U9s win EPSCA Zonal - Report by GM Chris Ward

On Saturday 8th March Kent, hosted the EPSCA U9 East Zonal and it was the first opportunity to see how our talented young players would fair against the best of some of the other counties. Well, they certainly didn’t let us down as Kent led from the front and ultimately accelerated away to victory, giving us qualification to the finals and gold medals all round.

The Kent committee and supporting parents were complimented on the day’s excellent organisation and as the event was being held at Eltham School, we were able to give 24 juniors a taste of competition chess at county level. Each and every one of them did our county proud and the main team of 12 ultimately finished with a score of 25/36. This was comprised of a reasonable round 1 score of 8, followed by a slight dip with 7 in round 2 before showing our true colours with an excellent 10 in the final round.

Although the coach (that would be me!) was content with the final placing, it was also noted that a few unnecessary points were conceded through not looking out for checks (that both you and your opponent can do) and on occasion, moving too quickly. Although we must continue writing our moves down (except when short on time) so that it becomes second nature (helping us to remain calm and avoid becoming over-excited), I was extremely pleased to see techniques learnt at our coaching days, being employed to great success.

The KJCA has worked very hard to try to improve both the numbers and the standard of young players in Kent and this is was a clear indication that we are going in the right direction. The only sad element is that we will have to whittle the squad down to 16 for the EPSCA U9 final on April 26th and that is a decision that will be made straight after GP6 at Sommerhill. As always we are looking for a good attendance for that tournament and if you are available, myself and the team managers would particularly like to see in attendance all who are in contention for team places.

Congratulations then to the Kent U9 squad for Saturday’s excellent result:

Haolin Zhao, Ranesh Ratnesan, Robert Akeye-Price, Navieinaah Haridas, Thomas Gardner, Charlie Metcalfe, Alexander Levin, Huseyin Gueriane, Saahil Bansal, Abishaik Gnanenthiran, David Dallakyan, Dennis Ivin, Moad Shamekh, Charlotte Bruce, Anika Roy, Shaun Pasari, Kimball Catling, Oliver Dobson, Efe Shimwell, Mason Graves-Brown, Yong Gui Wang, Jai Singh Chaturvedi, Ishaan Yewale, Radha Ratnesan  

 My conclusion: Pretty good and with definite room for improvement too. We can move on to the final with confidence and further tussles with Barnet as well as the likes of Wey Valley, Sussex and Nottinghamshire in their own back yard. Exciting times!          

GM Chris Ward


Well done, we are so proud of you all, from the KJCA.

Full results can be found on the following link: