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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December Mini-Rapidplay

There was a tie for first place in the Kings section of the December Rapidplay as both Rory Haywood and Umar Syed finished up on 3 wins and then drew when they played each other.

In the Rooks section, Lindsay Pyun took first place scoring 5 wins out of 5 with Noor Datoo and Arooj Mahajan finishing 2nd and 3rd respectively on 4 points, with Arooj taking the Knights award for the top player graded below 150 on the Leicester Junior Chess Club internal grades.


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4 Counties Invitational 2017

A large team of 35 children competed for Leicestershire in the 4 Counties Invitational event against Warwickshire, Oxfordshire and Northamptonshire in Rugby on Sunday 26th November. This year there was also an U18 section in addition to U11s, U11 Girls and U9s.

A strong Leicestershire U18 team (8 boards) finished 2nd with wins against both Northamptonshire (4.5 – 3.5)  and Oxfordshire (6.5-1.5) but were beaten by Warwickshire in the first round (5.5-2.5), who won all three matches thus taking the title. Sasha Kerbel had a great competition winning all three games on board 7, whilst team leader Tom Brown was unbeaten with 2.5/3 and both George Worrow-Goodin and Peter Mottram-Epson recorded two wins.

The U11 team (8 boards) also finished 2nd and so very nearly won it, losing only on tie break to Warwickshire, both counties having beaten Oxfordshire and Northamptonshire and drawn against each other. The separating factor was the fact that Warwickshire’s wins were by slightly more convincing margins so that they were 16-13 ahead of us on overall game points. Nevertheless it was quite an improvement on last year’s performance when we finished a fairly distant 3rd behind Oxon and Warks. Rakym Serik was invincible on board 2 with 3 straight wins, whilst Umar Syed was unbeaten with 2/3 on board 3 and Kareem Patel and Austin Meynell also both won 2 games.

The U11 Girls (4 boards) drew their matches against both Warwickshire and Northamptonshire but were well beaten by overall winners Oxfordshire (3.5-0.5) and finished in 3rd overall. All members of the team won at least one game.

The U9s (8 boards) were making their debut in the competition, as last year we simply didn’t have the numbers to raise a team. In that context 3rd overall with a good win over Northamptonshire (5-3) was a pretty decent result and it’s worth noting that the overall winners Warwickshire (who beat us 8-0) have one of the very best U9 teams in the country. Joshua Tang, who will still be U9 next year and was our board 2, had a good 2nd round win and gave the Warwickshire no 2 a very good run for their money in the 1st round, whilst Noor Datoo (board 4) was the only member of the team who registered a win against a strong Oxfordshire team in the last round.


U18s: Tom Brown, Ben Raine, Matthew Lo, George Worrow-Goodin, Peter Mottram-Epson, Alastair Mottram-Epson, Sasha Kerbel, Anika Khare, reserves: Rory Haywood, Rakshai Muthusamy

U11s: Daniel Chen, Rakym Serik, Umar Syed, Jason Lv, Austin Meynell, Kareem Patel, Morris Walker, Anant Kapoor, Aryan Ankolekar, Rizwan Riaz (reserve)

U11 Girls: Hope Wheway, Zaara Syed, Lindsay Pyun, Olivia Chen, Hafsa Syed (reserve)

U9s: Evan Miles, Joshua Tang, Alex Cimurs, Noor Datoo, Khaalid Patel, Alex Shen, Arooj Mahajan, Shey Shah-Thakerar, Holly Fowkes, Catherine Lv

Detailed individual results and team crosstables are here


1st – Warks 6pts (19.5)

2nd Leics 4pts (13.5)

3rd Northants 2pts (10.5)

4th Oxon 0pts (4.5)


1st Warks 5pts (16)

2nd Leics 5pts (13)

3rd Oxon 2pts (10)

4th Northants 0pts (9)

U11 Girls

1st Oxon 5pts (9.5)

2nd Warks 4pts (8)

3rd Leics 2pts (4.5)

4th Northants 1pt (2)


1st Warks 6pts (21)

2nd Oxon 4pts (12.5)

3rd Leics 2pts (6.5)

4th Northants 0pts (8)

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British Rapidplay Championships

Leicestershire’s top U11 players put on a very good showing in the Saturday U11 event at Ilkley which also functions as an U11 England Trials qualifier. Daniel Chen won the section with 4.5/6 and Rakym Serik (playing Daniel in the last round) finished 3rd on 4/6 with Umar Syed in 9th on 3.5 pts. All three players secured half norms for England Trial qualification.

Ben Raine played in the 2 day (10 round) Intermediate (U146) 11 round event and finished creditably on 5.5 pts.


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November Mini-Rapidplay

Rakhym Serik won the Kings section with a near perfect score of 3.5/4, whilst Anant Kapoor did achieve a straight 5 wins out of 5 to win the Rooks section, with Noor Datoo continuing his rapid improvement to finish 2nd= in the section with 4/5 and win the ‘Knights’ award for players graded under 150 pts on Leicester Junior Chess Club’s internal grading system.

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Kent Junior Grand Prix

Umar Syed finished 5th= on 4.5/6 and Jason Lv 11th= on 3.5/6 in the U12 section at the Kent Junior Grand Prix Congress recently. The event was a qualifier for the London Junior Championships in December so with those performances they qualified for the U12 Major and U12 Minor Sections respectively.

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Leicester HE Atkins Memorial Rapidplay

The ‘Atkins’ last took place a few years ago as a weekend Standardplay congress but was revived this year as a one day Rapidplay event with Open, U165, U140, U115 and Junior U80 sections that took place on Sunday 15th October at Leicester Grammar School.

Leicestershire Junior players were very much in evidence in all sections with particularly notable results from Tom Brown who won the U165 section and 9 year old Rakym Serik who was 1st equal in the U115 section. Shyam and Kishan Modi both played in the tough ‘Open’ section with Shyam taking a share of the U180 grading prize.

Here’s a summary of the junior results:


4th= Shyam Modi 3.5pts
10th= Kishan Modi 2.5pts


1st Tom Brown 5pts
9th Joseph Ward-Langman 2pts


13th Ben Raine 2.5pts
19th Thomas Blay 1pt


1st= Rakym Serik 5pts
4th= George Worrow-Goodin 4pts
9th= Sasha Kerbel 3pts
9th= Anika Khare 3pts
15th Umar Syed 2.5pts
16th= Alastair Mottram-Epson 2pts

Junior U80

Austin Meynell 4.5pts (1st U12)
Rakshai Muthusamy 4.5pts (2nd U12)
Hope Wheway 4pts (3rd U12)
Noor Datoo 4pts (2nd U10)
Ranulph Wheway 4pts (2nd U16)
Olivia Chen 3pts (1st U8)
Zaara Syed 3pts
Alex Shen 3pts (2nd U8)
Morris Walker 3pts (3rd U10)
Arook Mahajan 2.5pts (3rd U8)
Adam Kerbel 2pts
Holly Fowkes 2pts
Harry Robinson 1pt

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Coventry Junior Open Rapidplay – 7th October

Lindsay Pyun took the silver medal in the U9 Girls Joshua Tang also took silver in the U8s with 3.5 pts out of 5.

Kareem Patel and Khaalid Patel both scored 2 points in the U11 & U9 Boys respectively.


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