Wednesday, 15 January 2020

UK Chess Challenge and New Members

We are two weeks into the new term at CJCC.

Already we have welcomed 9 new members - Hannah, Sachin, Arjun, Shaasvath, Hugo, Amelia, Henry, Yashas and Daniel. I think that is all of them!

We are also two weeks into the UK Chess Challenge - our 7-round tournament running up to Easter.

Adam is leading with 9 points (3 wins) from John with 8. Most players have only played 2 rounds (you can only play 2 rounds a week) and of these only Joshua O, Evan and Shristi have 6 points.

Shristi (Year 3) was a checkmating machine the first week and won the Player of the Week trophy.

Already we have played over 40 games and 50 children have taken part.

All of which means no photos yet this term - I've been too busy pairing the tournament and doing some group learning on the demonstration board.

Yesterday the older players watched World Champion Magnus Carlsen get it wrong (Eddie and his glove puppet guessed the right move) while the previous week the younger ones learned about pins and forks.

It is the turn of the younger players next week (21st).

Best Wishes

Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Christmas Buffet and New Year

It was the CJCC Christmas Buffet today which is always a fun afternoon. Nice to see a few players who haven't been along for a while making a food-influenced return. Thank you to all the parents and players who brought along food and particularly helped clear up.

Alice won a special trophy today for all her help through the year.

We'll meet back on Tuesday 7th January with the younger players. Our dates through to half-term will be...

Younger Group  - 7th January, 21st January, 4th February.

Older Group - 14th January, 28th January, 11th February.

Between Christmas and Easter we'll take part in the UK Chess Challenge. This is a 7-round internal tournament everyone can play in which leads to Megafinals, Gigafinals and Terafinals for those who qualify with badges, gold spots and furry chess mascots for all along the way.

I hope you all have a lovely Christmas. Good luck to those playing in the LJCC.

Best Wishes

Wednesday, 20 November 2019

CJCC in Competition 19th November

I slipped two CJCC teams into a Year 7 and 8 school team competition KEGS were hosting and I was controlling on behalf of the English Chess Federation. Most of the players were in Year 6 and potentially joining KEGS next year.

It was a fun afternoon with the games played in excellent spirit. The CJCC players did pretty well but more importantly had a nice introduction to chess at KEGS.

CJCC A (Toby, Charlie, Evan, Luv and Karunya) scored wins over CCHS B and KEGS Yr 7 B in their 4 matches. CJCC B (Maheep, Adam, Hector, Hriday and Pankil) also beat CCHS B and drew with KEGS Yr 7 B. The A and B tags are misleading as I balanced the strength of the CJCC and KEGS teams.

Both KEGS Year 7 teams were led by current CJCC players. CJCC were also represented by current or former players in the victorious Brentwood A team, CCHS A, CCHS B and KEGS Year 8s.

 CJCC B heading for a tied match with KEGS Year 7 B. Hector and Pankil look deep in thought.

 Toby and Charlie looking focussed against CCHS B team.

The final game to finish drew a big crowd. In the picture are 6 current or former CJCC players representing 5 schools. This interest in and enthusiasm for the chess was great to see.

Next Tuesday (26th) will be a normal club meeting for the older players at CJCC.

Best Wishes

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

No Club 19th November and Brentwood Invitational

It was great to welcome Obi, Joshua and Louis to the club this week and Pankil and Amil last week.

No club next week (19th) as I'll be running a Year 7 and 8 school competition at KEGS. There is a strong CJCC interest.

Dinil, Joshua, Logan and Felix will be playing for KEGS. Alice S for CCHS. I've also slipped in two CJCC teams of Year 6 boys potentially going to the school next year.

Brentwood School (with former CJCC players Nina, Max and Jake) have the strongest Year 7 and 8 team in the country and will be favourites to reach the National Finals next week.

Last weekend I was involved in a great chess weekend at Brentwood School with a special Invitational tournament featuring some of the best young juniors in Essex and England. 4 of the 16 players involved - Nina. Max, Olga and Jake - are CJCC graduates. See if you can spot them in the photo at the bottom.

Current CJCC players Dinil, Maheep and Robert took part in a Reserves tournament as part of the same event.

The Invitational players all received a commemorative medal made and designed by Olga. If you would like to commission something unique for an event email Olga at

Running up to Christmas at CJCC it is 26th November and 10th December for the older players and 3rd December for the younger ones.

Best Wishes

Wednesday, 9 October 2019


Chess is an indoor game and rarely affected by the weather.

An unfortunately timed downpour yesterday however meant the boys who walked up as a group from KEGS (thank you Ben and Neil for leading them) turned up looking a little damp. They sportingly lined up for a photo while still dripping.

If the Player of the Week Trophy had been awarded for the neatest checkmate Joseph would have got it for his double rook mate against Luv.

But Adam won it for arriving well before everyone else and setting out the tables, chairs and chess sets. His early arrival also meant he could sit in the dry and watch the other players arrive in various states of dampness.

Best Wishes

Sunday, 29 September 2019

CJCC Dates and Club Details

We'll finish this half-term on Tuesday 15th October with the younger players then take a break.

The club will meet back on Tuesday 5th November with the older players then run through to Tuesday 10th December.

The club will be closed however on Tuesday 19th November when I am running a chess event at KEGS.


Older Group - 8/10, 5/11, 26/11, 10/12.

Younger Group - 1/10, 15/10, 12/11, 3/12.

For those looking for details about the club please email me at the address at the bottom of the posts.

We meet most Tuesdays in term-time from about 4.30pm-6pm. Some children arrive a bit earlier as they come straight from school. Some stay the whole session, others appear for whatever period fits in that particular week. There is no need to make any prior commitment.

The cost is just £2 per week when you turn up plus a bit to buy snacks from Leon's shop. Any profit he makes goes to his chosen charity.

The club is split loosely into an older (Year 5+) and younger (Year 4-) half but the boundaries are flexible. The children play (in between snacking and chatting) with help as needed then we have a short group coaching session in the middle.

The ethos of the club is to encourage everyone to have fun playing and improving their chess. We currently have about 70 active members. Come and give it a try and see how you get on.

Best Wishes

Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Older Group 24/09/19

It was great to welcome (and welcome back) so many of the Year 6s who have been absent for a while studying for the 11+.

So to Adam, Karunya, Evan, Charlie, Hriday and Maheep (sorry if I've forgotten anyone) welcome back to the chess world.

Leon was guest photographer today.

 A nice group shot of the club.

 John and Charlie look oblivious to all going on around them.

 Eva (with the flower) playing Janet with Elizabeth watching.

George (playing Joseph) and Nicholas in matching minecraft tops.

Best Wishes