Kent take second place in the U11 EPSCA National Final

Congratulations to our young Kent U11 team for taking an extremely hard fought second place at the National finals against some very strong opposition.

The EPSCA U11 National Final was hosted by Northampton at the Malcom Arnold Academy on Saturday 10th May 2014 with 17 county teams (qualifying out of the original 24) all competing for the National Title over three gruelling rounds.

Despite the drizzly weather, the team spirit of Kent’s young guns was anything but damp, with the players gathering early on the day full of excitement and anticipation, eager for the team talks and to get stuck into the first round. It was a team with a good combination of experience, enthusiasm and youth; many playing in their first national finals and all conducting themselves with good grace and maturity. It was a day to be proud to be a part of Kent Junior Chess.

Right from the go, it was clear that our players were not there to just make up the numbers but to compete at the very highest level; with a superb score of 17.5 out of 20 in the first round, a score which could only be matched by a very strong Sussex team. Barnet were third on 15.5, then Herts on 14, Notts on 13 and Wey-Valley 12.

Sussex showed their strength in round 2 with a solid 16.5, stretching their lead, whilst Kent faltered slightly scoring just 11.5. We were second at this stage but only just, with both Wey-Valley and Barnet breathing down our necks, a point behind.

The team rallied in round 3 to show its true fighting spirit, bouncing back with a score of 15, leading the way to a nail biting finish for second place. Sussex finished with style, scoring 18 to take the U11 title. Barnet finished with a third round score of 13.5 points. Wey-Valley took the fight all the way to the wire but could only manage a score of 15.5, leaving them just a half point adrift.

The final scores were as follows:

Sussex 52, Kent 44, Wey-Valley 43.5, Barnet 41.5, Berkshire 38, Nottinghamshire 35, Hertfordshire 34, Cheshire and N. Wales 30.5, Oxfordshire 30, Cambrigdeshire 27.5, Yorkshire 23, Richmond 23, Essex 19.5, Wiltshire 19, Lancashire 18.5, Northants. 16.5 and Manchester 14.5.

Congratulations to each and every one of our team members as they all played their part in securing this hugely credible result for the county. The strength of our opponents varied across the boards but everyone battled equally bravely.

The team was as follows:

Freddie ‘the Slayer’ Hand (Team Captain), Ximan ‘the Mighty’ Mao, Kiran ‘the Kool’ Shiatis, Haolin ‘the Master’ Zhao, Mikey ‘the Warrior’ Watson, ‘Rampant’ Ranesh Ratnesan, Alejandro ‘the Assassin’ Ito-Aramendia, Aryan ‘the Annihilator’ Narayan, Aurideep ‘the Attacker’ Nayak, Gaurav ‘the Gangsta’ Kocher, Ben ‘the Battler’ Gardner, ‘Ferocious’ Freddie Nunn, ‘Resolute’ Rajeiv Ratnesan, Bobby ‘The Bobster’ Akeya-Price, Ben ‘the Barbarian’ Barton, Navieinaah ‘Killer Queen’ Haridas, Mahuaa ‘the Marvel’ Verma, Arjun ‘the Grinder’ Gobiraj, Charlie ‘the Cheeky Champ’ Metcalfe, Alex ‘the Awesome’ Garfield, Kimball ‘the Nimble’ Catling, Edward ‘the Enforcer’ Cross, Ryan ‘the Menacing’ Malik and Oliver ‘the Destroyer’ Dobson.

Thank you to Sam “the Crusher” Cartwright, Rikin ‘the Ready-Man’ Parikh and Timofey ‘the Torpedo’ Selyukov for helping us qualify through the Zonal.

A huge thank you to all the players, parents, supporting siblings (!), GM Chris Ward (for his inspiration and for starting the nick name precedent), our president Anil Anilkumar, our glamorous team managers Andrew and Krishna Shiatis, all the great coaches working hard behind the scenes in Kent, the team at Northampton led by Nigel Mapletoft, EPSCA and all the great volunteers at the KJCA who help to keep the Kent Juniors consistently strong every year!

Full results can be found on:

Best wishes

Andrew and Krishna

U11 Team Managers