Round 4 saw the delegation score 14.5/28. To be on the 50% mark by day 4 is very encouraging. The win of the day was Alex Golding where, in a king and pawn game, Alex’s king marched to meet his opponents king through a maze of pawns, a real beauty. Nishchal Thatte continues to lead the team with a perfect score and will again be on a live board today in the under 8 section.
Ranesh Ratnesan, Ezra Brass, Koby Kalavannan, Daniel Gallagher, Julia Volovich, Radha Ratnesan, Anisha Sawhney, Nilomi Desai, Arushi Ramaiya and Lauren Weaver all scored for England. FM Ravi Haria, Jonathan Pein and Thivyaa Rahulan all took a draw.
It has been tiring chess for the last 4 days and after today’s round we have a rest day. I will end on a positive note: with 14 of our players on 50% and above the team is highly motivated and are giving their best performances for England.
Please follow Nishchal and Koby on the live boards … [below, Lara Barnes on duty at the EYCC]
[above, l-r — Sharon Daniel, Stephen Whatley, Lauren Weaver, Shlok Verma in Round 2]
Round 3 saw the delegation scoring 13, which was commendable given the tough competition we have in Prague. On a positive note, we have two players on 3/3  and they will play on the live boards. Nishchal Thatte is playing board 2 in the U8s and Jacob Yoon is on board 2 for the U10s. In total, we have 14/28 players with a score of 50% or more after round 3.
With 6 rounds to go, other players might also pick up. I know I am being optimistic, but that is the best thing to be in a tough competition like the European Youth.
Notable winners (who played against higher seeds) were Ranesh Ratnesan, Jonathan Pein and Shlok Verma and we had nice wins from Anita Somton, Aditya Verma, Ximan Mao and Nilomi Desai.
There were some excellent draws, which gave great joy on Day 3. Alex Golding, James Golding, Stephen Whatley, Sharon Daniel, Jake Holton – all played excellent chess and shared points with opponents 200 to 400 grading points above them. Lauren Weaver and Victoria Sit shared points in an all-England encounter. We now have almost everyone having opened their account, and gearing up for giving their best.
It was extremely hot in Prague yesterday, but today we have had some light showers, which has made the weather excellent. Food remains an issue, especially if one is a vegetarian – they are looked upon as if they have arrived from a different planet! I myself am a vegetarian and, after eating salads at breakfast, lunch and dinner, I get the feeling I have attained Nirvana. Having said this, the dessert and fruits are excellent. The hotel rooms are very spacious and there are tennis courts, a swimming pool, table tennis and the option of walk in a Japanese garden when you feel the need to de-stress from the chess.
Please follow and encourage our players on the live boards
— Anand Verma
Much improved performance by England as compared to 12.5/28 on Day 1. Many more players opened their accounts on Day 2. The day started with a quick photo session and another one is planned tomorrow with the complete squad [below, l-r, the team, Radha, Arushi, Ezra, Jacob, Shlok, Aditya, Thivyaa]
The most notable victories came from Stephen A J Whatley, Jake Holton and Thivyaa Rahulan, all of whom defeated opponents rated at least 200 points above them. Alex Golding, Daniel Gallagher, Radha Ratnesan, Sharon Daniel and Shlok Verma managed to share points with much more highly rated opponents.
There are many under-rated or zero-rated players in the tournament whose playing capacity is much more than their displayed grade, so well done to all our players who managed to get points today – all the losses were, again, after long fought games.
On the Day 3 live boards are FM Ravi Haria, in the U18 section, who is playing IM Bilel Bellahcene from France, and Jacob D Yoon in the U10 Open section