Wednesday, 8 August 2018

CJCC Charity Donation

CJCC’s snack shop was efficiently run by Leon last season. He mostly sold and sometimes gave away ridiculously sugary snacks to eager young chess players without once appearing with anything remotely healthy I wanted to eat.

Leon’s grandad was diagnosed with a particularly aggressive form of dementia (“Lewy Bodies” disease) towards the end of the season and went from living independently at home to needing 24-hour care within a few weeks.

Because of this Leon generously decided to donate the profits from the tuck shop to Alzheimer’s UK and will be taking part in a national walk in October with his mum Sarah to raise money for people affected by dementia.

Below is a link to Sarah and Leon’s Just Giving page.

Leon (on the left) with his snack shop predecessor Josh.

Best Wishes

Monday, 30 July 2018

British Chess Championships - Essex and CJCC success

The British Chess Championships are currently underway in Hull. CJCC players Olga, Jake and Maheep played in the U11s. No prizes for them but some battling chess and no shortage of effort. They can be very proud of themselves.

Essex and CJCC success came in the U8s where former CJCC players Harry and Max finished 1st and 2nd. Harry and Max also scored well in the U9s with Harry leading until losing to Rohan in the last round.

It was nice to see so many juniors (including Rohan) from outside Essex who have been to British Chess events doing so well.

The very best of luck to the other Essex junior players in the different events this week.

Double Essex success in the U8s with Harry (on the right) and Max pictured with me. Thanks to Harry's mum Aiqing for the photo.

Best Wishes

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

British Chess Holiday Camp

On 23rd and 24th July British Chess (former CJCC parent Richard Pert and I) organised a two-day chess Holiday Camp.

Assisted by popular female coach Lateefah Messam-Sparks and CJCC helper Scott Shelley among many others we played a series of team matches, analysed the games afterwards and did chess workshops on openings, endings, tricks, attack and defence. A full report will appear on the blog at

10 of the students are off to the British Championships this month so were looking to educate and lubricate their chess brains but others were along simply to enjoy two days of chess at the start of the summer holidays.

It was a social as well as educational two days of chess with the footballers undaunted by the summer sunshine. It was particularly nice to have as many girls as boys along with Ornela getting a special prize for coming all the way from Cornwell just for the event. Particular congratulations to Elias and Mae for winning my Player of the Day trophy.

 Elias playing Emily closest to the camera.

 CJCC player Olga facing Katie and with fellow CJCC player Jake next to her.

 Jaden's turn to take on Emily.

Jaideep concentrating against Charlie.

Best Wishes

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

End of Term

Today was the last meeting for CJCC ahead of the summer break. We'll meet back on 11th September.

 Cody is pleased with his position.

Leon's chess school in full swing.

Best Wishes

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

CJCC Dates

CJCC will be closed on Tuesday 3rd July because I'll be with KEGS at the U19 National Finals. CJCC volunteer helper Scott is part of the team.

On 10th July it will be the final week for the older players and 17th July the final week for the younger players ahead of the summer. We will probably meet back on 11th September.

I'm at a two-day chess Summer Camp on 23rd and 24th July (one week ahead of the British Championships). Details at

Good luck to the CJCC players at the Gigafinals the next two weekends and congratulations to our EJCA Grand Prix prizewinners (Jake, Olga and Jixuan). Full details of the Saffron Walden event and the final Grand Prix standings will soon appear at

Jake and Olga along with Maheep will be playing in the British Championships over the summer. The very best of luck to them.

Best Wishes

Monday, 11 June 2018

Train and Play 10th June

Yesterday saw the latest British Chess Train and Play event in Chelmsford. IM Richard Pert organises the events with me and we had IM Harriet Hunt (Britain's highest rated female player) as our guest coach. The children played 3 matches in teams with coaching in between.

Russell White (chess coach at St. Anne's and CJCC) managed Team Garry Kasparov to success in the team competition. Tim Worrall - TiC of chess at KEGS - was our other guest manager. Thanks also to CJCC helper Scott Shelley and CJCC parent Emma Wilson for their work keeping all the scores, taking photos and generally making things run smoothly in the hall.

17 CJCC players took part and special mention to Felix for winning a prize as one of 8 players to win all 3 matches. Sam from Moulsham won my "Player of the Day" trophy.

The next junior event is the EJCA Grand Prix tournament at Saffron Walden on 24th June (details at The next British Chess event is our two day Holiday Camp on 23rd/24th July (details at or via me).

The children split into groups for coaching between rounds. We are not playing invisible chess. There is a demonstration chess board at the front.

CJCC's Prady and Prasid (closest to the camera) in blue on the right playing for Team Bobby Fischer. Prady is playing fellow CJCC member Wolfie.

Nina on board one for the all-girls Team Judit Polgar playing eventual winning captain of Team Garry Kasparov Charlie Goldsmith. CJCC players Olga and Jake next to Charlie.

 Today's winning team Garry Kasparov with Richard, Harriet and manager Russell White.

Our British Chess Grand Prix winners (for events over the last 12 months). Great trophies and medals made and designed by Olga. Bertie and Maheep from CJCC also won medals while Jake was one of the three trophy winners.

Best Wishes

Saturday, 26 May 2018

Colchester Grand Prix

Today was the EJCA Grand Prix tournament at Colchester. As ever quite a few CJCC players took part and well done to Jake for winning a trophy in the U11s. 6 CJCC players were in the U9s which is a great sign for the future.

Special congratulations to Josh. He lost his first ever game on time today and won his first ever tournament prize. Josh reminds me he is the player who has been coming on Tuesdays the longest (4+ years) so perhaps it is about time.

Best Wishes