Kent U12 win silver at NYCA Championship.

On Saturday, 9th November 2013, the Kent U12 team travelled to Telford for the NYCA national U12 championship.
Most of the team travelled together by train, where the children where able to relax, have fun, and cement a great team spirit (and the parents were able to have a natter as well).

The team went into the first round in great spirits and with good expectations, Kent being one of the favourites together with a very strong Sussex and a much improved South Wales team.
10.5 points out of 12 followed, with Kent holding a half a point lead after the first round, and a 1-1 result in the direct matches against Sussex.

Although we went into the second round full of hope to bring home the trophy, the harsh reality of chess hit us in the 2nd round, where a couple of blunders when in the lead meant we could only manage 5.5 points out of 12, and a 0.5-1.5 balance against Sussex.

Sussex were now in the lead with 19.5 points at this stage. We followed in 2nd place on 16, on the same points as South Wales.

At the beginning of the 3rd round we had a clear goal: beat Sussex in the 2 games we had against them, play our best and have fun!
An incredible team performance followed, with Aurideep and Freddie beating their Sussex opponents, Alex bringing home a very unlikely draw, and every single player playing their best chess; the team scored a fantastic 11 out of 12 points, with no defeats in the round.
Unfortunately for us, Sussex only lost against us, and won all their other games, scoring 10 points and taking home the trophy.
All in all we acquitted ourselves really well, outscoring the winners in two rounds out of three, and only a blip in the second round denied us first place. The children all had a great time and went home in great spirits and with a runner- up trophy to show for their efforts.

The final result was as follows:
Sussex 29.5
Kent 27
South Wales 23

Kent team, in board order:
Anantha Anilkumar, Francesco Bernardini, Freddie Hand, Alejandro Ito-Aramendia, Ximan Mao, Mikey Watson, Alex Thompson, Robert Akeya-Price, Ben Gardner, Aurideep Nayak, Rikin Parikh, Jacob Watson.

At the end of the tournament, as we had to nominate our best player for an extra trophy, it was decided to have a draw between Anantha, Francesco and Ximan, who all finished with a perfect score. Francesco was the lucky winner of the draw and got the best player prize!

Luca Bernardini
U12 Manager