EPSCA Schools' Championships

Chingford show their Class

No fewer than 38 teams of 6 players congregated at the Newbury Park Primary School to contest the Redbridge qualifying event for the National Primary Schools' Championships. Events of this type have been taking place all over England since late January where teams hopeful of a place in the next stage of the Competition, which will be at Pontins Holiday Camps Brean Sands (Somerset), Prestatyn (N. Wales) or Hemsby (Norfolk). There is also the less costly option of a one-day event in a Leicestershire school. The cost of participating in the second stage of the event can be as much as 1000 per team if several families show their support and book half a dozen chalets for the weekend.

Whereas the other Essex qualifying event, in Colchester six weeks previously, consisted of only 12 teams and was dominated by Temple Sutton (Southend), the Newbury Park equivalent was a very hard-fought affair with teams coming from all over London and the Home Counties to take part. Notable teams included Northbridge House (Camden) who have been amongst the most sucessful schools in recent years, and they sent their third team. Their other teams must have qualified from other events on previous occasions. This particular weekend, Chingford blazed a trail in the under 11s which only University College School could match. UCS is a relatively new team to this event and is clearly intent on success: their eventual runner-up spot in the under 11 behind Chingford A was a result of Chingford's 3 - 2 win over them in round 3. Chingford B, whose only loss was to their own A team in the final round, shared the bronze medals with Eversley (Enfield).

There were some surprises. The Willows School, Basildon, whose buildings are the meeting place of the Basildon Chess Club, entered a team in the under 11 and, after a slow start, finished with a splendid 5 - 0 win over Newbury Park B, a school which has performed well in this event over the years and, indeed, was National Champions some 30 years ago. There was a further surprise for yours truly when the mother of the Willows board 2 introduced herself to me as a neighbour from our extreme youth (my boy-next-door image has been taking a bit of a battering in recent decades).

UCS excelled in the under 9 competition, scoring 18 points and reversing the under-11 order and relegating another good Chingford side to second place. Once again Chingford B did enough to gain a place in the next stage of the competition, this time sharing 7th place with two other schools on 10. Thorpe Hall (Walthamstow), a school with fine tradition of producing strong players as this was where Tim Hebbes and the Trent brothers learned their moves, also achieved a place in the next stage with 11.

Under 11 (9 qualify)
1Chingford A15½
2University College14
3=Chingford B13½
5Bell Lane A12½
6Northbridge House11½
7Leigh North Street A11
8=Newbury Park A10½
10William Patten10
11=Bell Lane B
14=Leigh North Street B
14=Goldbeaters A
16Goldbeaters B
17Thorpe Hall
20Newbury Park B
Under 9 (8 qualify)
1University College18
2Chingford A15½
3Eversley A12½
4Thorpe Hall11
5William Patten10½
6=Chingford B10
6=Bell Lane10
9=Manor Lodge
9=Northbridge House
9=Willington A
12Newbury Park A9
13Arbiter's All-stars
14Willington B8
15Eversley B
17John Betts
18Leigh North Street

UCS v Chingford A Board 5, why not Qh4 mate? Main playing hall Leigh North Street A The Willows
UCS v Chingford A Board 5, why not Qh4 mate? Main hall. 16 more teams
were in other rooms
Leigh North Street A The Willows
Under 11s side room Sunlight causes problems Chingford v Chingford, bd 1 rd 4 LNS v UCS, rd 4 LNS B team in action
Under 11s side room Sunshine chess Chingford v Chingford,
table 1 rd 4
LNS v UCS, rd 4 LNS B team in action
Newbury Park B v Willows Last round Newbury Park A v Goldbeaters B
Newbury Park B v Willows Two more teams, final round Newbury Park A v Goldbeaters B

SCCU u175

Essex finish with a whimper


Essex concluded their season in the Southern Counties' under 175 Championships with a disappointing performance in which visitors Middlesex, two players short and with a low-graded reserve drafted in at the last minute, won by the smallest possible margin. This was a very long way from the convincing victory which John Philpott wanted to compensate the team from what was, at the start of the match, the highly probable eventuality that, by the end of it, Essex would no longer be SCCU U175 Champions. Essex had to beat Middlesex and hope that Sussex lost to Surrey for their defence of the Championship to be successful. Essex have held the SCCU Title in an unbroken run which goes back way before the turn of the century. Essex, as runners-up in the SCCU, have qualified for the National stages of the competition and will now have to play an away match against the winners of the East Anglian event in the Quarter-Finals. Sussex, as Champions, receive a bye into the semifinals.

Middlesex were not just outnumbered, they were also outgraded, by about 6 points per board without counting Board 11, where Colin Ramage faced the redoubtable Zoe Ryle, a player always willing to act as reserve for Middlesex even though her playing strength places her rather out of her depth at this level. It was a great shame from the point of view of the Essex players that several of them who have served the County well all season came unstuck in a match which should definitely have been won. Middlesex, whose County chess has not been well organised in recent seasons, will have been delighted and perhaps the best result for them was the board 16 win as Mehran Kamalvand overcame a grading difference of 36 points to defeat Ray Purse. Ray was hitherto unbeaten and has played consistently well thoughout the season. Kamalvand has played only twice for Middlesex but has won both games, the other being another impressive scalp in the form of Daniel Hirsch, the Sussex Captain.

Meanwhile, John's discomfiture at the result of this match developed into the unbearably excruciating as news filtered through that bottom-of-the-table Surrey, without a win or a draw all season, had trounced Champions-elect Sussex by an overwhelming 11½-4½. Thus it was that the under 175 competition turned itself on its head at the last. And you can tell that it really got to John, because he even forgot to mention that West Ham beat Tottenham 2 - 0.

Board Colour Essex Grade Score Middlesex Grade Score
1 W Tim Hebbes 173 0 Jurgen Jakob 167 1
2 B Larry Marden 173 1 Anthony Wheatley 170 0
3 W Robert Parker 174 0 Jim Falzarno 168 1
4 B Ian Reynolds 166 1 default - 0
5 W Peter Doye 164 1 Ian Calvert 165 0
6 B John Moore 163 ½ Paul McKeown 164 ½
7 W Martin McCall 161 0 Anthony fulton 161 1
8 B Mark Weighell 169 1 default - 0
9 W Josiah Lutton 158 0 Zafer Djabri 158 1
10 B John White 160 ½ Ray Harper 155 ½
11 W Colin Ramage 160 1 Zoe Ryle (res) 48 0
12 W David Millward 159 ½ Oliver Williams 151 ½
13 W Sid Kalinsky 158 0 Neville Blackie 146 1
14 B Ian Hunnable 156 1 Charles Wallace 140 0
15 W Ken Clow 150 0 David McNish 139 1
16 B Ray Purse 150 0 Mehran Kamalvand 114 1
TOTAL - Home TOTAL - Away

The following was a neat win by and English player in the Capell la Grande Open. More than 600 competitors participated, including at least one from Essex!

Zawadzki,S (2363) - Hebden,M (2515) [C88]

Open de Cappelle 2003 (4.40), 2003

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 0-0 8.h3 Bb7 9.Nc3 Na5 10.d3 d6 11.Bd2 Kh8 12.Ne2 Nxb3 13.axb3 Ng8 14.Ng3 g6 15.c4 Bf6 16.Bc3 c5 17.Nf1 b4 18.Bd2 Bg7 19.Ne3 Ne7 20.Nd5 h6 21.Nh2 f5 22.f3 Nc6 23.Be3 f4 24.Bf2 Bc8 25.Kf1 Bf6 26.Nxf6 Qxf6 27.Ke2 g5 28.Kd2 Ra7 29.Qe2 h5 30.Rh1 Rh7 31.Rag1 Rg8 32.Qd1 Rg6 33.Kc1 Kg8 34.Kb1 Qg7 35.Qf1 Qf6 36.Qd1 Kf8 37.Qf1 Ke8 38.Ka2 Bd7 39.g4 fxg3 40.Rxg3 Qf4 41.h4 g4 42.Rhg1 Rhg7 43.fxg4 Bxg4 44.Qg2 Qd2 45.Be3 Qxg2 46.R1xg2 Rf7 47.Kb1 Rgf6 48.Kc2 Be6 49.Kd1 Nd4 50.Rg8+ Kd7 51.Ra8 Bh3 52.Rg3 Bg4+ 53.Nxg4 Rf1+ 54.Kd2 Nxb3+ 55.Ke2 hxg4 56.Rxg4 Nd4+ 57.Kd2 Nc6 58.Rxa6 Rh1 59.Kc2 Rh2+ 60.Kb3 Kc7 61.Rg6 Kb7 62.Ra1 Rf3 63.Re1 Rxe3 64.Rxe3 Nd4+ 65.Ka2 b3+ 66.Ka3 Rh1 0-1

8/8/4k3/6K1/q7/3B4/8/6Q1 1NBk4/p2p4/8/3K4/8/8/8/8
White to play and win. Last week's solution (Troitzky, 1898): 1 Bh7+ Kd4 2 Qb4+ Kd5 3 Bg8+ and Black cannot avoid the skewer. Note that 1 ... Kf4 is met by 2 Qg3 mate

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