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

Monday, 18 July 2016

Gigafinal Part Two

A quick Gigafinal update…

Congratulations to Olga who won the U7 girls and Nina who came 2nd in the U8 girls. A couple of pictures below courtesy of Yegor of the two girls together and Olga with her trophy.

Congratulations also to Elliot and Findlay who both play at the adult club in Chelmsford. Elliot scored 5/6 in the U15s and Findlay 4.5/6 in the U11s.

All 4 players qualify for the Terafinal – Findlay in the Challengers section and Olga, Nina and Elliot in the Champions.
This is the National Final with a top prize of £2000 for the overall Champion!

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Gigafinal Part One

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.

Best Wishes

Monday, 11 July 2016

Saturday 9th July

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

Best Wishes

Saturday, 9 July 2016

KEGS chess

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.

Best Wishes