Our visit to the Millfield Under 18 Chess International, included 11 of the players that had played last year. and we were also delighted to welcome to the gang; Ian Gao, Finn Goodhew, and Tom Carter. Our team for the weekend :
- Chirag Hosdurga
- Oliver Stubbs
- Max Walker
- Toby Kan
- Ian Gao
- Aron Saunders
- Jack Tye
- William Mullaney
- Kandara Acharya
- Bilal Ahmed
- Jonathan Zeng (Sat)/Tom Carter (Sun)
- Finn Goodhew
DAY ONE – Saturday October 12th
9.15am – We all arrived on time, the team had a quick pep talk from Chris Beaumont, and then off they went for the two qualifying rounds. Through these two rounds we comfortably qualified for the main championship with 15.5/24 points and 3rd out of 11 teams. First objective achieved.
2.00pm – After a nice Millfield lunch, we moved to the main Championship Section with 5 teams competing for the coveted title of Millfield International Chess Champions 2019. There were 5 rounds to play, with 2 on in the afternoon and then 3 more on Sunday. Therefore with a 12 board team, still 60 points to play for.
As usual Gonzaga College and RGS Guildford were firm favourites. Guildford were seriously strong on their top boards, with FM Alex Golding starring on board one. Gonzaga had Henry Li (200) on board one, and strong all the way down to board 12.
We were hoping to maintain our 3rd place podium finish as last year, but with a new Irish team in attendance, with their board one and two both over 2100, it was certainly going to be a tough ask.
The fact was, that this year’s competition was even stronger than last year’s, not something we were really expecting However, we have an incredible gutsy team, with superb team spirit. We were also by far the youngest team in attendance. but had competitive players all the way down from board 1 – 12.
By the end of day one we had scored 11.5/24 in the first two Championship rounds, and despite not being at our best we still managed to hold on to 3rd place.
One game that has to be mentioned from round one of the main championship was Chirag’s superb win against Tarun Kanyamarala (2200). It was a close game with both players pushing hard to win. As his clock ticked down, Chirag kept his composure (well that is what it seemed like), and just as there seemed chances of a perpetual Chirag forced home a great win.
DAY TWO – Sunday October 13th
The team’s aim on day two was to try to hold on to 3rd place, with Gonzaga and RGS pulling away and fighting for 1st place. Tom Carter joined the team and replaced Jonathan Zeng who had other commitments, but had already contributed two important wins. Thanks Jonathan !
9.30am – Round 5 was really solid for us with 7.5/12, with Tom scoring his first win in his debut game at Millfield. This was an interesting game, with two rooks and couple of pawns, versus queen and couple of pawns. With both clocks running down, Tom’s opponent offered a draw, but surprisingly Tom played on ! Well, guess what, he was right to, and after eventually centralising his queen, he managed to fork one of the rook’s with check. His opponent played a couple of more moves, but with no hope resigned
Round 6 – we wobbled a bit with our lowest round score of 5/12. Not what the team were used to. However, I said we had a gutsy team, and after some honest game analysis from our coach IM Chris Beaumont, and I mean honest, the players dusted themselves down, and were determined to finish on a high in the last round. And they were determined.
2.15pm – With Aron and Finn sure to win board prizes if they could win their last round there was a lot to play for.. After a nice Millfield brunch it was time to start the last round. Slowly but surely we notched up win after win, and by the end of a long gruelling round we scored our best ever round score of 9/12. What a way to finish the tournament and pull away comfortably in third place
However, the real icing on the cake were the two fantastic performances over the weekend by Finn and Aron
Debutant Finn Goodhew played some scintillating chess, with captures and checkmates all over the place. Finn took home the board 12 prize with a extremely impressive 6.5/7 points, wow !
On board 6 Aron was also in fine form, and as solid as ever. He again scored 6.5/7 in taking the board 6 prize. A truly excellent performance from Aron, what a consistent player he is. Amazing !
Hang on though, Dwiti was also playing in the reserve tournament and with many truly crushing wins she finished 1 = in the reserve tournament. Another great performance ! Well done Dwiti
So a very enjoyable weekend came to an end, and we had retained our top 3 place as last year. But this year with three board prizes
It was a memorable weekend, and a very well run tournament by Matthew Turner. Millfield were also great hosts, and our team played, as good chess should be, with great determination, fair play, and most of all with a smile on their face. Matthew told me he was very impressed with our team’s chess and how hard they battled.
Gonzaga finished as Millfield Chess Champions for 2019, with RGS Guildford not far behind in 2nd.
I would like to thank all the players for making it a great weekend. They are a fine bunch, and as such a young team, there will be further opportunities in the next few years to improve on their 3rd place. I would also like to thank The Bristol and District League Committee for their ongoing financial support, in supporting our talented youngsters. We are very grateful for this. and this allowed the team to have Chris Beaumont in attendance over the whole weekend as their coach and analyst. Chris did a great job. Thank you also to all the parents and carers for sharing lifts and cheering the team on. Dave Tipper was there in person, to check on the juniors, or was it to add to his opening repertoire !
But hang on, that is not quite it. After the prize giving some of us decided to to relax with a bit of table tennis ? Please take a look at the video and photos to witness some ‘quality’ play, and the much anticipated grudge match between David Tipper and Christopher Beaumont. The video shows who was victorious !
- Report by John Stubbs
- Video by David Kan