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Somerset Junior Chess Grand Prix - Millfield School

Dear All
The Millfield stage of the Somerset Junior Chess Grand Prix was a great success. There were some cracking games, surprising results and faultless organisation.
Starting with the Under 8s we saw a three-way split for the lead. As this section was quite small, it was impossible to separate them on tie-break but well done to Oliver, Jordan and Leo. It just goes to show how styles can swing a match as Olly beat Jordan who beat Leo who beat Olly!
The Under 10s section was very competitive as we can see from the results. To have players of the calibre of Zoe and Kells down in 16-25 shows how strong this group was. James McLeod had an off day and finished well below par but we should congratulate the top players on a fine performance. The top U9 was Thomas Donne. Outstanding once again was Nathaniel who plays his chess in the style of Tal, attacking and uncompromising. In his 3rd round match against Matthew, Nathaniel was a Queen down but carried on energetically to engineer a memorable win. To give you an idea of his style I have sent a copy of his game against Ella from the last GP to the Bristol League website. You can replay it at anytime, it is amazing how close he can come to turning back a lost position. I have to confess at this point, I lost to him when he was 5! Other good performances from Claire (always solid) and a fine win by Will Abrams against Sammy, one of the favourites. Ella and James were in good form and finished on 5 but the winner in the final round was a great win by Max Granger over Nathaniel.
The final section of Under 12s was also strong with Yein overcoming Peter with a surprising Birds Opening. Peter had expected Yein to open with 1 d4 but was slightly wrong footed and lost his way in the middle game. You can replay this one on the Bristol website as well. The best game of the day was between Yein and Martin (new to Somerset chess) in the 3rd round. A good scililian defence by Yein saw them castle on opposite sides and really go for it. Yein missed a crushing Knight move, which Martin saw, which would have sealed the game earlier but still had a good enough position to get the full point. I will try and get this game copied when I have the details. Nicole started the tournament well with a win over Katie and is starting to get a great psychological advantage as she has never lost to her. This loss threw Katie a little and she ended well below her expected place. Edward was solid again to finish on 4 points as did Toby who went one better than last year. It was good to see players from other counties join in the tournament and also to see that the Somerset players were able to match them in tournament play.
This was also a qualifying match for the London Junior Congress in December. We wish all the Somerset players good luck and I will send a report about it in early January by which time I will be reminding you of the next GP at Blagdon on 13th Jan.
Chris Strong
01761 462277

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