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Successful Under 11 Season Saturday, May 10
Lars Isaaksen writes:

The Under 11 team had an outstanding year. They got the highest number of points ever for a Berkshire Under 11 team in the EPSCA Final and equalled the highest ever position for an Under 11 Berkshire team by finishing 5th in the national competition. It all started off with the usual friendly events against neighbouring counties. Berkshire hosted two friendly tournaments against neighbouring counties.

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November Friendly

The first friendly event against Bucks, Hants and Barnet in November 2013. Berkshire finished a close second after Barnet, but outperforming the other neighbouring counties. It was a new experience for Berkshire to finish almost level with Barnet, the silver EPSCA Under 11 medallists in 2013. At this event all 20 players scored points, 13 got two or more points out of three. Oliver Thornley, Jake Bains-Gillespie, Siddarth Ramaraju and Aditya Singh all scored the maximum three points.

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February Friendly

In the second Under 11 friendly, that took place in February 2014, the opposition was stronger. Sussex, the EPSCA Under 11 winner in 2013 and also in 2014, showed that Berkshire Junior Chess still has work to do before it reach the level of Sussex. Oxfordshire also sent a strong county team. But Berkshire again finished 2nd - a very good result. At this event the team ran out of steam in the third round, only scoring 6.5 points out of the 20 available points, after getting 13 and 11 in the first two rounds, respectively. Nine players scored two points. Harvey Zhang was the only one to score 2.5 points, due to the few points we managed to get against the very strong Sussex team. Peter Isaksen, Nikhil Kadambadi, Harvey Zhang, Mannan Karwa, Siddarth Ramaraju and Aditya Singh managed to get points of Sussex.

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EPSCA Southern Zone

This year was extra busy for Berkshire as we also organised and arranged the Under 11 EPSCA South Zone tournament. Originally it was planned for seven county teams, but last-minute Bucks had to withdraw their team because they were not able to field a team of 20 players. The Under 11 chess players did very well. They got bronze medals, finished well ahead of 4th place Oxfordshire, but also well behind 1st and 2nd placed Wey Valley and Sussex. This meant the Berkshire team qualified for the Under 11 EPSCA final in Northampton. Special mentions go to Dhruva Bhagwat and Nicholas Vallis for scoring 2.5 out of three points. Jake Bains-Gillespie, David Winsor, Jonathan Croos, Max Pianta, Aditya Singh and Mark Henley also did really well, they all scored two out of three points.

The Under 11 EPSCA South Zone tournament was a large and very successful event. The main responsible for this was Nigel Dennis. But many other local people also helped out. Johnny Gillespie, Jim Hoskins, Paul Vallis and Paul Moody helped with the chess related activities. Paul Moody was our contact to the school and also helped a lot with the practical organisation of the event. Two senior school chess boys, Luke Vallis and James Moody, also helped out. Sian Thornley, Tracy Vallis, Zaya Badamdorj and Heena Joshi were responsible for the refreshments. They did an excellent job that was acknowledged and praised by all the counties. All in all, excellent team work by parents and committee members.

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The Under 11 EPSCA Finals are always large and very exciting events with many children and parents attending and everything is focussed on chess. The Northampton event was very well organised. Nigel Dennis, as an EPSCA representative, was again central in the organisation, Johnny Gillespie helped for Berkshire Junior Chess as board steward together with Paul Vallis. Jim Hoskins helped organise the Reserve’s tournament.

The Under 11 team players did exceptionally well in the Final. The Berkshire team finished 5th - equalling our previous highest position. They got a total of 38 points - the highest ever achieved by a Berkshire Under 11 team. All 20 players managed to get points at the Final. James Beckinsale, Aiden Gajadhur and Akshay Velraj all got maximum points. Five more players were unbeaten at 2.5 points: Jake Bains-Gillespie, Nikhil Kadambadi, Dhruva Bhagwat, David Winsor, and Euon Mallett. Five players finished on two out of three points: Peter Isaksen, Nicholas Vallis, Siddarth Ramaraju, Achyuttam Soni and Euan Miles. The Berkshire team got support from two Buckinghamshire players, Yaqub Saeed and Aiden Gajadhur, as their team did not participate. This was greatly appreciated. The Berkshire Chess training, organised during the winter by Mike Lubienski, deserves a lot of credit for raising the chess standard of the BJCA children.

Related links

November Friendly:

February Friendly:
Claires Court Junior Boys
Last Season's Results

EPSCA Southern Zone:

EPSCA Final:
Last Season's Results