Success for the U14 and U18 teams at the SCCU Jamboree

Kent fielded a team in each of the four sections of the SCCU Jamboree, held on 13th March 2016 at Gravesend Grammar School.

All our teams rose to the challenge against some very strong and highly graded opposition. The team spirit of Kent shone through, fighting hard throughout, often grinding out wins and draws from some deeply precarious positions, and all enjoying their chess and being with their friends.

Fantastically, we finished in medal positions in all the sections, taking an excellent first place in both the U14 open section and U14 minor sections. Congratulations to all.

Our U18 open team fought valiantly and secured third place in their section with 8 points, one point behind Surrey and just two points behind the winners Sussex. There were many exciting matches throughout and many distinguished wins against much more experienced and highly graded players.

The U18 open team were Rohan Bansal, Michael Green, Anantha Anilkumar, Andrew Ng, Alex Selway and Emily Green.

Our U18 minor team finished second with 10.5 points, just half a point behind the eventual winners Sussex. A great result from a young team, all of which were actually U14, and included an great performance by one of our up and coming U7 juniors on board 6.

The team were Alex Thompson, Alex Garfield, Orla Dorman, Mahuaa Verma, Huseyin Gueriane and Shreyas Royal.

Our U14 open team were up against very strong county teams, in particular Richmond and Sussex who brought out some of their big guns for the occasion. With Sussex scoring an excellent 6 out of 6 in the first round, it seemed like the day would be a huge uphill struggle, however the Kent team also scored well in all three rounds and never wavered from the ultimate prize.

It was a very close contest with some high quality and tense games in the last round. Kent finished on 13 points, tying with Richmond. Every point and half point counted, and an exciting last minute win on our top board secured us the title on the board count tiebreaker (the number of wins by both Kent and Richmond were the same).

The team were Freddie Hand, Aditya Verma, Ximan Mao, Kiran Shiatis, Robert Akeya-Price and Charlie Metcalfe.

Our young U14 minor team showed huge strength in character and, despite being behind after the first two rounds to both Sussex and Essex, continued to play consistently and achieve good results to earn them the win overall with 12.5 points. It was a very close section with Essex second on 12 points and Sussex third on 11.5.

The team were Ciaran Brightley-Davies, Saahil Bansal, Charlotte Bruce, Sholk Verma, Mihika Verma and Sidharth Nair.

Overall it was another great day for all the Kent Juniors who played.

Thank you to all our volunteers which made this event such a great success, to our team managers, the arbiters, our tournament managers and of course to all our supportive parents and our Kent junior players.

A particular thank you to Anil Anilkumar, Samantha Metcalfe and Luca Bernardini who all worked so hard in organising and making this event happen and to GM Chris Ward for being there to offer his support and for presenting the prizes at the end. A special thank you also to Julie Denning, president of the SCCU, for visiting us and for her inspirational address at the end of the day.

Thank you also to Gravesend Grammar School for once again allowing us the use of their lovely school.