Chess Moves

Chess Moves
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Junior Selection Policy

Parents – the Junior Selection Policy is now available by clicking here or by looking under the ‘Play for England’ tab at the top of the page. This year there is an online form for expressions of interest for events, you can click here or, again, look under the ‘Play for England’ tab.

Please read the policy for selection criteria before expressing interest. If the closing date for expressing interest is before publication of grading/rating lists and you think your child’s grade will/may reach the target for his or her age group for an event, please do feel free to tick that event. If you want to add another event later, so long as you meet the closing date you can complete the form more than once.

Good luck to all our players aspiring to play at international level!

- Traci Whitfield, Director of Junior Chess and Education

English Girls Chess Championships

Congratulations to the winners of the English Girls Chess Championships which took place at the London Chess Classic (Kensington Olympia) on Sunday 7th December 2014. There were over 60 entries with girls travelling from all over the country.

Jennifer_Zoe Jennifer_Jack
[above – Zoe Varney with Jennifer Shahade, and some of the competitors with Jennifer and arbiter Jack Rudd – click to enlarge]

The event took place in the same hall as the Super Rapidplay with many onlookers interested in both events.

WFM Jennifer Shahade gave the girls a motivational speech with questions and answers at lunch time then kindly gave out the prizes and even donated signed copies of her fabulous book “Play like a Girl!”

The competition was hard fought with some prizes having to be decided by tie break. Many Thanks to Jack Rudd for acting as our very competent arbiter and controller.

The English Girls Chess Champions 2014 are:

U16 Zoe Varney
U14 Carmel Barwick
U12 Mahima Raghavendra
U10 Anisha Sawhney
U8 Jaime Ashworth

A PGN may be downloaded here. Below are two games, one each from Zoe and Carmel on their way to victory …

World Schools Round 9 from Brazil

This entry is part 10 of 10 in the series World Schools 2014

The World Schools tournament has come to an end and all the players have now either returned home or are on their way back. Although the team totals in round 8 and 9 dipped below the scores of rounds one to seven it is hard to be too disappointed when every player scored at least 5.5/9 and nine of the twelve players finished in the top ten and received a medal. We were close to top three placings though and a number of our players occupied the top boards in the closing rounds so there is a tinge of regret on my part.

I would like to thank the other coaches Glenn Flear and Jovanka Houska who did a great job to ensure the players were well prepared and motivated for each round and then analysed the games in depth after each round. The players were all impeccably behaved and were great ambassadors for our country. All the parents (along with the two granddads and Savin’s younger brother Ruwan) all played a big part in ensuring that the Head of Delegation had few worries and they provided me with great support whenever a problem arose. I would also like to thank the support of everyone back home including Andrew Walker, John Philpott, Jim Wadsworth, John Higgs and Traci Whitfield and all the well wishers.

Whilst it is the end of a brief involvement in ECF junior chess for myself I am very pleased that Traci Whitfield is the new Junior Director and I am confident that the future is bright for junior chess. I would like to take this opportunity to pass on my best wishes to her and the junior team for their future plans.

Final scores:
U15: Callum Brewer (8th) and Billy Twigge-Molecey (10th) 5.5/9
U15 Girls: Lauren Weaver (4th) 6
U13: Nikolai Hinterreither (13th) 6 and Jakob Holton (15th) 5.5
U11: Aditya Munshi (7th) 6.5, Max Miller (19th) 5.5
U11 Girls: Elizabeth Johnson (9th) 5.5
U9: Aditya Pramod Paleri (6th) & Dhruva Bhagwat (8th) 6, Bobby Akeya Price (10th) 5.5
U7: Savin Dias (6th) 6

Website link:

– Lawrence Cooper,Head of Delegation

WSCC 2014 – congratulations to players & coaches

This entry is part 9 of 10 in the series World Schools 2014

England juniors are well known for travelling long distances to play high quality chess and for the privilege of wearing the England shirt. WSCC 2014 in Brazil meant a journey of at least 5,880 miles before the playing hall came into sight!

12 intrepid players and 3 top coaches, plus of course loyal parents & siblings, set off to Brazil for looking forward to 9 rounds of FIDE rated international chess.

These tournaments are hard work and not a holiday with some chess thrown in! Having shaken off the journey each and every player worked hard throughout the event and achieved some very impressive results.

A big thanks to IM Lawrence Cooper, GM Glenn Flear & IM Jovanka Houska – our three gallant coaches who gave 110%.

- ECF Junior Team

World Schools Round 8 from Brazil

This entry is part 8 of 10 in the series World Schools 2014

Round 8 proved to be a very tough day and whilst the England players all remain on scores over 50% and can be very proud of their efforts the medal chances took a serious blow but remain in the balance as we head into the final day.

Two England players were on board one in this round but both lost long games. Savin Dias was black on top board against a Candidate Master from Mongolia in the Under 7 event half a point behind the leaders. From glimpses of his post mortem he played well and had a good position but tragically blundered in an ending and lost a long game which was one of the last England games to finish. Savin is the British Under 8 champion and also won the English Junior Grand Prix as well as making his England debut in the European Schools where he scored six points. He is clearly a good prospect and 2014 has been a breakthrough year for him.

Elizabeth Johnson was the other player on top board and was also half behind the leaders. Her Indonesian opponent has looked very impressive in the event and won a pawn in the opening and showed impressive technique to convert it without allowing Elizabeth any chances to get back into the game. Bearing in mind Elizabeth is only ten and therefore has another year left in the event her performance has been very impressive and as her coach for the event I have enjoyed working with her. Hopefully she can have a good result in the last round and secure a top placing albeit it will probably be just below the medal positions.

Jakob Holton has played an outstanding tournament and this led to him facing an FM rated 2171 on board 3 in the Under 13s. He faced a line that we had only considered just before the start of the round but despite not being fully prepared he initially seemed to be coping well in the complications. Sadly one error was all it took for his position to become untenable and he lost material and was unable to recover. As with the two players above a win in the final round would cap an impressive performance and a high finish.

The Under 9s has been the event where we had most expectation but our medal hopes now rest on Adithya Pramod Paleri as Bobby Akeya Price fell to a third successive defeat after his 5/5 start but he has played a very strong field and his performance should definitely be viewed positively. Adithya won to move to six points and Dhruva drew to reach 5.

Lauren remains in medal contention in the Under 15s after her draw but will need other results to go her way in the final round. Whilst I had hoped to have more girls on the trip it is very pleasing that both have challenged for medals and have realistic chances going into the final round.

Read on — World Schools Round 8 from Brazil