Midland & Northern Gigafinals

The UK Schools Chess Challenge Midland Gigafinal took place in Solihull on the weekend of the 7th/8th July. Shyam and Kishan Modi both qualified for the Terafinal both finishing with 5pts (out of 6) in U14 and U15-18 sections respectively.

The following scored 4pts and qualify for one of the UK Schools Chess Challenger events:

Arooj Mahajan (U8 Boys), Kajus Mikalajunas (U8 Boys),  Madhav Eradi (U8 Boys), Joshua Tang (U8 Boys), Sophie Mehta (U8 Girls), Alex Cimurs (U9 Boys), Tom Brown (U15-18), Ben Raine (U15-18)

A few Leicestershire Juniors played in the UK Schools Chess Challenge Northern Gigafinal on the weekend of the 14th/15th July.

Jason Lv (5.5/6) and Milly Kotecha (4/6) had outstanding results to win the U11 Boys and U13 Girls sections respectively. Both qualify for the Terafinal as did Lindsay Pyun who finished 3rd in the U9 Girls with 4.5pts. Daniel Chen scored 4pts in the U11 Boys to qualify for the Challenger event.

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Rugby Junior Open

Leicestershire Juniors had the following results at the Rugby Junior Open on Sunday 1st July:

In the top U11A section (for players graded > 75) Jason Lv won a bronze medal scoring 3/5.

In the U11B section (ECF 50-75), Kajus Mikalajunas had an outstanding performance winning the section and all 5 games. Lindsay Pyun (2.5) and Joshua Tang (1) also played in the section with Lindsay winning a bronze medal.

In the U11C (ECF 25-50) section, newcomer Kori Lee won a silver medal with 4/5 and Sophie Mehta a bronze medal with 3/5.

In the U11D (< ECF 25) section Lailim Ryskali won a silver medal with 3.5/5 and Avnish Patel a bronze with 2.5/5.

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End of Season Mini-Rapidplay

Leicestershire Junior Chess Club held their last Mini-Rapidplay of the season on Saturday with a record equalling entry of 36. Sasha Kerbel won the Kings section with a perfect score of 4/4. Kajus Mikalajunas won the Rooks sections 4/5 on tie break over Adam Kerbel and Zaara Syed won the Knights section with 4/5 again on tie break over Aarav Sinha, Khaalid Patel and Ayesha Narvel.

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NSCA Charity Congress

A small select group of Leicestershire Juniors played in this Northamptonshire Schools Chess Asssociation event in Wellingborough on the 23rd June.

Kajus Mikalajunas won the U8s with 5/6 with Joshua Tang on 4/6. Joshua won the U8 section for his performances over the whole grand prix series of NSCA events.

In the U9s, Lindsay Pyun was 2nd but first girl with 4.5/6 and Noor Datoo scoring 4/6.

Ben Raine scored 3.5/6 in the U18 section.

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Megafinal Success – UK Chess Challenge

At the Northamptonshire & Leicestershire Megafinal at Wellingborough on the 12th May, Leicestershire Juniors were well to the fore with 9 section winners (Supremos/Supremas) This is the full list of gigafinal qualifiers (3.5 pts or higher required) for the next regional stage :

U7 Girls: Catharine Lv – 4.5 pts (Suprema), Olivia Chen – 4 pts (2nd)

U8 Boys: Kajus Mikalajunas – 5.5 pts (Supremo), Joshua Tang – 5pts (2nd), Madhav Eradi – 4pts

U8 Girls: Lailim Ryskali – 3.5 pts (Same points as Suprema)

U9 Boys: Alex Cimurs – 4 pts (2nd), Noor Datoo – 4 pts

U9 Girls: Lindsay Pyun – 5 pts (Suprema), Holly Fowkes – 3.5 pts

U10 Boys: Aryan Ankolekar – 4 pts (2nd)

U11 Boys: Jason Lv – 5 pts (Supremo), Daniel Chen – 5 pts (2nd), Umar Syed – 4.5 pts

U12 Boys: Adam Kerbel – 3.5 pts (Supremo)

U12 Girls: Anika Khare – 4.5 pts (Suprema)

U13 Girls: Millie Kotecha – 4 pts (Suprema)

U14 Boys: Kishan Modi – 5.5 pts (Supremo)

U15 Boys: Shyam Modi – 5 pts (Supremo), Sasha Kerbel 3.5 pts (2nd)

U16 Boys: Ben Raine – 3.5 pts

The previous weekend (5th May) at the Nottinghamshire Megafinal, Evan Miles scored an impressive 5.5 pts in the U9 Boys qualifying for the Gigafinal with ease, but unsatisfactorily not having the opportunity to play the boy who was awarded the Supremo title with the same points score.

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May Mini-Rapidplay

Sasha Kerbel won the combined Kings/ Rooks section in the Saturday chess club mini rapidplay competition on Saturday 5th May with 4 straight wins. Alex Cimurs won the Rooks award as the best ranked player from that section (ecf <65) on 3pts.

The Knights section featured 17 players with many playing their first chess club mini- rapidplay. Sophie Mehta won the section on 4pts out of 5 on tie break from Holly Fowkes and Lailim Ryskali by virtue of her first loss being in the last round of the competition.

Full Results are here:  Kings/Rooks, Knights

The next mini rapidplay will take place on June 2nd.

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Leicestershire 12th in EPSCA U11 Final

Leicestershire finished 12th out of the 15 teams that competed in EPSCA (English Primary Schools Chess Association) U11 final in Birmingham on the 21st April.

With the addition of the strong Southern Counties teams the standard was clearly a lot higher then the Northern Zone Qualifier and it should be noted that Leicestershire again finished 2nd out of the 5 teams from the North despite more than half the team being U9. Apparently Leicestershire haven’t qualified for this final since 2004 (and then didn’t contest the final) so progress is definitely being made at junior level.

Daniel Chen did particularly well on board 2 being unbeaten with 2 wins and a draw and a trio of under 9 players Kajus Mikalajunas (aged 7), Noor Datoo, and Alex Cimurs did very well to score 2 wins out of 3.

Full results are here

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Win for U130 team against Lincs and Notts

Leicestershire achieved a comprehensive victory against Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire in the Junior U130 12 board competition that took place in North Hykenham on Sunday 25th March. Unfortunately Yorkshire, who have won this event on 3 out of the 4 previous occasions, were unable to compete this time and so a 3 round jamboree was played instead rather than an all play all. In the 36 games played Leicestershire won 21 drew 10 and only lost 3 to score an overwhelming 28 pts ahead of Lincolnshire (11.5) and Notts (9.5). Not surprisingly there were some excellent individual scores with 3 wins out of 3 for Antoni Krupa, Jason Lv and Rory Haywood and 2 wins and a draw for Peter Mottram-Epson, Milly Kotecha, Alastair Mottram-Epson, Adam Kerbel and the Lindsay Pyun.

The full team was: Ben Raine, Sasha Kerbel, George Worrow-Goodin, Peter Mottram-Epson, Thomas Blay, Antoni Krupa, Milly Kotecha, Alastair Mottram-Epson, Rory Haywood, Jason Lv, Adam Kerbel, Lindsay Pyun

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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 takes  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 13.5pts for the round (constituting 12 wins and 3 draws with only 5 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 36.5 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

Team Scores:

1st Warwickshire 41.5

2nd Leicestershire 36.5

3rd Nottinghamshire 36.5

4th Cheshire & North Wales 31.5

5th Tameside 26

6th Staffordshire 24.5

7th Lancashire 23

8th Wirral 20.5

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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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