Under 14 Team are SCCU Champions
The Under 14 Team played Sussex in the Final of the SCCU tournament on 13 May at the Kings Road Primary School in Chelmsford.
We had only played one qualifying match plus a friendly match in 2016/17 but our team was certainly very keen to do well in the final and it was pleasing to be able to field a strong team.
In the first round of games Essex clearly made the most of having the white pieces. Although we had one early loss and many of the games were highly competitive most turned out well for the home team and Essex held a lead of 8½ to 3½ going into the break for refreshments!
Sussex had beaten some good teams to reach the final and they were always going to fight really hard in the second round to pull back the score. For some while this looked quite possible – once again Sussex scored the first point in the round and at that time there was only one game where an Essex player had an advantage – many of the other games looked difficult for us. However, as the round progressed we picked up sufficient points from the top four and bottom two boards to eventually run out winners by a margin of 13½ to 10½.
This was an excellent achievement and it is the first time Essex has won this tournament since it started in its present format in 2010, although we did come very close in 2011. All the players put in a great effort especially bearing in mind that the average grade of the Sussex team was 115 compared to our 108. We were especially outgraded on the top eight boards apart from board one which was level.
Thanks to the Sussex team for an enjoyable and sporting match. It was good that everybody could stay for the prize giving and receive the trophies provided by the SCCU. There is also a team trophy but unfortunately this was not available on the day. My appreciation is due to the following for their help and support –
- The Reserve players for turning out and supporting the team;
- All parents and players who helped with setting up and packing up;
- Amanda for providing excellent refreshments; and
- Everybody involved with the Essex Junior Chess Association, including the coaches who have worked with the players.
Trophies waiting to be presented (Layout by Sarah Weersing)
The victorious team with their trophies
Full team scores will appear on the SCCU junior matches page http://www.sccu.ndo.co.uk/jun.htm
Essex u14 Match Captain