Chelmsford Junior Chess Club exists to give junior chess players in Chelmsford of all ages and strengths the chance to play and learn chess in a fun and safe environment. Players will have the chance to make new chess-playing friends while getting some coaching to guide them on their chess path.
The blog exists to promote Chelmsford Junior Chess Club in particular and junior chess in Chelmsford and Essex in general.
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
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.
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
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. www.englishchess.org.uk
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.
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 www.necl.org.uk/chelmsford
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.
On behalf of CJCC congratulations to Toby who scored 4/6 at the Gigafinal today. They'll be other scores to follow over the weekend but as this message came with a photo I thought I'd post it straight away. The rosette even comes in West Ham colours.
Congratulations to Fraser as well who qualified through his school (Heycroft in Leigh with possibly the strongest primary school chess team in Essex) and finished a magnificent 3rd in his section. Fraser comes along to the adult club in Chelmsford on Thursdays and has been to a CJCC coaching workshop.
Tuesday will be the final meeting of the club before the holidays when we'll have some end of season prizes to hand out so this will be a week of reporting prize winners and fine performances.
Saturday saw the second CJCC Saturday morning coaching session (next one 20th August) and the Essex Senior Rapidplay Championships. 11 children came along to the coaching and we worked as a group on finding some pretty tough checkmate patterns then doing some puzzles in pairs. There was (as always) plenty of time to play some chess and eat plenty of snacks.
Nina and Olga from CJCC took part in the U90 grading section in the Rapidplay tournament and it was good to see a few other juniors from around Essex. It gave me a chance to meet Ben who'll be along to CJCC next week for the first time. Also to talk to a few juniors about coming along to the adult club in Chelmsford on a Thursday evening over the school holidays where I look after our junior players. Club details via the link below.
Well done to Nina on winning the junior prize in her section. Nina's dad Richard retained the overall senior title to make it a successful family outing.
Next weekend is the Gigafinal then the following weekend (23rd July) sees the start of the British Championships in Bournemouth. No fewer than 5 of our club - Nina, Max P, Jerry, Harry and Olga - are playing in the U8 or U9 sections at the British Championships. Also Max Y and Ethan who came along to the coaching workshop today. The best of luck to all our players in these competitions. You'll be able to follow their progress via the "Essex at the British" section at
This week saw the final of the U19 National School's Championship. 16 schools from across the country including KEGS from Chelmsford qualified for a two day final at Uppingham School.
The competition was for teams of 6 although KEGS took 8 players along. Despite having England internationals Daniel Gallagher and Elliot Cocks we were seeded 13th out of the 16 schools.
KEGS performed well above all expectations to win 3 out of 4 matches and finish in 5th place. This included victories over 2015 winners Haberdasher's Aske's and 2011, 2012 and 2013 winners Manchester Grammar School. There are some photos on the KEGS twitter feed at
All 8 players are or were regular competitors at the Essex Junior Chess Association Grand Prix tournaments and deserve huge credit for this result. They showed great determination as a team to dig in and fight even when their opponents' were simply stronger players than them. Chess is an individual game but being part of a close-knit team can raise a player's level to unexpected heights.