– from Mandy Rabin
With so many England flags fluttering from the balconies of our hotel, and our players highly visible in their smart team shirts and badges, we are a real presence here at the World Schools in Greece. Congratulations to all the players who scored points today. Here are some of them.
One of the first players out today was Tai Remus Elliot, who beat his Russian opponent in a decisive victory. “I enjoyed my game,” says Tai.
“Tai is the youngest player in his U11 section. It’s been a struggle, but he’s done really well to win today. He’s a real fighter,” says Angela Eyton, Tai’s coach.
Sam McConnell, one of our U11 players, also enjoyed victory today against an opponent from Kazakhstan. Sam was black and played the King’s Indian. He won a pawn, there was a big swap-off and he eventually managed to capture his opponent’s queen.
Sam wasn’t the only U11 player to win today. Team mate James Moreby had a crushing victory in only 18 moves against his Sri Lankan opponent, FIDE grade1367. “I played a dodgy gambit,” James admits, when asked how he won. “Let’s call it the Geordie Gambit,” says James’ proud father, Kurt. “It’s the chess equivalent of Newcastle City Centre on a Saturday night.” ” I’m extremely happy. James got a spectacular check mate, with the king in the middle of the board,” says coach Jonathan Hawkins.
Jonathan is also thrilled that Marianne Hauer won her first game today. “She’s had winning positions earlier in the tournament and has been trying really hard. She won this game quickly, though,” says Jonathan.
It was a great day for Anna Purvis, playing in the U13 girls. Anna won as white against her Zimbabwean opponent. “It was really fun,” says Anna. “I got ahead quite early. The end game was tricky, though. It could have been a draw but, after 40 minutes spent thinking, I figured out a win.”
Alex Golding played black against his Indian opponent, beating him and putting Alex on 4 points.
U11 girl Lara Mallin fought hard for her well-deserved victory against her Russian opponent. “There was a technical skirmish at the beginning,” explains Lara. “I put her under pressure and she lost a piece. I won a piece, held on to it until I managed to promote a pawn. The whole game lasted 66 moves.” “I’m very, very proud of Lara,” says her coach, Tony Niccoli. “She deserved to win some of her other games and didn’t.” Tony is also pleased with Anita Somton who, winning the last 3 games in a row, is now on 4 points.
Coach Angela Eyton says that, although this tournament has been tough for some of our very youngest players, they are really enjoying themselves. “Even if it’s hard for them to win games here, it’s fantastic preparation for the future.”
On a different note, if you ever wondered what our coaches get up to when they are not teaching our children and analysing their games, I discovered today that, together with the coaches from the Mongolian team, they’ve been enjoying the odd glass of camel’s milk.
Don’t forget our twitter is active all day: @ECFWSCC2013