Silver for U11s in EPSCA Northern Zonal

Leicestershire’s 20 board U11 team (10 of whom are U9) pulled off a remarkable 2nd place in the EPSCA Northern Zonal on the 17th March behind the victors Warwickshire shading the Midland U11 champions Notts into 3rd place on tie break. In so doing they comfortably qualify for the National final which takesĀ  place in Birmingham on the Sat 21st April.

Just over a month ago the U11 team had finished 4th behind Notts (25), Warks (20) and Northants (14.5) on 12.5 pts in the Midland Competition. However without an U9 competition taking place at the same time Leicestershire were able to strengthen the U11 team with it’s talented and improving U9s and this proved to be a decisive factor in the marked improvement in the team’s performance.

After the first round (of 3), Leicestershire lay in 3rd place on 11.5pts but behind the front runners and favourites Warks & Notts (both on 14pts). In the 2nd round Warks scored another impressive 14 pts (out of 20) to open up a 3 point lead over Notts who this time only scored 11pts to Leicestershire’s 11.5, shortening the gap between 2nd and 3rd (25 to 23). At this stage Leicestershire looked secure in 3rd having a 3.5pt lead over Cheshire & North Wales in 4th, but overhauling a 2pt lead on Notts for 2nd place in the last round seemed a big ask.

In round 3 Leicestershire saved the best till last improving to 12.5pts for the round (constituting 11 wins and 3 draws with only 6 losses over the 20 boards) and Notts faltered dropping to only 10.5 pts for the round. The result was a tie for 2nd between Notts and Leicestershire on 35.5 pts which had to go to the 2nd tiebreak (progressive elimination of lowest board scores) before Leicestershire were pronounced the silver medallists.

Rakym Serik (board 2), Jason Lv (board 4) and Olivia Chen (bd 14) won all 3 games and Umar Syed (bd 3), Evan Miles (bd 11) and Sophie Mehta (reserves) were also unbeaten on 2.5 pts. The well known ability of our most experienced and highly graded players was clearly on display with 11.5 points scored by our top 5 boards, but every 1/2 point is vital in such events and significantly in this one everyone scored points for the team.

Team listing: Daniel Chen, Rakym Serik, Umar Syed, Jason Lv, Austin Meynell, Lindsay Pyun, Anant Kapoor, Kajus Mikalajunas, Hope Wheway, Aryan Ankolekar, Evan Miles, Noor Datoo, Joshua Tang, Olivia Chen, Zaara Syed, Avnish Patel, Aarav Sinha, Alex Shen, Shey Shah- Thakerar, Madhav Eradi.

Reserves: Holly Fowkes, Lailim Ryskali, Sophie Mehta, Catherine Lv, Hafsa Syed

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ECF U18 County Team Championships

Leicestershire competed in the tough 12 board Open section of the ECF U18 County Team Championships in Grantham on Sunday 25th February and gave a good account of themselves against very stiff opposition. Six counties sent teams to the competition and the top three teams (Kent, Sussex, Surrey) historically have always been considered to be amongst the very strongest chess counties in the country. Continue reading

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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. Continue reading

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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. Continue reading

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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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