The second Worthing Chess club junior championship took place on Sunday April 10th.
This provided an opportunity for the Worthing junior members to compete for the title of Worthing Junior Champion and earn a place in the UK Chess Challenge Megafinal. The tournament also attracted youngsters from the Broadwater C of E School chess club and Horsham Junior Chess Club giving us a bumper entry of 23 children with a fascinating mix of ages and abilities.
The format was a 7-round blitz (10 mins per player) - it was a really enjoyable afternoon and the future of Worthing Chess looks bright.
Big thanks to Chris Jones who gave up his Sunday afternoon to be an arbiter and my wife who organised the refreshments and distribution of the land chess challenge prizes. Thanks also to Mike Forster of Horsham CC whose hopes of a quiet afternoon were dashed as an odd number of players provided him with a 1:1 coaching opportunity during every round!
Hot favourite was Matthew Payne and he did not disappoint – he was made to battle hard a couple of times but never looked in danger of dropping any points. The crucial game was in round 6 against Arthur – it looked set for a draw but with a few seconds each left on the clock, Matthew forced an error and kept his 100% record.
William Graham played very consistently to clinch second place however it is unlikely his sister will ever congratulate him after an unfortunate touch-move incident in their game!
Samuel and Anesu joined the chess club this year and have improved markedly – this was their first tournament experience and they did really well to register 4 wins each.
Worthing’s youngest member, 6 year old Alec, played with frightening maturity against of series of older, more experienced players several of whom were part of Sussex’s under 9 national winning team.
Morgan and Ben both clocked-up good scores too. Not a surprise given how much they have improved this year – Morgan doing really well for Worthing second team and Ben consistently beating the adults now in the club tournaments.
The under 11s were playing for the UK Chess Challenge prize and competition was fierce. Unruffled by an early setback, Matthew Forster of Horsham played a high level of chess throughout the day and edged out William Allin in a winner-takes-all round 7 match. Cassie Graham showed terrific early form and ended up playing the top 5 seeds – she finished-up a point behind Matthew.
Well done to all who took part and thanks to parents and helpers for supporting the event – hope to see you all again next year.
Full results here.