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Somerset Junior Grand Prix -  Blagdon  ( Chris Strong )

BlagdonUnder 11                BlagdonUnder 9


Blagdon Jan 2007


This, the third Grand Prix event, was well short of players but we still saw some cracking games. The children were all inspired by Jack Rudd’s 16-minute win at Hastings the week before against a strong Grandmaster. We had the moves and analysis pinned on the wall and many were eager to follow his tactics. Some even tried to play as quickly!


The Under 9 section had many new faces and they were also the youngest in the group. That did not deter them from putting up a fight and a few of the older ones were caught out by some strange moves. The top five cannot decide who really is best as they continued to take points off each other. However, the quality of Oliver Main prevailed best and he joined Dylan Gutt on 5 to win this section. Oliver had a brilliant game against ZoŽ Strong in round 5 with both going for a win but keeping aware of the other’s tactical threats. ZoŽ won this encounter only to falter in the final round against Dylan, despite being two pieces up in her favourite Sicilian Dragon. Well done to Dylan, though. You should never call it a day in junior chess.


The Under 11s once again was strong all the way down to number 20 and there were no easy victories in this group. The day started with a tough encounter for Sammy Boorman and Nicole Brown and this proved to be one of the best games of the day. Although Nicole lost this encounter she went on to win her remaining games and finish joint first. Nathaniel was in “destroy” mode again and pushed all his opponents to one side but lost an exciting game against the other joint winner, Oliver King. He was clearly inspired by Jack’s game. Another ‘game of the day’ was happening at the other end of the table. Hannah Smith and James Rees had good chances all the way through until the very end. James had forked Hannah’s two rooks and looked like winning. Hannah thought for a long time. Instead of throwing in her passed pawn with a check and keeping going until she regained a Queen, she accepted losing the exchange; and the match a few moves later.


The players are now ready for the final two GPs in March; at Milborne Port on the 3rd and King Edwards in Bath on the 31st. Before that, though, we do battle with the county squads against Wiltshire, Devon and Glamorgan. Good luck to all our county teams.


Chris Strong

01761 462277


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