Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Christmas Buffet and New Year

It was the CJCC Christmas Buffet today which is always a fun afternoon. Nice to see a few players who haven't been along for a while making a food-influenced return. Thank you to all the parents and players who brought along food and particularly helped clear up.

Alice won a special trophy today for all her help through the year.

We'll meet back on Tuesday 7th January with the younger players. Our dates through to half-term will be...

Younger Group  - 7th January, 21st January, 4th February.

Older Group - 14th January, 28th January, 11th February.

Between Christmas and Easter we'll take part in the UK Chess Challenge. This is a 7-round internal tournament everyone can play in which leads to Megafinals, Gigafinals and Terafinals for those who qualify with badges, gold spots and furry chess mascots for all along the way.

I hope you all have a lovely Christmas. Good luck to those playing in the LJCC.

Best Wishes

Wednesday, 20 November 2019

CJCC in Competition 19th November

I slipped two CJCC teams into a Year 7 and 8 school team competition KEGS were hosting and I was controlling on behalf of the English Chess Federation. Most of the players were in Year 6 and potentially joining KEGS next year.

It was a fun afternoon with the games played in excellent spirit. The CJCC players did pretty well but more importantly had a nice introduction to chess at KEGS.

CJCC A (Toby, Charlie, Evan, Luv and Karunya) scored wins over CCHS B and KEGS Yr 7 B in their 4 matches. CJCC B (Maheep, Adam, Hector, Hriday and Pankil) also beat CCHS B and drew with KEGS Yr 7 B. The A and B tags are misleading as I balanced the strength of the CJCC and KEGS teams.

Both KEGS Year 7 teams were led by current CJCC players. CJCC were also represented by current or former players in the victorious Brentwood A team, CCHS A, CCHS B and KEGS Year 8s.

 CJCC B heading for a tied match with KEGS Year 7 B. Hector and Pankil look deep in thought.

 Toby and Charlie looking focussed against CCHS B team.

The final game to finish drew a big crowd. In the picture are 6 current or former CJCC players representing 5 schools. This interest in and enthusiasm for the chess was great to see.

Next Tuesday (26th) will be a normal club meeting for the older players at CJCC.

Best Wishes

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

No Club 19th November and Brentwood Invitational

It was great to welcome Obi, Joshua and Louis to the club this week and Pankil and Amil last week.

No club next week (19th) as I'll be running a Year 7 and 8 school competition at KEGS. There is a strong CJCC interest.

Dinil, Joshua, Logan and Felix will be playing for KEGS. Alice S for CCHS. I've also slipped in two CJCC teams of Year 6 boys potentially going to the school next year.

Brentwood School (with former CJCC players Nina, Max and Jake) have the strongest Year 7 and 8 team in the country and will be favourites to reach the National Finals next week.

Last weekend I was involved in a great chess weekend at Brentwood School with a special Invitational tournament featuring some of the best young juniors in Essex and England. 4 of the 16 players involved - Nina. Max, Olga and Jake - are CJCC graduates. See if you can spot them in the photo at the bottom.

Current CJCC players Dinil, Maheep and Robert took part in a Reserves tournament as part of the same event.

The Invitational players all received a commemorative medal made and designed by Olga. If you would like to commission something unique for an event email Olga at ollachess@outlook.com

Running up to Christmas at CJCC it is 26th November and 10th December for the older players and 3rd December for the younger ones.

Best Wishes

Wednesday, 9 October 2019


Chess is an indoor game and rarely affected by the weather.

An unfortunately timed downpour yesterday however meant the boys who walked up as a group from KEGS (thank you Ben and Neil for leading them) turned up looking a little damp. They sportingly lined up for a photo while still dripping.

If the Player of the Week Trophy had been awarded for the neatest checkmate Joseph would have got it for his double rook mate against Luv.

But Adam won it for arriving well before everyone else and setting out the tables, chairs and chess sets. His early arrival also meant he could sit in the dry and watch the other players arrive in various states of dampness.

Best Wishes

Sunday, 29 September 2019

CJCC Dates and Club Details

We'll finish this half-term on Tuesday 15th October with the younger players then take a break.

The club will meet back on Tuesday 5th November with the older players then run through to Tuesday 10th December.

The club will be closed however on Tuesday 19th November when I am running a chess event at KEGS.


Older Group - 8/10, 5/11, 26/11, 10/12.

Younger Group - 1/10, 15/10, 12/11, 3/12.

For those looking for details about the club please email me at the address at the bottom of the posts.

We meet most Tuesdays in term-time from about 4.30pm-6pm. Some children arrive a bit earlier as they come straight from school. Some stay the whole session, others appear for whatever period fits in that particular week. There is no need to make any prior commitment.

The cost is just £2 per week when you turn up plus a bit to buy snacks from Leon's shop. Any profit he makes goes to his chosen charity.

The club is split loosely into an older (Year 5+) and younger (Year 4-) half but the boundaries are flexible. The children play (in between snacking and chatting) with help as needed then we have a short group coaching session in the middle.

The ethos of the club is to encourage everyone to have fun playing and improving their chess. We currently have about 70 active members. Come and give it a try and see how you get on.

Best Wishes

Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Older Group 24/09/19

It was great to welcome (and welcome back) so many of the Year 6s who have been absent for a while studying for the 11+.

So to Adam, Karunya, Evan, Charlie, Hriday and Maheep (sorry if I've forgotten anyone) welcome back to the chess world.

Leon was guest photographer today.

 A nice group shot of the club.

 John and Charlie look oblivious to all going on around them.

 Eva (with the flower) playing Janet with Elizabeth watching.

George (playing Joseph) and Nicholas in matching minecraft tops.

Best Wishes

Thursday, 19 September 2019

Two Weeks In

Two weeks into the new term at CJCC. One week for each half of the club. It has been great to see so many old players and welcome new ones.

This week (17th September) was the turn of the younger half. Welcome to Edith, Sai, Maya, Samira, Kamilla, Petr and Eva. Well done to Shrishti for being my Player of the Week for her smothered knight checkmate.

Nice to see so many girls at the club and also to have so many children borrow a chess book to help them.

We might have had more photos if I had remembered to tell guest photographer Kush to hold the camera still.

Edith, Samira and Kamilla are just learning to play so teamed up against Pranshi. The girls did really well with their learning helped by a rotating group of other children.

Sid (head in hands) and Rishi are carefully watching Posi and Tokumbo. Looking at the board they might be playing one of Tokumbo's special versions of chess.

Best Wishes

Monday, 26 August 2019

New Season

CJCC will restart on Tuesday 10th September with the older players. 4.30pm to 6pm as before. The dates for the rest of the half-term are below.

Older Players (Year 5 and above) - 10/09, 24/09, 8/10.
Younger Players (Year 4 and below) - 17/09, 01/10, 15/10.

One chess date to mark in your diary:

Saturday 19th October EJCA Grand Prix tournament in Chelmsford.

Best Wishes

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

British Chess Holiday Camp

Monday and Tuesday this week saw the British Chess Holiday Camp - two days of chess learning and playing.

IM Richard Pert and I were joined at different times by GM and former British Champion Joanthan Rowson and older Essex Juniors Daniel, Scott and Asci to deliver the coaching.

A full report and video clip will appear on the blog at www.britishchess.co.uk but below are some photos to give a taster of the event.

GM Jonathan Rowson in a simultaneous match with Asci and Daniel helping against the lower half.

Guha vs Rezin closest to the camera.

Nina (British U11 Girl's Champion) and Olga - two of the UK's strongest girls for their age - in battle on the top board.
Kush employs the little known Slinky Defence to keep his king safe in his all-CJCC match with Nye.

Looking ahead I'll be delivering a morning of chess coaching at the CJCC venue on Saturday 24th August then there is an invitational EJCA coaching day on 8th September.

The regular CJCC season will kick off with the older players on 10th September.

Best Wishes

Friday, 26 July 2019

Gigafinal and Terafinal

Well done to all our players who qualified for and played in one of four National Gigafinals in the last few weeks. Many congratulations to CJCC players Anna, Jixuan and Dinil who all qualified for the Terafinal Challengers. Former CJCC player Jake also qualified.

Three of our former players (Olga, Nina and Max) did even better and qualified for the main Terafinal (the National Final) by winning their age groups at a Gigafinal.

Olga, Nina, Max and Jake are currently at the British Championships so the best of luck to them.

The British Championship and the new chess grades can all be found at ECF.

Congratulations to Anna (centre) and Olga (right) on their Gigafinal results. Olga's wounded sister Vera went along for moral support. In lieu of a chess photo this is from Anna's school production last week where she was Mowgli.

Best Wishes

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

CJCC August Coaching

The regular CJCC club finished today for the summer. We will meet back on Tuesday 10th September. It was sad to say goodbye to a few players who are leaving Chelmsford for a fresh adventure.

Good luck to our players competing in the Gigafinals this weekend. Hopefully they can qualify for the Terafinal Challengers.

I am running two coaching sessions at CJCC in August. These will run for two hours with a mix of coaching in small groups or 1-to-1 and guided playing. Numbers are strictly limited with entry by email in advance. The sessions run 2pm-4pm on Tuesday 6th August and 10am-12 noon on Saturday 24th August. The cost is £10 per session.

Related image
British Chess are running a two-day Holiday Camp on 19th and 20th August for tournament players. Details at www.britishchess.co.uk.

Just before CJCC returns the EJCA will run an invitational coaching day in Chelmsford on 8th September for stronger or promising Essex juniors.

Have a great summer if I don't see you before September.

Best Wishes

Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Essex Junior Chess Association facebook

The Essex Junior Chess Association (www.ejca.co.uk) is responsible for running the majority of junior chess activities in Essex.

They now have a new facebook page which will report on all junior chess within Essex and is being run by one of the older Essex juniors so please take the trouble to click onto it and follow or like the page.

Good luck Sarah - it is an excellent initiative.

Best Wishes

Tuesday, 25 June 2019

No Club 2nd July

Don't forget there is no club next week (2nd July) because I am away with KEGS at the National U19 School Finals. James, who has been along all year helping us out, and long-term helper Scott will both be playing.

The club will be open on 9th and 16th July to everyone. After that we will break up for the summer. I plan to run some sessions over the holidays so watch this space....

Best Wishes

CJCC Photos 25th June

Fun and busy afternoon at CJCC. Very nice to welcome Joshua, Zachary, Zaina and Michael for the first time. Michael and Zachary are both in Reception which shows you can start playing young.

John bought the trophy along he won on Sunday and I was pleased to hand out a special trophy to Hector for his good sportsmanship in the tournament. Anna was our Player of the Week for the help she gave Zaina and the chess she played today alongside her excellent performance on Sunday.

 Milana is always quick to spot a camera. Michael having a mid-game snooze on the right.

 Dinil, Shray, Luv, Janet and Shrishti taking a break.

 Tokumbo, who also played on Sunday, on his way to a win over Kush.

Michael enjoyed a long game with Posi on his first visit to the club.

Best Wishes

Sunday, 23 June 2019

EJCA Grand Prix tournament 23rd June

Today in Chelmsford was the final EJCA (EJCA) Grand Prix event of the season. CJCC had 15 players taking part.

In terms of point scoring the girls led the way with Olga finishing a magnificent 2nd in the U18 Open and Anna leading the U11s at the half-way stage. Olga was also 2nd in the overall U11 standings.

But congratulations also to Tokumbo, Juan and John who were making their EJCA tournament debuts in the U9s. Juan and John shared the prize for Best Newcomer across all the different sections.

Congratulations to Hector as well for the way he conducted himself in defeat in the hall - the spirit he offered his opponents his congratulations after the game was an example for everyone.

 Anna (pensively facing the camera) had a tight battle with Mae on the top board in Round 4 of the U11s before eventally losing.
 Juan with his Best Newcomer trophy - a chess souvenir to take back to Spain in the summer.

John with is Best Newcomer trophy and certificate. His sister Janet will make her debut soon.

Best Wishes

Friday, 31 May 2019

This half-term

CJCC will meet back on Tuesday 4th June with the older players. Our dates through to the summer are below. Please note there is no meeting on 2nd July.

4th June - Older Players
11th June - Younger Players
18th June - Older Players
25th June - Younger Players

2nd July - NO CLUB (I'll be away with KEGS at the National U19 School Championships)

9th July and 16th July  - everyone welcome.

Congratulations to Anna and Alice S last weekend for both becoming Supremas at the Essex Megafinal. Well done also to everyone who qualified for the Gigafinal.

On Sunday 23rd June the EJCA are running a tournament in Chelmsford. Details at www.ejca.co.uk. Hopefully we'll have the usual strong CJCC attendance and scoop a trophy or two.

British Chess (www.britishchess.co.uk) will run a two-day Holiday Camp in Writtle on 19th/20th August. Details to follow. In addition I hope to run a couple of chess workshops at the CJCC venue in the holidays.

Best Wishes

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Today's club

It was the older half of the club today and we had something that resembled the Caucus Race in Alice in Wonderland.

Part of the club split into two teams today and everyone played a single move on a board before moving to the next in a haphazard crocodile. Femi eventually delivered checkmate to finish the contest and return things to sanity.

 Luv and John at the head of the Caucus Crocodiles mid-race.

Anna and Ed - our Caucus Race captains - relaxing after the contest. Felix in the background has retired into the world of Percy Jackson.

Femi, Alex, Laurence, Hector, Anna and Josh all quicker to spot a camera than a tactic on the board. Alex and I teamed up to play Femi.

Milana and Janet teamed up against Alice. Janet's brother John in the background. Kush (standing) playing Luv in the top corner.

Best Wishes

Sunday, 12 May 2019

U12 Brentwood Open

Well done to everyone who took part yesterday in the 4th U12 Brentwood Open. We ended up with 63 players in total including 14 from CJCC. Thank you to everyone who helped make the tournament such a success.

Congratulations to Nina for winning the overall event and becoming Brentwood Prep Champion at the same time. They'll be a report, crosstable and photos at www.britishchess.co.uk in due course.

Along with our regular club on Tuesday I'll be coaching this week at Brentwood Senior School, KEGS, St. Cedd's, Elm Green and Moulsham Juniors. The players will range from Reception at St Cedd's to Year 12 at Brentwood. Great to have so much interest in the game.

Best Wishes

Tuesday, 7 May 2019

May chess news

It was the younger half of the club this week. A couple of photos below (plus one from the previous week).

A busy week with the older players last week.

 Aarav, our youngest player, pausing mid-game againsy Shray.

Solan concentrating hard against Nye.

Prady received his trophy today for finishing as the highest-placed player in the UK Chess Challenge from the younger half (and second overall). John was Player of the Week.

Congratulations to Jixuan who was our best scorer at the EJCA Colchester tournament last weekend. Good luck to everyone playing at Brentwood this weekend (quite a few in their first tournament).

Finally welcome home to our former players Nina and Max who have just returned from the World Junior Championships in Turkey. Max scored 5/9 in the U9s. Nina 6/9 in the U11 girls to finish 7th.

Best Wishes

Friday, 5 April 2019

Next Term Dates and Other News

Chelmsford Junior Chess Club has stopped for the holidays now. Please note the club will be closed on 23rd April. We'll meet back on 30th April with the older players (Years 5 and above). The dates up to half-term are as follows.

30th April - Older Players
7th May - Younger Players
14th May - Older Players
21st May - Younger Players

Over 70 players took part in the UK Chess Challenge. Congratulations to our trophy winners Dinil (our overall winner) and Prady (the highest scorer from among the younger players).

Dinil (along with Olga, Anna, Maheep and Jixuan) represented the Essex Junior teams this term. The U11 mixed team finished 6th in the National Final. The U11 girls became National Champions for the first time.

Two nice junior chess tournaments coming up in May. Details at www.ejca.co.uk and www.britishchess.co.uk

Best Wishes

Sunday, 24 March 2019

Essex Girls U11s - National Champions

Many congratulations to the Essex Girls U11 team on becoming National Champions this weekend.

CJCC were well represented by Olga and Anna with the team captained by former CJCC player (and former U8 and U9 British Girls Champion) Nina.

Anna standing and Olga sitting on the left. Nina holding the trophy.

Best Wishes

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

CJCC news and new members

A lovely if a busy afternoon at the club as we welcomed seven (!) new members. So hello to Logan, Luca, Jamie, Emily, Jaden, Lucia and Kitty.

Last week we welcomed Lucas, Laurel, Gabriel and Shrishti so the club is certainly thriving.

Congratulations to Olga, Dinil, Jixuan and Maheep who all played for the Essex U11 team at the weekend. Between them they scored 9/12. Essex finished 3rd in the competition so have qualified for the national county final later this month. Andrew was also invited but unfortunately unable to play.

Double celebration for Dinil because a final round draw with Ben saw him clinch the UK Chess Challenge tournament with 20 points.

Best Wishes

Monday, 4 March 2019

Train and Play Chess Day 3rd March

Yesterday was the British Chess Train and Play Day hosted by Brentwood Senior School. 115 juniors between 5 and 17 came along to enjoy two coaching session and a 4-round tournament within groups based on playing strength.

20 players from CJCC took part including some at their very first chess event. Well done to all the newcomers. Vivaan and Solan top-scored from these with 3/4. Congratulations also to Anna for winning the Best Girl prize in her section and Rishi (Year 3) for beating a student from Year 12.

Thanks are due to Brentwood School for all their support of the event (including a free packed lunch for every player!) and the EJCA for the loan of the equipment. Thanks also to all the volunteers who gave up their day to help everything run smoothly.

A report and more photos will appear in the blog at www.britishchess.co.uk

Best Wishes

 GM Matthew Sadler delivering his talk in the smart surroundings of the Wessex Auditorium.

 Rishi in action against his second Year 12 opponent of the day on the top board in his section.

Impressive focus in Group B.

Monday, 18 February 2019

CJCC dates and tournament standings

Hector and Kai are our joint leaders at the moment on 16 points so well done to the pair of them. The current standings are below. A few players are still on 100% so might well catch our frontrunners before Easter.

Hector had that bit of good fortune all winners need last week when Jixuan thought Hector had checkmated him when in fact he could have simply taken Hector's queen! Well done to Jixuan for taking his oversight in good spirits.

Congratulations to Andrew Podgorski for being our Player of the Week for spotting the winning idea in our demo board position and for being selected for the Essex U11 team.

We'll meet back on 26th February and the dates up to Easter are as follows.

Older Group - 26th Feb, 12th March, 26th March.

Younger Group - 5th March, 19th March, 2nd April.

Don't forget to sign up for the Train and Play event on 3rd March. Learn from one Grandmaster, one International Master, one Women's Grandmaster (and me!). Details at www.britishchess.co.uk

Best Wishes