did not feel he could continue.  Both players agreed that they did not wish to play on.  It was suggested the game be postponed until after round 6 and that the pairings for round 6 be based on a hypothetical 0.5-0.5 score line.  The arbiter team checked all the possible permutations of the round 6 pairings based on different score profiles.  They concluded that the pairings would be identical however the scores had been allocated.  Round 6 proceeded with the pairings.

After round 6, the arbiter team considered the equity of the outcome, and consulted with parents of the disputed round 5 game.  All parties agreed that the fairest outcome would be to allow each child their claim.  That is, one player was awarded a draw as his material was at least better than equal; the second player was awarded a win as he had a claim for an illegal move.  This outcome was discussed and agreed by all the involved arbiters and by the parents who agreed that no solution was perfect but that this was the most equitable.  It should be noted that this result (0.5-1.0) was not without precedent.  It has been used in both youth and international tournaments in appropriate situations and agreed by the arbiters.

In considering the complaint, the Board considered that the scores were unusual but that in the circumstances of the dispute, the allocation of the points was justified.  In the context of a complete disagreement about the facts, and with two very emotional eight-year-old children, the BCC Arbiter Team had put in place a balanced solution having considered all their possible options.  The Board concurred with the report that the BCC Arbiter Team were not confronted with a dispute over the rules but a dispute about the facts.  It had not been possible to resolve this dispute about the facts.  The Arbiter Team, after due consideration, had implemented a reasonable and well considered solution.  The Board were satisfied that the Arbiter Team acted with due consideration and with proper regard to process.  They were an experienced team with many years of arbitering junior and international chess.  The Board emphasised their confidence in the team and in the actions that they had undertaken.

– Phil Ehr, Chief Executive