Friday, 30 December 2016

2017 CJCC And Other Chess Dates

Chelmsford Junior Chess Club will meet back on 10th January with the older group.

Please note we will be closed on 24th January (when I am on a chess trip with KEGS) and 14th February (half-term). Our dates up to Easter are.

Older Group – 10th Jan, 31st Jan, 21st Feb, 7th Mar, 21st Mar.

Younger Group  -17th Jan, 7th Feb, 28th Feb, 14th Mar, 28th Mar.

Some other 2017 junior chess dates this term.
8th Jan – Coaching Day at Writtle (details via
13th Jan – KEGS hosting a secondary school tournament.
15th Jan – Train and Play at Brentwood (details via
22nd Jan – Southend Junior tournament (details via
4th Feb – Moulsham hosting a primary school team tournament (details via
5th Feb - Coaching Day at Writtle.
20th Feb – “Queen of Katwe” - Disney chess film - showing at the Cramphorn.
26th Feb – Grandmaster Train and Play at Brentwood.

Happy New Year!

Best Wishes

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

London Chess Classic

This weekend the London Chess Classic ( finished at Olympia. The LCC is a festival of chess that lasts 9 days and includes an all-play-all between 10 of the world’s leading players (the strongest tournament ever to take place in the UK). It is tied to the Chess In Schools charity and the festival does much to encourage junior chess. It is also the only chess tournament I ever go to that feels like a professional sporting event.

During the week 500 children each day take part in coaching and a tournament which is all co-ordinated by former Chelmsford player Jon Bryant. On Monday I went up with some students from KEGS who (led by fearless CJCC player Ollie Horvath) managed to collect the autographs of all 10 Classic players.

On Sunday I accompanied CJCC players Nina and Max Pert. They were joining CJCC parent (and British Rapidplay Champion) Richard Pert in the Super Rapidplay. This 10 round competition over two days featured 475 players including over 40 Grandmasters. Nina and Max both won two games and Richard was the highest non-GM finisher on 7.5/10.

There were quite a few juniors playing in the Rapidplay (partly because they enjoyed free entry). KEGS pupil and British U16 Champion Elliot Cocks – who also designed the CJCC poster – scored an excellent 6/10 including a first win over an International Master.

Nina and Max are pictured next to a picture of their new favourite chess player. Wesley So (an American Grandmaster in the world’s top ten) won the all-play-all and was kind enough to sign their programmes and have a chat with them after the tournament. It was great to see the top players take the time to sign things for the juniors and added greatly to their enjoyment of the event.

There is a lot of junior chess coming up in Essex in the first part of 2017 which I’ll outline in a later post. CJCC will meet back on the 10th January.

Happy Christmas!

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

CJCC Christmas Buffet (Week One)

This week was the Christmas buffet for the older players. Thank you to everyone for bringing something in. There was a ridiculous amount of food but with a focus and determination rarely seen by the juniors in their chess most of it got eaten. Thank you very much to the parents who helped clear up.

In between courses we looked at the chess position from the first Harry Potter film and Stewart received a medal for the player from the older group who I felt had worked hardest on his chess over the year. Judging by the reaction of the other players this was a good decision.

 Francesca helped by Stewart against Jake
 Tom with his attention elsewhere
 Felix in action against Nikolas

Stewart with his medal for his chess work in 2016

 Alice on top of the younger ladder
Best Wishes

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Brentwood Events Update

The results from the first three Brentwood Train and Play events are now on the grading database. You can find these by searching under your name. The grades themselves only change every 6 months so these results will be included in the next update in January.

Also in January (15th) is the 1st H+H sponsored Brentwood event with International Master Adam Hunt. You can enter online at

Future H+H Brentwood Train and Play dates include 26th February (with Grandmaster Matthew Sadler and Grandmaster Nick Pert) and 2nd April. Brentwood School are then hosting an U12 tournament on 13th May with a simultaneous display by Grandmaster Jon Speelman. Further events will follow later in the year with all these events hosted by International Master Richard Pert.
Essex Juniors have never had an opportunity to work with such a range of top players before and 2017 promises to be a very special year for Essex Junior Chess.

Best Wishes

Wednesday, 30 November 2016


Now we are in December CJCC will be celebrating Christmas with a buffet and a Harry Potter chess theme on the 6th (older players) and 13th (younger players). We’ll meet back after New Year with the older group on 10th January.

Next term CJCC will take part in the Delancey UK Chess Challenge along with 1400 schools and junior clubs across the UK. All our players will take part in a 7 round tournament and get a chess badge. Depending on results they’ll have a chance to collect gold spots, chess mascots, furry pencils and other prizes. The best boy and girl in each school year will then move forward to the Essex Megafinal.

Last weekend many of our players took part in the Basildon Rapidplay event. This weekend sees the 3rd Essex Junior Chess Association Coaching Day at Writtle. Results of the tournament and future chess dates are at

The younger players were fighting this week to move up the ladder. Pictured below are Cody and Bella who are currently sharing the 8th rung. Alice and Jake share the top rung because of the help they gave the less experienced players this week.
Best Wishes

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

CJCC Meeting 15th November

Back to the younger half of CJCC today. Tom is the new leader on the ladder because of learning the rook and king versus king checkmate on the demo board then proving his mastery of it against Sophie.

Josh was inspired to try a simultaneous challenge after hearing about Sunday’s event. He took on 6 players and was promptly checkmated in 4 moves by Freddie. Final score – one loss, five unfinished. An entertaining finish to the afternoon though for all involved.

Alex and Cody battled away for almost an hour before their game finished in a draw. Congratulations to both of them for a fine effort and some excellent concentration despite Freddie and Wolffie distracting Cody with their Match Attack pack.

Best Wishes

Monday, 14 November 2016

3rd Brentwood Train and Play 13th November

On Sunday was the 3rd Brentwood Train and Play event which attracted 50 children to the mix of coaching and team competition. There was a strong CJCC flavour with the coaching provided by two CJCC parents and me – International Master Richard Pert and two-time Essex Champion Russell White.

Richard had recruited British Grandmaster and former world number 4 Jon Speelman to join us for an afternoon simultaneous match. Chelmsford junior (and sometime CJCC helper) Scott Shelley completed our team. The 5 of us took on 43 juniors and 11 parents simultaneously. Few players of any age get the chance to face opponents as illustrious as Jon or Richard. Even fewer get the chance to team up with them and it was a great way to round off our 2016 events.

They’ll be a series of these Train and Play events in 2017 starting on 15th January when Richard and I will be joined by IM Adam Hunt. In February British GMs Matthew Sadler and Nick Pert will be the guest coaches. Keep an eye on for more details.

 Alex on his way to 3/3 for Team Gary Kasparov
 Team Judit Polgar finished 1 point behind the winners.
 First time player Oliver Whitney on Board 12 for (winning) Team Bobby Fischer.
 All those who scored 3/3 with GM Jon Speelman and IM Richard Pert
GM Jon Speelman greeting his opponents before the start of the simul.

Jon, Scott and (in the background) Russell mid-simul.

Best Wishes

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Delancey UK Chess Challenge and November Chess Dates

I am delighted to see the Delancey UK Chess Challenge will continue in 2017 and once again Chelmsford Junior Chess Club will take part. Last year 1400 schools and junior chess clubs with a total of 45000 players entered across the UK. The CJCC stage will take place between January and April 2017.

Players will collect gold spots for their chess badge, assorted mascots and furry pencils along the way as they fight for qualification to the Essex Megafinal.

Successful players here will reach the Southern Gigafinal and fight for a place in the National Terafinal. This year Olga and Toby both reached the Terafinal and it would be great if someone can replicate this in 2017.

Tournament details can be seen at the link below. If you would like your school to take part please encourage them to do so.


Last Sunday (6th) was the 2nd EJCA Coaching Day. Last Tuesday at CJCC it was the turn of the older players who all looked at a game from World Champion Magnus Carlsen when he was a junior.

This Sunday (13th) is the 3rd Brentwood Train and Play including a simultaneous match with Grandmaster Jon Speelman. Details at

Next Sunday (20th) is the Basildon Rapidplay tournament. Details for this at

At our club this coming week (15th) it is the turn of the younger players with the older players the following week (22nd).

It is great to see so much junior chess in Essex these days and welcome new players to CJCC every week. We have about 20-25 players each week which makes about 40 different players every two weeks spread from Year 1 to Year 8.

Best Wishes

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

New Ladder Leader and Latest Junior News

Congratulations to Alex Carter who has moved to the top of the ladder for the younger players. As well as winning his games he helped Harry learn a new checkmate. He is pictured below with the leader board.

We all looked at a game together on the demonstration board midway through the meeting to see the black king get hunted down by white’s rook, bishop and knight. The children worked out the final checkmate with Josh and Tom among others seeing the finish after Freddie accidently (and correctly) sacrificed the queen.
Alex came to the most recent Train and Play day at Brentwood where he was the only player to score 3 draws. At the next event on 13th November we’ll be joined in the afternoon by Grandmaster Jon Speelman (former world number four) for a special challenge match. Places available via This is a rare chance to challenge a player who has competed in the later stages of the World Championships.
Before that the Essex Junior Chess Association has a coaching day at Writtle on Sunday I'll be coaching at along with CJCC parent and two-time Essex champion Russell White. Fellow CJCC parent and British Rapidplay champion IM Richard Pert will hopefully be competing but if he loses on Saturday will join us for the coaching.
Best Wishes

Friday, 28 October 2016

As part of continued development of the Brentwood Train and Play events we now have a dedicated website. We also have generous sponsorship for 2017 from H+H Fire which will allow us to host leading Grandmaster and International Master chess coaches at these events.

The website is still in development but visit to see details of future events. Below is a photo montage from the first two events. At the next event I’ll get some photos of the coaching sessions to try and convey more of the flavour of these excellent days.

For other Essex junior chess events visit It is great for Essex Junior Chess to have so much going on.
This blog has also reached exactly 4000 hits today.

Best Wishes

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Chelmsford Junior Chess Club - Josh's Birthday Tournament

This week (18th October) we had a special team tournament to celebrate Josh’s birthday. Cake and competition were both consumed with enthusiasm. Ayub’s team with Tom, Ben, Nikolas, Alex and Andrew ran out the winners.

Stewart and Ben concentrating hard.

Josh's Team - Josh, Theo, Tom and Leon (Jake was to Josh's right).
Ayub, Tom, Ben and Andrew - part of the winning team.

Andrew popped in for some chess on his way to a Halloween Party. Perhaps we'll have a chess fancy dress tournament next year!

CJCC will be closed next Tuesday (25th October) for half-term and will reopen on 1st November with the younger group.

Best Wishes

Upcoming Chess Dates

Below are the dates for some upcoming chess events. Details and entry forms for the EJCA events at
30th October – Brentwood Rapidplay (adults and juniors). Free entry for Essex Juniors! Details via
6th November – 2nd EJCA Coaching Day at Writtle (near Chelmsford).
13th November – 3rd Brentwood Train and Play Christmas Special (includes a Simultaneous Challenge Match). Hosted by IM and British Rapidplay Champion Richard Pert. Details and entry form via or
20th November – Basildon Rapidplay (2nd EJCA Grand Prix event and LJCC Qualifier)
27th November – Woodbridge Junior Chess Open (LJCC Qualifier). Details via
4th December – 3rd EJCA Coaching Day.

Best Wishes

Sunday, 16 October 2016

2nd Brentwood Train and Play

Today was the 2nd Brentwood Train and Play. This unique event combines group coaching with a team tournament. It was a great event with the juniors producing some battling chess and fully engaging with the coaching to make it fun for everyone involved.

The competition was won by the all-girls Team Judit Polgar. It was great to see so many girls playing to such a high standard and bodes well for the Essex Girls Team this season. Sarah Weersing was Player-Manager with her sister Abbey as Captain. Special thanks to Jenny, Findlay and Tristan for their fine captaincy of the other teams.

 Tristan and Jenny battling it out on Board One
 Adam and Lucy mid-battle. It would eventually be a draw.
 Purba, Zoe, Nina, Findlay and Adhvaith who all scored 3/3 for their teams.


The victorious Team Judit Polger
Best Wishes

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

CJCC 11th October 2016

With the younger half of the club this week we had a team competition. Alice, Tom, Jake and Olga captained 4 evenly matched teams which eventually finished with Jake’s team beating Olga’s 13-11 in the final.

Congratulations to the winning team of Jake, Anna, Angelina, David, Bertie and Harresh. Congratulations also to Jixuan Li (pictured below) who followed up his tournament debut at the weekend with two victories for Olga’s team to move with Alex to the top of the ladder.

Thank you to Leon (also pictured below) for doing a great job recording all the results and looking after the ladder.
                                 Sophie playing Harresh in the foreground watched by Adam.

                                      Tommy looking at the camera while playing Keyan Ye.

Olga in play against Alice on the top board in the first match.

                         Victorious captain Jake in play against (unpictured) Tom in the first match.

Best Wishes

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Chelmsford EJCA Tournament 8th October

Saturday 8th October saw the Essex Junior Chess Association Grand Prix tournament in Chelmsford. It was great to see so many past and present CJCC players taking part.

Pride of place for CJCC went to our 3 trophy winners – Harry, Olga and Nina. Harry scored 6/6 in the U8s to beat Olga (5/6) into 2nd place. Nina also scored 5/6 to finish 2nd in the U10s. KEGS player Ryan Smith who attends the adult club in Chelmsford won the U18 Minor with 5.5/6. This was particularly impressive because Ryan was lower graded than all 6 of his opponents!

Altogether there were 28 current CJCC or Chelmsford Chess Club players taking part. Most of these players can be very proud of the chess they produced. I’d like to give a special mention to Josh who did the two things I most like to see – had great fun on and off the board and played at the very limit of his ability.

Full results will appear at

Best Wishes

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

October Chess

CJCC has split as last season into 2 separate clubs based on age with each half meeting fortnightly. The dates up to half-term are below

 4th October – Older Half
11th October – Younger Half
18th October – Older Half and Josh’s Birthday Celebration Day.

We’ll be closed half-term week and reopen on 1st November with the younger half.
We've also started 2 ladder tournaments where you move up for winning games, teaching chess skills, demonstrating a new skill or solving puzzles. Positions are fluid but after Week 1 Lucas and Illamaaran lead the younger half and Nina and Alice the older.

 Below are the dates for a number of upcoming chess events. If you would like further details of any of them please get in touch. Don’t leave it too long before entering – the Brentwood ones in particular will quickly become fully booked. Like Christmas these events will be here before you know it.

8th October – EJCA tournament in Chelmsford (entry form at
16th October – 2nd Brentwood Train and Play (entry form below)

6th November – 2nd EJCA Coaching Day at Writtle (near Chelmsford)
13th November – 3rd Brentwood Train and Play (with special simultaneous challenge)
20th November – Basildon Rapidplay (2nd EJCA Grand Prix event)
4th December – 3rd EJCA Coaching Day

Best Wishes

Sunday, 11 September 2016

1st Brentwood Train and Play

Today (Sunday 11th September) was the 1st Brentwood Train and Play which saw a number of CJCC players take part. This was a new event combining coaching sessions with a team competition that was organised jointly by me and British Rapidplay Champion IM Richard Pert. CJCC parent Russell White and English Chess Federation coach Tim Woolgar completed the coaching team.

Team Bobby Fischer (our youngest team) won the team prize by a single point. They were managed by former British junior champion Aditya Verma and over half the team played in the British U8s or U9s Championships in the summer.

The next Train and Play event will be on Sunday 16th October. The first one reached full capacity so if you wish to enter the next one please email me for an entry form.


Best Wishes

Friday, 9 September 2016

Week One (and future dates)

CJCC met back on 6th September and it was lovely to see so many players there. Photos from Week One below. From next week we’ll split the club by age to make the numbers sensible and give more structure and coaching to the chess.

These boundaries are fluid. If particularly Year 5s want to come to the younger week and Year 4s to the older one that is fine. If you have siblings bring them both to whichever is most convenient and if you can only come occasionally pop along when you can.

So dates up to half-term …

13th September – Younger Group (Years 1-4)
20th September – Older Group (Years 5-8)
27th September – Younger Group
4th October – Older Group
11th October – Younger Group
18th October – Older Group

We’ll be closed half-term (25th October) then reopen on 1st November with the younger group.

Best Wishes

Friday, 19 August 2016

Chess Event Calendar

Plenty of junior chess coming up in the next couple of months. I have more details for all of the events below so please get in touch for an entry form etc.

It has been great to see so many juniors taking advantage of the holidays to attend the adult club in Chelmsford on Thursday evenings.

Tuesday 16th August – mid-summer CJCC meeting.

Saturday 20th August  - CJCC Coaching Workshop.

20th/21st August – Terafinal Weekend in Loughborough (qualifiers only).

Tuesday 6th September  - CJCC restarts. Everyone welcome.

Sunday 11th September – First U12s Train and Play at Brentwood.

Saturday 17th September – one day mixed tournament at Bures (Essex/Suffolk border).

Sunday 18th September – Eton College secondary school competition (KEGS entered).

Saturday 24th September - Essex Blitz Championship.

Sunday 25th September – First EJCA training day at Writtle.

Saturday 8th October – First EJCA Grand Prix tournament in Chelmsford.

Best Wishes

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Brentwood Chess Train and Play 11th September

On Sunday 11th September will be the first Brentwood Train and Play. This is an exciting new chess event I’m organising with IM Richard Pert and will combine coaching sessions aimed at players of different standards and rated match play against opponents of similar standard. There is a strong CJCC flavour to the day with fellow CJCC parent (and former Essex Champion) Russell White part of the coaching team.

Richard and I have spent a fair amount of time deciding on the format and putting the day together and plan to run a series of these events in the future. The Essex Junior Chess Association are also planning a series of coaching events which I’m also involved with. Details of these will appear at

Also on the EJCA website is the entry from to the first of the Grand Prix tournaments to be held in Chelmsford on 8th October.

Next week (16th) CJCC will meet for mid-holiday chess and I’m running an invitational coaching morning on Saturday 20th.

Best Wishes

Saturday, 30 July 2016

Another British Champion

I’m delighted to tell you that Chelmsford Chess Club’s Elliot Cocks is the new British U16 Champion. His score of 5.5/7 put him half a point ahead of a tough field (he was seeded 7th).

Before playing at the British Elliot represented England at the European Schools Championships in Greece and in the Glorney Cup so has not been short of match practice. Tomorrow (Sunday) he starts in the U15 Championships and is midway through the Major Open.

Elliot was a key part of the Chelmsford A team who won the North Essex Chess League this season and has been coming along to the adult club since he started at KEGS. Back then I used to share chess ideas and interesting games with him. These days it is the other way round.

Elliot also has a unique place at CJCC despite being too old and too good to come along because he designed our poster.

Best Wishes
Robin Slade

Monday, 25 July 2016

British Championships - and a CJCC National Champion

The British Championships are in full swing now but the main focus for CJCC was the U8s and U9s sections which have now finished.

Olga (3/6), Nina (4/6), Max (3/6) and Harry (3/6) all played in the U8s and can all be very pleased with themselves. Harry deserves a special mention for scoring 3/6 at the age of 5.

Nina (4/6) and Harry (2.5/6) also played in the U9s and were joined by Harry’s older brother Jerry (3/6) and brothers Ethan and Max Yau (both 2/6) who came along to the last CJCC coaching workshop.

These scores alone are excellent but Nina was also the joint highest scoring girl in the U8s and U9s making her U8 and U9 National Girls Champion. On behalf of CJCC many congratulations to Nina and all the other players. We are very proud of you.

Below are a couple of photos of Nina in the playing hall and (for balance) one of Jerry, Harry, Ethan and Max on the beach. Also one of Ethan at the Gigafinal where he scored 4/6 to qualify for the Plate competition.

All the details are available via the link on the English Chess Federation website. Also on the website is a link to the new grades which reflect the fine progress made by our tournament players.

Best Wishes

Friday, 22 July 2016

Thursday evening chess

Although CJCC has now closed for the summer (with the exception of 16th August) the adult chess club in Chelmsford remains open. We meet every Thursday evening and junior players are very welcome.

Pictured here on Thursday is CJCC Club Player of the Year Josh Pooler sporting his medal and (non-chess) book prize. In the few weeks of the year the weather allows we play our chess in the garden of Chelmsford Social Club instead of the hall.

Best Wishes

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

This Week at CJCC

This week was our final regular week until September although the club will be open on Tuesday 16th August for mid-holiday chess. Everyone not on holiday is welcome to come along. Also in August (on the 20th) will be the next CJCC coaching workshop.

The adult club in Chelmsford will stay open all summer however and a number of the junior players come along. Details via

Even Jake - who has just returned from Antigua - thought it was hot today so I was pleased to see so many players come down. Here are some photos from today including one of Cody with Olga and her trophy which he turned into a piece of chess art.

One important thing I did was announce that our Club Player of the Year was Josh Pooler. Josh has been along nearly every week and helps out with the younger players as well as sorting out the refreshments. Along the way, also helped by coming along to the adult club on a Thursday evening, he has become a fine player as well. He is the proud owner of a rather fine chess medal engraved with his name.

Good luck this weekend to our 5 players competing in the U8s and U9s British Chess Championships.

Best Wishes