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Ash Grand Prix Report - ( Chris Strong )

Under 11 Standings       Under 9 Standings


Somerset Junior Grand Prix


The first Grand Prix of the season produced many exciting games.


In the U9 section we saw many new players and a few new schools, all of which is very encouraging. These new players did not let the “established” stars have an easy time and the first shock did not take long. Iain Walsingham (the youngest entrant, beat Zoe Strong in double quick time with a carefully prepared attack. She bounced back well and finished joint 4th with Iain not far behind and collecting a few other scalps on the way. The matches that stood out were on the lower boards in round 4. After long and difficult struggles Rose and Charlotte both demonstrated good endgame technique to secure the full point. They then met in the final round where they were evenly matched and a draw looked the fairest result. The winner was Kells Stanton from Ash and he looked very composed all the way although he had a losing tussle against Oliver Main in round 5. Oliver was also impressive after his superb win in the UK Land GigaFinal in July.


The U11s again look strong and for the second year running I think that all of the top 20 are evenly matched. There were 56 entries and the games here were a lot tougher and longer. The brilliant Nathaniel played “up” and finished joint 7th. The two games that he lost were long and difficult but he displayed excellent fighting spirit in losing positions. In the first, against Ella, he was an exchange and several pawns behind, but excellent use of his Bishop brought several wobbly moments and Ella was lucky to get the whole point. Ella was much more clinical in her final game against school-friend Yein Pang and she finished well. The U10 champion was Owen Pearce on a perfect 6/6 as he played quietly and effectively. He did not seem troubled by anyone and was a deserved winner. Katie Purchase was the U11 champion losing only one game on time in a totally won position. Her game against Tim Kirkman was also long and technical. Tim defended superbly despite being a piece down and, although he wrongly offered to swap Queens, came close to getting a draw by perpetual check. A defence like that against many other players will work for him on another day.


Overall, this was a good day for junior chess in Somerset and we are all ready to move on to the next one at Millfield School on 26th November.


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