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.