Sunday, 30 July 2017

British Championships and Upcoming Chess

Good luck to all the Essex Juniors at the British Championships which started this weekend. We have 17 juniors playing altogether in the different sections. The easiest way to follow their progress is via the “Essex at the British” link at

I am delighted to say GM Chris Ward had such a good time at the Holiday Camp he has agreed to come to our next Train and Play event in Chelmsford on 24th September. Online registration is open at

The new chess grades are out. Always an exciting time – particularly for children getting their first ever grade. Click on

Below is a photo from the Holiday Camp last week. CJCC’s Maheep is concentrating hard in the foreground in what was a friendly game while Theo and Ben are across the room in the distance. One thing the players did was record the games they played in the team competition so we could analyse them afterwards which is what I’m doing with Jaideep and Isaac.

Best Wishes


Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Holiday Camp

The H+H Fire Chess Holiday Camp organised by Richard Pert and myself took place on 24th and 25th July. This was partly to help prepare the stronger players for the British Championships next week and partly to provide two days of chess fun for junior players.

Photos, a report and even a movie (courtesy of Nina) will appear at

Long-time Essex chess organiser Ivor Smith kindly came along to present Richard with the Essex Championship trophy (the fine silver one) and Essex Rapidplay trophy. Ivor is standing at the back with Richard seated at the front surrounded by some of the Holiday Club players. Those with good eyes will spot Maheep, Olga, Theo, Bertie, Ben and Eddie from CJCC (Jake and Alice were also present).

Best Wishes

Monday, 24 July 2017


Last weekend was the South of England Gigafinal with 9 CJCC players taking part. For many of them it was the biggest tournament they had ever played in and they all did themselves proud.

Particular congratulations to Olga who scored 5/6 in the U8 girls section to qualify for the Terafinal and Alexander Lockett who managed an excellent 4/6 against 6 opponents rated higher than himself.

 Anna ahead of her first game. She would go on to score a very respectable 3/6.

Jerry and Harry Zheng from Chelmsford. Jerry (left) scored 5/6 in the U9s and Harry 6/6 in the U7s. Both boys are off to the British Championships next week.

Essex U11 and CJCC player Alexander before going on to battle all day at the top of the tournament. He lost his last game to finish on 4/6.

Best Wishes

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

End of Season and Good Luck

This week (18th) was our final meeting before breaking up for the summer. It was nice to welcome Tyler and James along for the first time even if it wasn't great timing for Tyler to discover the club in the last week of term.

Good luck to our 9 players  - Alexander, Olga, Anna, Jake, Toby, Adam, Jixuan, Dinil and Andrew - off to the South of England Gigafinal this weekend. They qualified through the Essex Megafinal back in May. Hope I haven't forgotten anyone.

I'll be involved running a chess Holiday Camp next week ( which should be fun. For a number of players it is ideal preparation for the British Championships the following week. For the CJCC players it is just a chance to have a fun two days learning some new chess skills.

For those of you missing playing already have a look at two websites. is a brilliant and safe place for children to play and improve their chess online (there are many puzzles and video tutorials). is a nice tutorial package suitable for older children covering all aspects of the game.

The adult club in Chelmsford will still meet on Thursday evenings through the holidays and I'll be there to sort out the chess for the junior players.

Best Wishes

Sunday, 9 July 2017

CJCC 4th July and KEGS Chess

A busy week of chess following the Train and Play on Sunday 2nd July. On 4th July at CJCC we had a challenge match between Moulsham Junior School and the rest of the club. Josh and Leon selected their teams and we had a match over 8 boards with most of the players playing two games. In the end Moulsham were beaten 7.5/6.5.

 Moulsham on the right. Jixuan playing Felix nearest the camera.

Ben (former Moulsham student) playing Srihan.

On 5th and 6th July I was with KEGS at the U19 National Schools Final at Uppingham School. KEGS were one of 16 schools from across the country to qualify and finished with 2 wins and 2 losses from their 4 matches. The 4 students on the left (Elliot, Daniel, Ben and James) all used to do chess at Christ Church when younger.

There are only 2 weeks left before we finish for the summer. This week (11th) will be the younger players and next week (18th) the older. We will meet back again in September.

Best Wishes

Monday, 3 July 2017

H+H Train and Play 2nd July

This Sunday saw the latest H+H Fire Train and Play at our lovely new venue of Moulsham School in Chelmsford. Plenty of space for the players and parents and even shaded seating outside in the playground. 80 children took part including 20 current CJCC players.

As ever everyone was part of a team and had 3 graded matches against players of their own strength and 2 coaching sessions. This time IM Richard Pert and I were joined by WGM and IM Harriet Hunt (Britain's highest rated female player) and 2017 Essex Lightning Champion (and CJCC parent) Russell White.

Team Bobby Fischer - the youngest of our 4 teams - were the winners by half a point with 32.5 points. Team Judit Polgar (an all-girls team managed by Harriet) were 4th with 26 points so it was all very close. It turned out CJCC Jixuan Li's excited checkmate in the final game of the decisive match (Jixuan was down to his last minute on the clock) nudged his team to victory.

There was some great battling games from players of all levels. For CJCC our best point scorers were Alexander (fresh from a national karate competition the day before) and Bertie on 2.5/3.

Friendly chess before the event started. Matthew (standing left) and Fraser (sitting at the board) will be off to represent Heycroft Primary in Southend at the English Primary School National Finals next week. Heycroft are 1 of only 8 schools to qualify.

Theo for Team Bobby Fischer (left) in a tight game with CJCC's Andrew. Theo has just played pawn to g4 check and would go on to win but from the photo Andrew's pawn on a6 seems to give him the advantage. Many other Moulsham (and CJCC) players in the background on Team Magnus Carlsen.

 IM Richard Pert keeping all but Jake (right) focused on the demo board.

 IM Harriet Hunt with her group.

 CJCC's Adam playing Asci from Team Judit Polgar with Harriet watching over the girls.

 Some of our H+H Fire Grand Prix winners.

(Most of) victorious Team Bobby Fischer that I had the pleasure of managing for the day.

Best Wishes