Saturday 14 August, Boaden Hall, Wanstead House
By Mark Murrell
Six members of the Junior Coaching Chess Club and a potential seventh were in action, in this Essex Chess Association event put on at short notice to encourage a return of over the board competition in Essex by our junior club in conjunction with Ilford Chess Club across the River Roding and the ECA. Initially billed as a 5 round event, a unanimous player vote at the end of Round 3 extended the competition to six rounds, played at the rate of all moves in 10 minutes plus 5 second increments.
A repeat event is scheduled for the afternoon of 4 September (again 2 to 5 pm).
A comparison of online lichess ratings suggested that there would be strong opposition from the rest of Essex, with participants from Chelmsford, Ilford and Thurrock junior chess clubs. Cole Walsh caused the first round upset, defeating the top seed, in her first over-the-board event, with a back rank checkmate from an inferior position. The adjustment to three dimensions perhaps playing a part. A result that played into the hands of Tin Tin and Aradhya as they rejoined their battle from the Junior Club Championship (Aradhya being the Club’s reigning Junior Champion), who managed to avoid the top seed in the rounds that followed.
After three rounds, Tin Tin and Aradhya were the sole leaders and met on board 1, where Tin Tin took his revenge to take the sole lead in Round 4. His run however was ended by fellow Wanstead Warrior, Gurukarthik on a late run, allowing Aradhya to catch up. The sixth round saw them both win to finish join top, with Gurukarthik half a point behind. The fourth round head-to-head decider gave Tin Tin the tie-break advantage.
Our junior club contingent had the advantage of a full-term’s over-the-board practice, including the five-week, 10 rounds, rapid (G10+5) Junior Club Championship. The rest of Essex will quickly catch up if their online exploits and Saturday’s performances are anything to go by.
The Wanstead Warriors can expect a tougher ride next time out on 4 September, when a repeat event is to be held (see link below).
In between rounds there were extra tables available for replays, speed games and social chess as well as the giant chess set out on the lawn, which also kept a couple of the dads amused. A great community advert for chess.