Essex Junior Chess completes its 2016-17 school year training program

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February 7th saw 40 rapidly improving Essex Junior Chess players complete their 5th and final train and play day. Players were separated into small groups by grade with the expert group led by International Master Richard Pert (232 grade), Group 2 led by professional coach Tom Villiers (FIDE grade 2145), Group 3 led by Chess Coach Robin Slade with Essex's Junior Chess Chairman, Declan Kilcline, providing some personal coaching to Group 4.

The standard of play and associated grades from this group have increased significantly since we began the program in September, with Sarah Weersing recently earning a place in the National Junior Chess Squad, and Findlay Lister and Abigail Weersing recently earning half-norms in their quest to join the England set up. Both Harry and Jerry Zheng have recently won major tournaments, and Nina Pert has reached Triple figures for her grade at the tender age of 8. Essex Junior chess is clearly on the up.

Greg Thompson of Ewing Associates and Jagdeesh Cheema of deserve special recognition for subsidising half of the budget associated with this year's training program, as do the parents and children who participated on 5 Sundays this school year. Individuals or companies interested in participating in or sponsoring next year's program beginning in September 2017 should contact Nate Weersing at All children from England Squad members to novices who understand the basics of chess are welcome to apply, provided they are eligible to represent Essex at Junior tournaments.