Bronze for U9s and U11 Girls in Midland Team Championships

The Midland U11, U9 Team Championships were staged at Leicester Grammar School on the 10th February this year barely 6 days after the Leicester Junior Chess Congress took place at the same venue. The competing counties were Notts, Northants, Warkwickshire and Leicestershire.

In the U9s (8 boards), Round 1 against Notts resulted in a very creditable 4-4 draw. Round 2 against Warwickshire (who placed 3rd= nationally last year) was always going to be tough and finished with a 7-1 scoreline to them before a Round 3 win over Northants 5.5 – 2.5 finished the competition off nicely for the team. Frustratingly it left Leicestershire just 1/2 a point off 2nd placed county Notts in the final standings which were decided by accumulated game points. It marks a considerable improvement on this competition last year when Warks were not competing and Leicestershire finished a fairly distant 3rd behind Northants and Notts. Alex Cimurs, Olivia Chen, Arooj Mahajan and Madhav Eradi all managed two wins from the three games.

In the U11s (12 boards), 3 U9 players (Joshua Tang, Shey Shah-Thakerar and Aarav Sinha) spiritedly played up an age-group to help out the team as a couple of key players weren’t able to play. The team finished just a couple points behind Northants in 4th place having come close to matching that team in the 3rd round match (Northants 6.5 – Leics 5.5). Daniel Chen, who played despite being unwell the previous day, and Jason Lv both had excellent competitions winning all three games. Newcomer to the team Avnish Patel also did well to finish with 1.5 pts.

In the U11 Girls event (4 boards) Leicestershire effectively fielded an U9 Girls team so it was particularly pleasing they managed to come away with Bronze medals having managed to defeat Notts B in the 1st round. Catherine Lv scored two wins out of three.

U9s: Lindsay Pyun, Kajus Mikalajunas, Noor Datoo, Alex Cimurs, Olivia Chen, Alex Shen, Arooj Mahajan, Madhav Eradi

U11s: Rakym Serik, Daniel Chen, Jason Lv, Austin Meynell, Hope Wheway, Anant Kapoor, Aryan Ankolekar, Joshua Tang, Zaara Syed, Shey Shah-Thakerar, Aarav Sinha, Avnish Patel

U11 Girls: Holly Fowkes, Lailim Ryskali, Sophie Mehta, Catherine LV


U9s:  1st Warks 19pts, 2nd Notts 11 pts, 3rd Leics 10.5 pts, 4th Northants 7.5pts

U11s: 1st Notts 25pts, 2nd Warks 20pts, 3rd Northants 14.5pts, 4th Leics 12.5 pts

U11 Girls: 1st Notts A 10.5 pts, 2nd Warks 6pts, 3rd Leics 4pts, 4th Notts B 3.5pts  

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Leicester Junior Congress

Leicester Junior Congress took place on Sunday 4th Feb at Leicester Grammar and saw closely fought competition throughout the three sections (Open, Major (U80) and Minor (U30) with awards being made in each age category within each section.

In the Minor the clear overall winner of the section was Elizabeth Stein (U13) on 5pts whose only loss came against U9 winner Madhav Eradi (4.5pts), who also was unbeaten apart from a loss to U11 winner Avnish Patel (4.5pts).

In the Major (U80) the competition was dominated by great performances from 3 U9 players (Elis Denele Dicen (Warks) , Kajus Mikalajunas (Leics) and Lindsay Pyun (Leics)) who all finished on 5pts and could only be placed in that order by the 2nd criteria of the tie break system in operation (Cumulative Scores) which totals the score of each player after each round (thus placing a greater value to having a clean win sheet as far into the competition as possible). It only seems fair to mention that remarkably Lindsay Pyun beat both Elis Denele and Kajus in the course of the competition, which possibly underlines the imperfections inherent within any tiebreak system. As the best placed Leicestershire player Kajus (aged 7) won the U9 County title.

In the Open, Ben Raine (5pts) was a clear winner of the section, from three players on 4.5pts (Imogen Dicen (sister of the winner of the Major), Daniel Stein (brother of the winner of the Minor) and Thomas Blay) and thus won the U18 county title as well. Daniel Chen and George Worrow Goodin won the U11 and U13 county titles respectively both scoring 4pts.

Full results can be seen by clicking the links below:


U18: 1st Ben Raine (5), 2nd Daniel Stein (4.5)

U13: 1st Imogen Dicen (4.5), 2nd George Worrow-Goodin (4)

U11: 1st Daniel Chen (4), 2nd Mankaran Punglia (3)


U13: 1st Adam Kerbel (4), Rakshai Muthusamy (3.5)

U11: 1st Anant Kapoor (4), 2nd Sridat Bhamidipati (4)

U9: 1st Elis Denele Dicen (5), 2nd Kajus Mikalajunas (5), 3rd Lindsay Pyun (5)


U13:  1st Elizabeth Stein (5), 2nd Mariam Syed (2)

U11: 1st Avnish Patel (4.5), 2nd  Joshua Stein (4.5)

U9: 1st Madhav Eradi (4.5), 2nd Holly Fowkes (4)

U7: 1st Billy Fellowes (4), 2nd Catherine Lv (3)

County Champions: Ben Raine (U18), George Worrow-Goodin (U13), Daniel Chen (U11), Kajus Mikalajunas (U9)

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Notts Rapidplay

A number of Leicester juniors played in this 6 round swiss open congress. Rakym Serik, who was playing in the Major (U160) had a remarkable competition at this level to score 3.5 pts out of 6 and which could so easily have been 4 had he accepted a draw in his last game before an endgame blunder turned the tables against him.

In the Minor (U110) Joseph Ward-Langman had a great unbeaten day on 5pts to win the section jointly with the Notts University student with whom he drew in the last round. Umar Syed also played in the section and scored 2.5pts.

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South of England Junior Championship

Jason Lv and Daniel Chen both played in this event (an England U11 Trial qualifier) scoring 3pts and 2pts respectively with Jason playing particularly well to achieve a half-norm.

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J4NCL 2nd Weekend – Telford

A young Leicester team in the 2nd division finished 14th out off 22 teams. After a difficult first day with only a point from the first three rounds, the team rallied well in the 2nd day to draw in the 4th round and win the 5th to finish on 4 points. Jason Lv had a superb competition on board 3 winning all 5 matches and Sasha Kerbel who just played on the Sunday also won both his matches. The full team was Daniel Chen, Umar Syed, Sasha Kerbel, Jason Lv, Rakshai Muthusamy and Kareem Patel.

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London Junior Championships – U18/21, U12 and U8

The 2nd part of the super competitive London Junior Chess Championships was held after Christmas and a number of Leicestershire Juniors took part:

U18/21 (6 rounds)

5th= Kishan Modi 3.5pts
10th= Shyam Modi 3pts
10th= Tom Brown 3pts

U12 Major (9 rounds)

15= Daniel Chen 5.5pts
28= Umar Syed 4pts

U12 Minor (9 rounds)

7th= Jason Lv 6pts


Olivia Chen 3pts

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January Mini-Rapidplay

In a very competitive Rooks section three players (Arjun Vadgama, Kareem Patel & Lindsay Pyun) scored 3pts out of 4 and had to be separated on tie-break. Arjun was to win due to the fact his loss only came in the very last round (ironically to Kareem Patel). This tiebreak system was used rather than ‘head to head’ record as the 3 players involved didn’t all play eachother.

In the Knights section, Khaalid Patel (Kareem’s younger brother) won the section with 4.5pts out of 5 ahead of promising newcomer Kajus Mikalajunas who scored 4 points.

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London Junior Championships U14 & U10

In the first weekend of the prestigious London Junior Chess Championships (one of the most competitive UK competitions in the calendar) on the 16th/17th December two Leicestershire juniors competed with distinction.

In the U10 Major section Rakym Serik finished 4th= in a field of 115 players with 5.5/7. His only loss came against the outright winner of the whole competition.

In the U14 Minor Section, Umar Syed (who will be playing in the U12 event later in the month) came a fine 3rd= with 4.5/6

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U100 team success

Last year the Leicestershire U100 team containing 7 juniors won the National Final. This year Leicestershire have also launched a U120 team to accommodate the growing number of juniors graded over 100. The U100 team have already won their first two matches this season against Staffs 7-5 and Notts 7.5 – 4.5 which assures them of a top two finish in the Midland group and qualification for the national stages. Five juniors played in both matches (Anika Khare, Thomas Blay, Rory Haywood, Austin Meynell & Rakshai Muthusamy) with Thomas & Austin having won both games.

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Midlands V North V Scotland V Wales

Leicestershire juniors Daniel Chen, Anika Khare and Jason Lv competed for the victorious Midlands team in the Quadrangular U12 team event in Liverpool. All competed well with Anika notably winning all three games. George Worrow-Goodin played for the Midlands/Ireland composite U14 team.

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