Did the juniors do well? You bet they did!
The 32nd Northamptonshire Junior Chess Congress took place yesterday (19th November 2011) at the Cedar Road Primary School.
I was there as an official helper and also representing Northampton Junior Chess Club as coach.
Junior chess in Northamptonshire is thriving in no small part due to John Warren who is influential in junior schools (mainly kids aged 7-11 I believe) with regards to helping out and running school chess clubs.
Ian Marsh set up Northampton Junior Chess Club in September 2010 and I have bene coaching there on a Friday since it's inception. NJCC has a good relationship with John Warren's schools association and both myself and Ian were happy to help out at this event which attracts the strongest junior players in the county.
Some of our juniors attended this event last year just a couple of months after the kids had started playing at the newly formed NJCC and we had a few good results and a year later, it was clear that excellent progress has been made by the juniors.
I was very impressed with some of the chess and here is one example, George Horner v Unknown (I was too busy to remember the exact position, let alone his opponents' name!). This was in a fifth round match against one of the best juniors and George was on 3 out of 4 points at this stage. This was a crucial round since the potential to qualify for the London Junior Chess Congress was at stake along with hopes of fighting for the U10 championship!
This is the position as best I can remember - the motif and execution were textbook!
See if you can find the right moves, as George did. Click "move list" button for all of the analysis.
Out of the eleven players from our junior chess club who attended this event, 6 qualified for the London Junior Chess Congress which is a fantastic result! Well done to the kids for rising to the occasion!
Of the others, we had several prizes awarded including Best Girl for Aggie Mann and a notable performance of 3/6 for Briony Tomkins in the U18 section. Briony is only 12 years old and to finish her tournament with two wins was just brilliant - her parents were rightly very proud of her.
Other encouranging performances were from Josh Khangura who finished joint runner up in the u8 section. Josh has only been at our club for a few months and is very keen. Also in the u8 section, Vignesh Sudhakar scored 2/6 which was also commendable since he was the youngest player in the whole tournament!
It's great to see junior chess is alive and kicking in Northamptonshire. NJCC are taking teams to the Junior Four Nations Chess League (J4NCL) which is held over separate weekends over the coming months. Look out for more updates - the first event is next weekend. Are we looking forward to that?! Oh yes!
The full Northants Junior Congress results for all NJCC members can be found here: http://www.northamptonjuniorchessclub.org.uk/