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NYCA Under 14 and Under 18 Saturday, October 04
Keith Tunstall and Chris Archer-Lock writes:

This year's National Youth Chess Association (NYCA) for Under 18 and Under 14 teams was held at Edgbaston High School for Girls, Birmingham.

The Under 18 team got off to a storming start, scoring 7 points out of 8. This put them in joint first place with Surrey. Highlights included an impressive win on top board by James Adair who overwhelmed his strong Welsh opponent, and a fine fightback by David Andrews to take the full point on board 8. Zach Salvini's quick win against a Sussex opponent also bode well for the day. Meanwhile the Under 14s began with a solid 6 points out of 12 with wins spread throughout the team. This included convincing triumphs on the lower boards from Florence Mitchell and Danny Rafique.

Click for larger photo
Click for larger photo
A quick photo call and team talk was held before round two, where the Under 14 team were challenged to score more than the Under 18's! They duly obliged scoring 7½ / 12 - their best round of the day, to leave them in clear second place. Daniel Noel's good win against Lancashire led the way for the upper middle boards with 4½ points gained on boards 3 to 7. The Under 18s continued to score well with 5½ points, including George Tunstall who added a Surrey scalp to his first round Warwickshire win, continuing the strong positional play he showed all day. The Under 18 team maintained their joint first place, now with Warwickshire who leap frogged Surrey, who slipped to third.

The Under 18s started round three with 1 point from the first three games, but all was not lost. The remaining games were all won, giving another excellent 6 points. This included wins on the top 5 boards. Warwickshire also amassed 6 points, to remain in equal first place with Berkshire. The Under 14s scored 6½ in this round, with 6 points on the bottom 7 boards. However, with Lancashire scoring strongly, Berkshire slipped into 3rd place by half a point.

With Sussex 9½ points clear of Lancashire in the Under 14 competion, a tense final round was set up for both teams - the Under 18s fighting for first place and the Under 14s looking to steal back second place.

The Under 14s dropped points early in the round, but battled couragously as ever with hard fought draws from Joe Walker, Daniel Noel and Matthew Wadsworth. These complemented wins which included a William Foo endgame and Danny Rafique's convincing success against a former Berkshire player, now resident in rival Lancashire. This confirmed an excellent third place for the Under 14s.

The last round was also well contended by the Under 18s, with Lewis Martin's second consecutive win. When the dust settled we finished second place behind host county Warwickshire by just a single point.

Congratulations to all the players for their fine play and efforts on the day. In addition to team trophies for everyone, five Berkshire players secured medals for top scoring on their board: James Adair, Andrew Winchcombe, George Tunstall, David Andrews and Florence Mitchell

Not far behind were: Sam Walker, William Foo, Edmond Lote and Danny Rafique who scored three points out of four against tough oppositon.

Out of all the players there were only three players who were unbeaten on the day. James Adair with 3½ and as usual a special mention for the 100% players: David Andrews and George Tunstall. This takes George's unbeaten status in the NYCA competitions to 24 consecutive matches.

Many thanks to everyone for getting the players to the venue as well as their support on the day.

Related links

Under 14:
Last Season's Results

Under 18:
Last Season's Results