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