Posts Tagged ‘WECU Junior Championships’
The West of England Junior Open Congress was held last weekend at St. Joseph’s College, Swindon. This event has grown in importance in recent years under the guidance of WECU Junior Secretary Bev Schofield and her band of helpers, and this year’s total entry was 356, making it by far the biggest weekend tournament in the westcountry.
As it is an Open event there were entries from all over the country, all of whom
were eligible to win their age sections, but only those with genuine westcountry connections (birth, residence or schooling in the area) were eligible for the title of WECU Champion.
The prizelist was long and comprehensive, and this is just a summary of the main winners – (grades & clubs given).
Major Section: 1st= Marcus Harvey (209–Bicester) & Peter Bachelor (184-Willesdon) both 4/5 pts. 3rd= Rahda Jain (179-Cheltenham Ladies Coll.) & Kumar Dixit (164-Camberley) both 3½. WECU U-18 Championship Awarded to Jain and Dixit. The British Championship Qualifying Place, a new feature of this event, went to Bachelor.
U-14 Section: 1st= Ananthanarayan Balaji (169–Harrow); Adam Taylor (168-Colchester); Akito Oyama (156-Cambridge) & Roman Mitra (165-Herts) all 4/6 pts. WECU U-14 Champion: Jamie MacDonald (128-Wilts).
U-12 Section: 1st Vincent Lee (133-Herts). 2nd= Matthew Fergusson (142-Birmingham); Joshua Higgs (137-Sussex); Richard Meikle-Briggs (132-Richmond) & Ryan Wong (131-Maidenhead) all 5/6. WECU U-l2 Champions: Theo Slade (147-Cornwall) & Alex Vanlint (137-Basingstoke). Girls Champion: Eleanor Hapeshi (92-Gloucester).
U-10 Section: 1st= Koby Kalavannan (137-Surbiton) & Francesco Bernadini (u/g-Kent). 3rd= Charlie McLaren (114-Wilts); Anthony Zang (145-Berks) & Anantha Anilkumar (119-Coulsdon). WECU Champion; McLaren. Girl: Emily Vaughan (u/g Wilts).
U-9 Section: 1st Will Cleeves (86-Thamesdown). 2nd= Oliver Howell (106-Coulsdon) & Ben Perryman (u/g-Hants). WECU Champion: Cleeves.
Both Somerset and Devon have assembled strong teams for their match at Norton Fitzwarren, near Taunton, this afternoon. On paper, Somerset have the edge in the 1st team match (16 boards), while Devon look favourites in the 2nd team.
At the recent very strong Bunratty Masters weekend tournament 1st= were Mickey Adams (Taunton), Nigel Short and Gawain Jones (all 5/6 pts) with Keith Arkell (Paignton) and Con Ionescu just half a point behind.
Last week’s position White could have won if he had played 1.Qc3! and 1…Qe7 is not enough to save things after 2.Qxc8.
Here is another new 2-mover from Dave Howard of West Harptree. White to move.
The West of England Junior Championships start in Swindon three weeks today, just enough time to get late entries in.
This venerable event started way back in 1948 when it was held as a special section of the traditional West of England Easter Congress. It was held in Bristol that year and the first winner was P. T. Burnett. The following year there was a tie between G. Allin (Plymouth) and D. S. Reed (Bath) and in 1950 it was won by a 14 year old Exeter School pupil, Denis Gray with a 100% score of 8/8. He retained this title for several years and was a leading westcountry player until his role as a GP in his family practice took over, eventually being knighted for his services to the medical profession.
As more and more juniors took up the game in the 1970s, following the inspiration provided by the exploits of Bobby Fischer, it was hived off as a stand-alone event with its own Organiser, the last one being Ralph Maishman of Burnham-On-Sea.
It was then felt appropriate to combine it with the increasingly successful Wiltshire Junior Championships, and this formula has proved successful for several years.
This year’s congress takes place on 26th & 27th February at St. Joseph’s Catholic College, Swindon, SN3 3LR, and there will be prizes for boys and girls in both the West of England and Wiltshire Championship in the following age groups: U-18; U-16; U-14; U-12; U-12; U-10; U-9 and U-8. There are also other non-championship sections, so there is something for everyone.
Full details may be obtained from the Entry Secretary, Bev Schofield, on 01793-487575 or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here is an instructive game of Gray’s from the 1952 WECU Junior Championship in which he demonstrates how to maintain the initiative after a bold piece sacrifice. His opponent was the runner-up.
White: D. J. P. Gray. Black: N. Ashbee.
King’s Gambit Accepted [C39]
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 g5 Black aims to defend his extra pawn even before it’s attacked. 4.h4 White’s aim is to undermine that defence and attack quickly on the Kingside. 4…g4 5.Ng5 White is preparing a piece sacrifice. 5…h6 6.Nxf7 Kxf7 Note how, rather than grabbing the g-pawn, White seeks to develop all his pieces in order to try and retain the initiative. 7.d4 d6 8.Bc4+ Ke8 9.Bxf4 Nf6 10.Nc3 Nc6 11.Qd2 Qe7 12.0–0–0 Bg7 White has succeeded in his primary aim – now to attack the king stuck in the centre. 13.e5 breaking open the centre Nd7 14.exd6 Qf6 15.Rde1+ Kf8 16.Rhf1 Nxd4 17.Be5 Nf3 18.Rxf3 gxf3 19.Bxf6 Bxf6 20.Qd5 Black resigned as mate is inevitable. 1–0
Last week’s position was solved by 1.Kc4! which forces 1…Ka4 allowing 2.Qa2 mate. Here is another of a similar standard, suitable for juniors. White to mate in 2.