Kent U9 team win EPSCA Finals

Congratulations to the Kent U9 team for winning the 2016 EPSCA U9 Finals and becoming the National Champions.

The finals were held at Nottingham high school on Saturday 23rd April.

Everyone knew it was going to be a long day, starting before 7am and including travels by road, rail, underground and even on a tram.

There were 17 teams who had qualified for the finals and the competition was tough. Last year’s
winners, team Barnet, were one of the obvious competitors, and many of the other county teams posed an equal challenge.

Despite the long journey, the team were ready to take all opponents. All the young Kent players lived up to expectations and continued with the high standards set with their record-breaking victory at the zonal.

The first round ended with 10/12 with one loss and two draws. The second round finished with 11/12 with just one unfortunate loss – a very close game. However, the improving pattern continued and our last round was a clean sweep – 12/12 - wins on all boards!!

All the rounds had some close games which could have gone either way, but the players kept their nerves, maintained focused, increased concentration levels and eventually managed an overall victory. Our strong finish gave Kent a clear first place, leading the runners-up by 3.5 points.

The final scores were:
1st – Kent   33/36
2nd - Barnet   29.5/36
3rd - Sussex  26.5/36

Congratulations also go to the players who were on the reserve boards, they played some quality chess and secured a number of strong wins and ended the day with some prizes.

The full team were: Jack Chaudhury, James Merriman, Shreyas Royal, Shlok Verma, Yong Gui Wong, Eoin Moore, Stakhey Sedykh, Athur Chikovsky, Suriya Veleyudham, Madhav Suraj, Lucas Downing, Raghav Vaidya, Danny Oprea, Edward Ellam, Harry Chaudhury & Harry Chauhan.

Many thanks to our team manager, John Merriman and to GM Chris Ward and GM John Emms for their coaching, guidance and support throughout this season.

We also appreciate the efforts from all the parents and carers, who brought the children along to both the zonal and the final competitions and continuously support their chess.

With such a great result from our U9 team, the future for these promising young players looks bright. Well done to everyone.

The full results can be viewed at: