The Gazette - August 2015

Edited by Julie Leonard
The views expressed in the Gazette do not necessarily reflect the policies or views of the BCA, nor those of the editor.

2015 BCA Junior Championship

Held at Wallington Chess Club, in Wallington United Reform Church on 18th April 2015

It was once again a pleasure to organise and control the BCA Junior Chess Championship. This year it was a six round Swiss involving nine players (two full BCA junior members, and seven associate junior members). There had been eleven entrants, but on the day one full member was playing in an England Cricket training match to prepare for the tour to India this summer and one associate member was a no show. The players’ ages ranged from 6 to 14, with eight boys and one girl playing. Three points were awarded for a win and one for a draw.

I witnessed some fine chess and highly original openings including a Lemming, several De Bruycker Caro Kanns, some Krazy Kats and Hybrid Hippos, as well as a host of more main line King’s Pawn openings, a few Larsens, Hybrid-Stonewalls, and a Bird! Cameron Law; one of the full junior BCA members, found a stunningly imaginative stalemate finish to his first round game against associate member, Luke Clargo.

Efe Shimwell, gave a scintillating and clinical display to run out a clear winner with 18/18, retaining the title of BCA Junior Champion! This gave him a rating performance of 109 for the event, although from my angle I saw an assured performance more akin to a 130 in action. He produced one win in a little over 10 moves, but most of his games were more than twice that length and many involved fine tactical moments or checkmates!

During several rounds of the tournament a whole host of players were equal second or equal third and the Silver and Bronze medal placings went all the way down to the wire in rounds 5 and 6! Finally emerging in second place was Gregory Yu on 13/18. He fought back well in round 5 to draw with Shehroze Bhutta. Third place was taken by Jonny De Ste Croix, who finished on 12/18 and was clearly playing much better than last year, having benefitted from the many coaching sessions given to the full and associate members at St Stephen’s Primary School in Godstone.

Fourth equal on 10/18 came the Bhutta brothers; a fine first tournament showing by both Ehteshaam and Shehroze! Sixth on 9/18 was young Nishad Kanchan, who played many of his games standing up. He was between two and eight years younger than any of the other competitors and this was his first tournament. He provided some of the most magical moments of the event and was unlucky not to finish third overall. His round 1 victory with black against Shehroze Bhutta won my Best Game Prize of a box of Truffle Chocolates!

Seventh was Luke Clargo, again from St Stephen’s school; eighth was Cameron Law from Oxted School; and Nia Kanchan, who so nearly drew two of her games in this, her first ever chess tournament, finished ninth.

The parents and juniors all gave their thanks and a great round of applause to the BCA and me for arranging and running the tournament, which was a great success and bodes well for future junior BCA events. Many thanks also to Wallington Chess Club for hosting the event at their Club for the second year running, and to the BCA for asking me to organise and control this important event. It is always good to see chess being enjoyed and played competitively. I think we know that all these children will probably do better at school too when applying the principles and disciplines they learn by playing and studying chess!

Owen Phillips, BCA Chess Coach, Chess Tournament Arbiter and ECF Regional Chess Master.