Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Christmas Holidays and 2019

CJCC has broken up now until Tuesday 8th January when we will kick off the UK Chess Challenge (badges, gold spots, furry creatures and all) with the older players.

Thank you to everyone who bought food, performed music and especially helped clear up at our Christmas Buffet Musical Extravaganza. It was great so many of our players were keen to get on stage to perform and share their non-chess talents with the club.

Good luck to our players at the London Junior Chess Championships this month.

Entry forms will soon be available for the next EJCA tournament (Sunday 13th January in Southend) at www.ejca.co.uk

Entry has opened at www.britishchess.co.uk for the British Chess Train and Play day at Brentwood School on Sunday 3rd March. Guest coaches Grandmaster Matthew Sadler (the UK's highest ECF-rated player) and Women's International Master Natasha Regan will join International Master Richard Pert and myself. This event is likely to sell out so dn't leave it too late!

I hope you all have a lovely Christmas and New Year.

Best Wishes

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Last Sunday, next Sunday and today's club

Last Sunday (18th) I was helping run a tournament on behalf of the Essex Junior Chess Association at Basildon. Quite a few of our players were involved and did very well.

Sid got a special trophy today (see photo below) because he concentrated and played very well to beat the highest-rated player in the U8s despite being the youngest player in the tournament himself. Vivaan also won a trophy today for his play at the club.

Next Sunday (25th) I'm involved with running a secondary school tournament at KEGS. Plenty of CCJC interest in the KEGS and Moulsham teams.

CJCC players Eddie and Theo have organised the Moulsham teams themselves because they wanted to play and their school didn't enter. They've even recruited our snack tsar Leon (Year 10) into a team for his first competitive chess since Year 6.

 Nice to welcome Bertie and Phoebe back to the club.

 Dinil had a great battle with Prady before finally winning.

 Scott plays the Alices watched by Aoife and Roisin. Milana looks excited behind.

Sid with his trophy together with his brother Prady (it was Egyptian Day for Year 3 at St. Cedds!) and his classmate Tokunbo.

Best Wishes

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

CJCC 13th November

Older group today. We are in the middle of an all-play-all tournament. Some of the Year 7 and 8 players practiced a time control (8 minutes plus 2 seconds a move) they'll be using at a secondary school team event on the 25th November.

At the end of the session we all looked together at the end of a game that cost former CJCC parent IM Richard Pert a few thousand pounds last week. One slip at the end of Round 9 undid all the good work of the previous 4 days. Harsh game sometimes. Well done to Adam Baker for finding the plausible but flawed move Richard played and to the others who found a better one.

 Tom engrossed by Lucas's match with Leon. Welcome back to Lucas after a year away.

 Cody and Adam's sculpture.

 Saad (standing) also made a welcome return to the club after a long break.

Toby looks worried by the Alice and Alice team. His king looks in trouble but he went on to win.

Nye from the younger group with his Player of the Week trophy. He is one of our most improved players this term.

Best Wishes

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

CJCC Dates to Christmas and Tournament Report

No club next week (23rd) because it is half-term. Back on 30th October with the dates up to Christmas expected to run as follows.

Older Group  - 30th Oct, 13th Nov, 27th Nov
Younger Group  - 6th Nov, 20th Nov, 4th Dec

Everyone - 11th December. Special Christmas Buffet.

The older players will be involved in an all-play-all tournament. The younger ones in a ladder tournament with upward progress down to learning, enthusiasm and a willingness to help others as well as wins. 

We have quite a few new players just starting on their chess journey and it is important that everyone helps them on their way. This week we welcomed Aoife who joins a growing group of young girls at the club.

Over 20 current CJCC players took part in the EJCA Tournament at Moulsham Junior School at the weekend. All of them won at least 1 game and conducted themselves excellently but I'd like to mention 4 players who caught my eye.

Olga narrowly missed a trophy in the U12s. Maheep scored an impressive 4/6 in the U10s including beating 2 players graded over 70. Ben P chose to enter the top section and did very well to score 2.5/6. Nye showed great determination in his first tournament to score 2 wins in the U10s.

Best Wishes

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Secondary School Chess, CJCC and March 2019

KEGS in Chelmsford are hosting two secondary school chess tournaments for teams of 4 on Sunday 25th November on behalf of the English Chess Federation. Details of the event are on the ECF calendar (see link below) or ask me for details.


KEGS have over 20 graded players and are one of the strongest chess-playing schools in the country. At Eton College last month KEGS entered 2 teams in a competition with representatives from each school year (7 to 13) among the 14 players. Quite a few KEGS players come to CJCC and a couple of A-level students help me to run the club. It was the older half of the club this week.

At the same competition Brentwood School finished in the top half despite fielding the youngest team out of the 40 schools and 50 teams competing. Brentwood School have every chance of challenging KEGS position as the top Essex chess-playing school in the next couple of years.

On 3rd March 2019 Brentwood School will be hosting a Train and Play chess day on behalf of British Chess (www.britishchess.co.uk). GM Matthew Sadler (grade 283) and WIM Natasha Regan will be joining IM Richard Pert and myself to deliver the coaching. Put the date in your diary. It promises to be a great day's chess.

Best Wishes

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

CJCC 2nd October

It was the younger half of the club today (or at least the younger players plus the older ones who come each week). Welcome to Charlotte, Vivaan and Pranshi who all came along for the first time.

Thank you to James Bishop for teaching Pranshi and Charlotte (Charlotte had never played before) and to Ed and Jixuan who jointly won my Player of the Day trophy for their exhibition match and tutorial on the demonstration board.

Cody and Adam engrossed by Cody's new Sainsbury's character cards. Over Cody's left shoulder Denil and Maheep played a best-of-five game match (Maheep won 3-2).

Pranshi and Charlotte - on their first visit - paired up with Khrisha to take on Jiyuan and Abigail. Nice to have so many younger girls along.

Jixuan and Ed playing an exhibition match on the demo board.

Good luck to all our players playing in the EJCA Grand Prix tournament in Chelmsford on 13th October (especially those entering their first tournament). Entry details at www.ejca.co.uk

Best Wishes

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Birthday, Dates and Tournaments

Thank you for all the cards and good wishes today. To celebrate my birthday we had a special simultaneous challenge match at the club in between cakes (well baked Ben P!).

Ben C, Ben P and Stewart all represented KEGS Sunday in a competition at Eton College. Less glamourous surroundings for all of us this afternoon. Congratulations to James who won Player of the Week for his fine play in the simultaneous and for recording the entire game.

Next week (2nd) is the younger players. They'll be along on the 16th October as well with the older players sandwiching them on the 9th ahead of the half-term break. After half-term we'll have 2 separate tournaments for the 2 groups running up to Christmas.

EJCA Chelmsford Grand Prix tournament on 13th October. Details at www.ejca.co.uk

Best Wishes

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

CJCC - Week One

This was the first week back after the summer. It was great to see everyone again and welcome Hector, Adhvaith and Karan. Thank you to Ben and Stewart who met and took the KEGS Year 7's along as a group. They will do the same on the 25th September.

Scott (Year 13) and Leon (Year 10) were back to help out and were joined by James Bishop (Year 12) who will be with us this year as part of KEGS Community Service. James came along as a player in Year 7 so a nostalgic afternoon for him.

Russell was also back. He kindly brings the St. Anne's players along after running their school club and showed one of Olga's games on the demo board. Olga, Felix and James Z all qualified for and played in the Terafinal Challengers event last weekend which was a great achievement by them.

 Theo concentrating against Tom closest to the camera (watched by Millie and Josh).

 Hughie with a message for all.

 Ben enjoying his game with Scott.

Russell is showing one of Olga's games on the demo board. Adam and Felix have transferred their Moulsham chess rivalry to KEGS.

Best Wishes

Sunday, 2 September 2018

EJCA Coaching Day 2nd September

The Essex Junior Chess Association (www.ejca.co.uk) do a fine job organising tournaments, coaching days and the County Junior teams. Today was the first of 3 invitation-only coaching days arranged for the stronger juniors over the season.

 A purple Toby from CJCC concentrating against Byon. Rezin also looking focussed next to him.

 Joe proves far from camera-shy against CJCC's Bertie.

Abbey a picture of concentration against Urbi on the top board. Next to Abbey are Lakshan, Fraser, Nigel and Ben (all part of the KEGS chess team).

Best Wishes

Friday, 31 August 2018

CJCC - new term dates

Chelmsford Junior Chess Club will meet back on Tuesday 11th September with the older half of the club. The younger half will meet back the following week (18th September).

Our dates up to half-term are...

Older Group - 11th September, 25th September and 9th October.
Younger Group - 18th September, 2nd October and 16th October.

On 25th September it is my birthday so we'll have cake in addition to Leon's snack shop.

The club officially opens at 4.30pm although it is no problem if players arrive a bit early - all help gratefully received for putting out (and putting away) tables, chairs and sets. We finish at 6pm. Players can attend for all or any part of the session and pay £2 per week they attend.

For more information please email me at the address below.

Best Wishes
Robin Slade

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

CJCC Charity Donation

CJCC’s snack shop was efficiently run by Leon last season. He mostly sold and sometimes gave away ridiculously sugary snacks to eager young chess players without once appearing with anything remotely healthy I wanted to eat.

Leon’s grandad was diagnosed with a particularly aggressive form of dementia (“Lewy Bodies” disease) towards the end of the season and went from living independently at home to needing 24-hour care within a few weeks.

Because of this Leon generously decided to donate the profits from the tuck shop to Alzheimer’s UK and will be taking part in a national walk in October with his mum Sarah to raise money for people affected by dementia.

Below is a link to Sarah and Leon’s Just Giving page.

Leon (on the left) with his snack shop predecessor Josh.

Best Wishes

Monday, 30 July 2018

British Chess Championships - Essex and CJCC success

The British Chess Championships are currently underway in Hull. CJCC players Olga, Jake and Maheep played in the U11s. No prizes for them but some battling chess and no shortage of effort. They can be very proud of themselves.

Essex and CJCC success came in the U8s where former CJCC players Harry and Max finished 1st and 2nd. Harry and Max also scored well in the U9s with Harry leading until losing to Rohan in the last round.

It was nice to see so many juniors (including Rohan) from outside Essex who have been to British Chess events doing so well.

The very best of luck to the other Essex junior players in the different events this week.

Double Essex success in the U8s with Harry (on the right) and Max pictured with me. Thanks to Harry's mum Aiqing for the photo.

Best Wishes

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

British Chess Holiday Camp

On 23rd and 24th July British Chess (former CJCC parent Richard Pert and I) organised a two-day chess Holiday Camp.

Assisted by popular female coach Lateefah Messam-Sparks and CJCC helper Scott Shelley among many others we played a series of team matches, analysed the games afterwards and did chess workshops on openings, endings, tricks, attack and defence. A full report will appear on the blog at www.britishchess.co.uk.

10 of the students are off to the British Championships this month so were looking to educate and lubricate their chess brains but others were along simply to enjoy two days of chess at the start of the summer holidays.

It was a social as well as educational two days of chess with the footballers undaunted by the summer sunshine. It was particularly nice to have as many girls as boys along with Ornela getting a special prize for coming all the way from Cornwell just for the event. Particular congratulations to Elias and Mae for winning my Player of the Day trophy.

 Elias playing Emily closest to the camera.

 CJCC player Olga facing Katie and with fellow CJCC player Jake next to her.

 Jaden's turn to take on Emily.

Jaideep concentrating against Charlie.

Best Wishes

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

End of Term

Today was the last meeting for CJCC ahead of the summer break. We'll meet back on 11th September.

 Cody is pleased with his position.

Leon's chess school in full swing.

Best Wishes

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

CJCC Dates

CJCC will be closed on Tuesday 3rd July because I'll be with KEGS at the U19 National Finals. CJCC volunteer helper Scott is part of the team.

On 10th July it will be the final week for the older players and 17th July the final week for the younger players ahead of the summer. We will probably meet back on 11th September.

I'm at a two-day chess Summer Camp on 23rd and 24th July (one week ahead of the British Championships). Details at www.britishchess.co.uk

Good luck to the CJCC players at the Gigafinals the next two weekends and congratulations to our EJCA Grand Prix prizewinners (Jake, Olga and Jixuan). Full details of the Saffron Walden event and the final Grand Prix standings will soon appear at www.ejca.co.uk

Jake and Olga along with Maheep will be playing in the British Championships over the summer. The very best of luck to them.

Best Wishes

Monday, 11 June 2018

Train and Play 10th June

Yesterday saw the latest British Chess Train and Play event in Chelmsford. IM Richard Pert organises the events with me and we had IM Harriet Hunt (Britain's highest rated female player) as our guest coach. The children played 3 matches in teams with coaching in between.

Russell White (chess coach at St. Anne's and CJCC) managed Team Garry Kasparov to success in the team competition. Tim Worrall - TiC of chess at KEGS - was our other guest manager. Thanks also to CJCC helper Scott Shelley and CJCC parent Emma Wilson for their work keeping all the scores, taking photos and generally making things run smoothly in the hall.

17 CJCC players took part and special mention to Felix for winning a prize as one of 8 players to win all 3 matches. Sam from Moulsham won my "Player of the Day" trophy.

The next junior event is the EJCA Grand Prix tournament at Saffron Walden on 24th June (details at www.ejca.co.uk). The next British Chess event is our two day Holiday Camp on 23rd/24th July (details at www.britishchess.co.uk or via me).

The children split into groups for coaching between rounds. We are not playing invisible chess. There is a demonstration chess board at the front.

CJCC's Prady and Prasid (closest to the camera) in blue on the right playing for Team Bobby Fischer. Prady is playing fellow CJCC member Wolfie.

Nina on board one for the all-girls Team Judit Polgar playing eventual winning captain of Team Garry Kasparov Charlie Goldsmith. CJCC players Olga and Jake next to Charlie.

 Today's winning team Garry Kasparov with Richard, Harriet and manager Russell White.

Our British Chess Grand Prix winners (for events over the last 12 months). Great trophies and medals made and designed by Olga. Bertie and Maheep from CJCC also won medals while Jake was one of the three trophy winners.

Best Wishes

Saturday, 26 May 2018

Colchester Grand Prix

Today was the EJCA Grand Prix tournament at Colchester. As ever quite a few CJCC players took part and well done to Jake for winning a trophy in the U11s. 6 CJCC players were in the U9s which is a great sign for the future.

Special congratulations to Josh. He lost his first ever game on time today and won his first ever tournament prize. Josh reminds me he is the player who has been coming on Tuesdays the longest (4+ years) so perhaps it is about time.

Best Wishes

Tuesday, 22 May 2018


No club next week (29th May) because it is half-term. We'll be back on 5th June with the older players. Younger players today (plus a few older guests).

Shray getting excited while Gavin does some working out.

A Giant Cody. A frightening prospect.

Something has amused Eddie and Scott. Plenty of laughter at the club today.

Best Wishes

Camber Sands EPSCA Tournament

Last weekend was the English Primary School Chess Association tournament at Camber Sands. Teams of 6 at U11 or U9 level had qualified for this semi-final with the top 3 in each section going on to the National Final.

CJCC and Essex interest was in the U11s where 40 teams took part. Many congratulations to Brentwood Prep (with CJCC's Jake) for winning the event and qualifying for the final. Former CJCC players Nina and Max were on the top two boards.

All the Moulsham team are current CJCC players and it was great to see them bounce back on day two to finish on 15/30. Photo below  - right to left - of Felix, Toby, Adam and Eddie in action. Ilamaaran and James were the other two players.

I was officially there with Elm Green who had former CJCC players Jerry and Harry on the top two boards. Jerry always looks this focused at the board but this is a rare sight of Harry sitting down (he generally plays standing). Congratulations to Elm Green for winning a Gold Award for finishing in the top third.

This weekend it is the Essex Junior Chess Association tournament at Colchester. No shortage of junior chess events to choose from.

Best Wishes

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

CJCC Moulsham Match

Today we had a match between Moulsham students and the rest of the club. Moulsham ran out winners by 7.5 to 6. Below are some photos Josh took.

Eddie P was Player of the Week for scoring 2.5/3 in the match while Felix impressed by beating Alice, Eddie H and Alex in a simultaneous challenge at the end.

Next week will be the younger players before we break up for half-term.

Best Wishes

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Weekend Results - Brentwood U12 and Essex Megafinal

On Saturday I was co-organising the Brentwood U12 Open. It was great to have 12 CJCC players there for what is a particularly nice event for those new to tournament chess.

Olga was CJCC's top scorer with 4.5/6 but a good effort all round. A special mention to Hugo for getting a prize for his work in the coaching room and Prasid for his prize as the tournament's youngest player (scoring 1.5/6). Hugo, Prasid, Pradyun, Anish and Cody were all in their first tournament and did themselves proud with their approach and results.

Fraser deep in concentration aganist Mae closest to the camera. CJCC players Bertie and Jake playing each other 3 boards along.

Furthest left CJCC's Josh (Year 7) concentrating against Mae's brother Rezin (Year 1). Experience told in the end.
CJCC's Pradyun on the right against Lucy. Like many of the younger competitors it was their first tournament.

Sunday was the Essex Megafinal with 19 players from CJCC competing. They had won their places in the UK Chess Challenge tournament we held between Christmas and Easter.

12 players managed to score 3.5/6 or more to qualify for the South of England Gigafinal. Our best section was the U9s with Olga becoming Essex Suprema, Jixuan coming third and Lawrence and Adam also qualifying. All 19 CJCC players won at least one game which was great to see.

Best Wishes

Friday, 11 May 2018

Chess Websites

Pretty busy week of chess for me ahead of Saturday's Brentwood U12 Open and Sunday's Essex Megafinal. I've been at Brentwood Prep School setting up this afternoon. The best of luck to all CJCC players at either event. Also to the CJCC players off to Camber Sands next weekend with their schools for the EPSCA semi-final.

Prompted by an email (thank you Sarah) I've put together a list of chess websites that you might find useful at different times. The bottom link is one Sarah's daughter found while researching her homework (what a good school she must go to).

www.britishchess.co.uk                      Train and Play events

www.ejca.co.uk                                  Essex Junior Chess Association

www.chesskid.com                             Great children’s online learning and playing tool  
www.thechesswebsite.com                 Educational chess teaching site.

www.necl.org.uk/chelmsford             Chelmsford (adult) Chess Club

www.englishchess.org.uk                   English Chess Federation      

www.essexchess.org.uk                      Essex Chess Association

www.chess.co.uk                                London chess shop and online retailer

www.chess.com                                 Biggest online chess playing and learning site

www.delanceyukschoolschesschallenge.com/    National competition CJCC are part of

https://www.titlemax.com/resources/car-games-chess/   Interesting and varied site 

Best Wishes

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

UK Chess Challenge Trophy Winners

With the younger half of the club meeting back today I was able to hand Adam his trophy for finishing 2nd. Eddie beat Alice S in a play-off to take 3rd. Adam and Eddie deserved their success and are always willing to play anyone at the club.

They are pictured above with tournament winner Olga (minus trophy but plus a pink rabbit in her hair).

Cody got a medal for the work he put into his chess last term. He took on Prady, Prasid, Jiyuan and Khrisha at the same time today on two separate boards which judging by the look on his face was proving a challenge. Scott  - who kindly comes down to help out - by contrast is a picture of tranquility against Jixuan.

Alice playing Alice in the foreground. Hriday, Solan and Rishi having fun behind.

Best Wishes