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.
Rakym Serik and Matthew Lo had herculean tasks on boards 2 and 3 being massively outgraded, and unfortunately the results don’t do justice to how they played. There were a clutch of great draws in the middle order (Ben Raine, George Worrow-Goodin and Sasha Kerbel) in round 1 and draws for Tom Brown and Joseph Ward-Langman in round 2 but predictably it was on boards 8-12 where the gradings were much more level that we picked up all ours wins (one apiece for Peter Mottram-Epson, Anika Khare and Antoni Krupa and a win in both rounds for Thomas Blay).
After a first round that exceeded all expectations Leicestershire lay in 4th place (4.5 pts) battling it out with Herts and Suffolk. The 2nd round draw was slightly tougher and less successful for Leicestershire which pushed the team down into 5th equal on 7.5pts at the end of the competition.
Team (in board order): Tom Brown, Rakym Serik, Matthew Lo, Ben Raine, George Worrow-Goodin, Sasha Kerbel, Joseph Ward-Langman, Peter Mottram-Epson, Anika Khare, Alastair Mottram-Epson, Thomas Blay, Antoni Krupa
Results (average grade in brackets):
1st Kent 16.5 pts (151)
2nd Sussex 16 (161)
3rd Surrey 15 (154)
4th Hertfordshire (131)
5th= Leicestershire 7.5 (118)
5th= Suffolk 7.5 (122)