On Saturday we had 7 of our children represent Oldham at the finals of the 2019 county championships at Solihull in the West Midlands after qualifying at the Northern zonals a few weeks ago. Expected to come last against all the serious chess counties of England we managed a very respectable 14th out of 16 to finish ahead of Manchester and Wirral.
To put things in perspective Kent board 20 was graded higher than our board 1, Kent and Richmond have a number of England junior internationals playing for them and have around £50,000 invested in chess coaching each year. They are off to Russia in the next couple of weeks! Some of our players had to play players from the Kent and Richmond teams. A fantastic experience for them, gives them something to aspire to!
Our players scored 7 of the 18 points won for the team, absolutely amazing performance. I am so proud of all of them.
For Ethan Lancaster to win one game on board 6 was very impressive (remember he will have beaten the 6th best junior player in that county!). He also lost to 132 grade (a graded player just less than my grade).
Lawrence Moustafa won 2 points out of 3 on board 8 beating a very solid player in round 3 from the Northern winners Cheshire and N Wales.
William Hardman-Elliott on board 12 continues to mature nicely drawing against a highly rated player in round 1 from a strong Oxfordshire team and beating another graded player in round 2 from another good Wey Valley team.
Lucy Lowe got a draw in round 1 against a graded player from Hertfordshire
Austin Butterworth won in round 3 after going close against a good player in round 2.
Patrick Shaw was added to the team as a last minute sub did very well to also win in round 3.
Only Alex Hollingworth struggled due to a combination of 3 strong opponents and a recent lack of practice.
A massive thankyou to all the parents and some grandparents for coming along and supporting the team and our children.