Under 11s Qualify for National Finals

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The Essex Under 11s played in the EPSCA Under 11 East Zone at The Malcolm Arnold Academy in Northampton on 21st March.  The other teams involved were from Barnet, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Leicestershire, Newham, Northamptonshire, Richmond, and Suffolk.

The top six would qualify for the final and I knew the team would have to play well as Kent, Barnet and Herts who would be very difficult to score against at any board.  This was borne out by round one where no one in the Essex team managed to score against the top three, however all out players were playing well and only 2½ points were dropped to other teams.  The overall score of 10½ meant we were in 6th place a little ahead of an improved Newham team.

Round two was to be our best round with some exceptional wins against higher graded opponents and again all the team playing really well.  The score of 15/20 was the best score in a round for Essex in many years and moved the team up into fourth.

However an outside chance of a medal was soon extinguished in round three as the team was obviously tiring from a long day of tough chess.  Still a score of 10½ maintained our position overall to finish in fourth place and achieved the qualification place for the final in May.

Full results can be found at http://oxfordfusion.com/epsca/TeamsOverall.cfm?EventID=65

Well done to all the Essex team – everyone played with great spirit and all won at least one game, with Anum winning all her games and Aditya, Aadarsh, and Charukgan unbeaten.

Thanks to David and Ian for volunteering to be board stewards.  Thanks also to all the parents and others for their support and for making the long journey.  Finally thanks to the team from Northants who ran a very enjoyable event.

See you in the final!

Mark McCallum

Under 11 Team Manager