The Junior Chess Coaching Club turned out in force this evening for their return to Wanstead House. Taking advantage of the continued prevention of meetings of the main club with an expanded three hour session, managed bubbles enabled 23 junior players to display at the first opportunity their enthusiasm for the game under the direction once again of Ben Harte and Mark Murrell.
Nearly all of the thriving junior online club made the transition at the first time of asking and for some it was the first time to put a face to their fellow team mates and arena opponents. They were joined by a new contingent of younger players starting out and looking to acquire new skills. Renewal in more than one sense is well underway!
The 6.00 pm turnover saw the focus change to two hours of tournament play with an all-play-all mini tournament for the improvers and a full on Swiss for the established Junior ECF members, both played at one of the familiar online blitz time controls of G5+3. Vega Swiss pairings transmitted to the smart board ensured six seamless back-to-back rounds, with at least one game in each round going down to the wire. A cracker of a tournament it was too with just half a point separating the top five in a field of 13 and an outright 9-year-old winner; well played Aradhya! Plans are afoot for some special guests to bring additional three dimensional challenges to the established team players during the month ahead.
In other news, your Committee has paved the way for the main club to resume on Tuesday 17th May should the Spring Road Map unfold as expected. The risk assessments, available from the Safeguarding page under the corporate footer menu, have been up-dated accordingly. The return of Rule of Six socially distanced two-boarded chess but without tiers will no doubt see your Tournament Secretary devise a different tournament to suit this third Stage of the Road Map and welcome our new members from the online club too. In the meantime we await the go ahead from HMG.