Essex U14 and U18 teams at the SCCU Jamboree

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The Southern Counties Chess Union Junior Jamboree took place in East Finchley on Sunday 17th March. Team Manager Craig Caves reports:-

Section - U18 Minor

Two teams entered – Essex Bishops led by Jonathan and Essex Knights led by Lakshan.
Round #1: With only 5 teams entered into this section, it was inevitable that in a jamboree format there were going to be some Essex vs Essex games. First blood went to the Essex Bishops with Ben and Dmitry sharing the spoils on board 3 and Charlotte defeating Fraser on board 4. Elsewhere in this round a draw for Max vs Richmond on board 2 and win for Ethan vs Richmond on board 5 completed the scoring for Essex. Tough but close games on the top board for Jonathan and Lakshan vs Wilts and Richmond respectively and also on the lower boards with Mae and Ben narrowly missing out on some points against a strong Kent team.
Round #2: A tough draw for the Bishops in this round with both Jenny and Charlotte drawn against higher boarded players. Essex Bishops player Jenny on board 2 sharing a draw with Essex Knights top board Lakshan, was eventually the only score for the Bishops in this round. Charlotte took her England player opponent from Kent right the way to the end game. Asci losing out to Richmond in a closely battled contest and Mae (who I think was feeling the effects from playing for the u9’s just the day before!) losing out to a strong Wilts player.
A good round elsewhere for the Knights with wins for Max vs Wilts, Dmitry vs Richmond and another win for Ethan against Kent.       
Round #3: Starting with the Essex Bishops, wins for Jenny and Ben both against Richmond meant they both finished on 1.5 well done! (Taking points off of Richmond would later prove to also be helpful for their mates in the Knights team…). Acsi also got a deserved win for the Bishops against a higher graded Kent player.
With Max having to leave after two rounds (planned) Knights players Dmitry, Fraser and Ben all moved up 1 board to make room for Leonard to come in on board 6 for his first taste of u18 competition. The Knights team didn’t seem to be too fazed with nice wins Fraser and Ethan against Kent opposition on board 3 & 4 (Ethan 3/3 – well done!) – followed by wins for Ben and Leonard on board 5 & 6. Dmitry played out a mammoth game against Kent board 2 which was the last game of all sections to finish and drew quite a crowd. If we could have stopped the clocks Dmitry would have probably gone on to win this match but in the end he ran out of time to finish off his opponent, much to his opponents relief! 
A quick check (and double check) of the scoring at this point meant that thanks to the Essex Bishops scalping of Richmond and four wins for the Essex Knights in the final round, the Knights had leap frogged both Richmond and Wilts into second place behind Kent.
Overall: 5 teams in this section and in each of the rounds Essex were generally the last players to finish their games showing maturity and determination. A real team effort from both teams that the teams should be proud of, it was great to see the way the players supported each other and enjoyed each other's company through the day. Very tough competition on the top boards but our players gave a good account of themselves and never gave up – well done!
Final placings: 1st Kent, 2nd Essex Knights, 3rd Wiltshire, joint 4th Essex Bishops & Richmond (all separated by 4.5 points) 

Section - u14/u110 Minor:
Round #1: Team captain Jake battled out a great draw with a Kent board 1. Nigel coolly dispatching his opponent from Hall A on board 2, as well as wins for Jaideep on board 3, Dylan on board 5 and Max on board 6. Essex were joint leaders going into round #2.
Round #2: Leonard in for Max securing a win and a point on board 6. Another win for Dylan, Nigel and Jake and draw from Jaideep put the team in 2nd place following round two. Fantastic chess from Advaith and very unlucky not to secure a win against a much higher graded opponent from Richmond – also last game to finish!
Round #3: All to play for going into round 3 but Essex facing a tough draw. A quick win for Jake against Maidenhead and a win for Advaith getting the deserved reward from his day at the board. A nice draw from Nigel against a close rival Surrey but despite heroic efforts by Max, Jaideep and Dylan they were unable to turn their games but battled to the very end – well done boys. (Leonard played for the u18 minor team in this round and also secured a win!)
Overall: 17 teams in this section and Essex were on average out-graded by the majority of the entered teams. The final few games in each of the rounds were contested by at least 1 player from Essex showing maturity and determination. A real team effort that the team should be proud of, it was great to see the way the players supported each other and enjoyed each other's company through the day.
Final placing 5th. (1st - Bucks A and joint 2nd – St Albans & Kent)