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Another weekend gone and yet more fabulous results for Coventry Chess Academy members! After nine tough days of battle, the FISCA 2020 chess tournament has come to an end. Rhea Pal scored 3.5/9, an excellent score considering she is only eight years old and had to play against many older and higher rated competitors. Big brother Rohan finished on a fine 6.5/9 and still has a chance of finishing on the prize list. A big well done to both!

In other news, the finals of the English Online Blitz Chess Championships took place at the weekend. Our super sister duo of Imogen and Elis Dicen👭 were both taking part, having played brilliantly to qualify for the knockout stage in the first place. Imogen faced a tough pairing against Woman FIDE Master and well-known arbiter Shohreh Bayat. Experience triumphed on this occasion (Shohreh went on to reach the final against eventual winner Svetlana Sucikova!), but what a great experience nevertheless for Imogen! Little sister Elis, the youngest finalist aged only nine years, caused a sensation as she knocked out Woman FIDE Master Sarah Longson in the last 16😲, winning all three games of their games, before losing to the tournament winner in the quarter-finals. Congratulations girls, we’re so proud of you both!



We’re delighted to report on more fantastic results for Coventry Chess Academy members! The online Junior 4NCL took place on Thursday and the A team won 5-3 against Downend Upstarts with Elis Dicen winning both of her games. The B team crushed Dulwich College 7-1 with two wins for Vincent Xia. The C team went down heavily 1.5-6.5 to Manchester Juniors, though there was a good win for Margarita Nasibova against the higher-graded Tarini Jayawarna. The D team were convincingly beaten 1.5-6.5 to the Ojays while the E team drew 4-4 with Hallfield School. The F team beat East Kilbridge Bishops 5-3 which included two excellent wins for Rhea Pal.

The FISCA 2020 tournament is currently taking place. Organised from Romania, it’s a nine round swiss standardplay event. Flying the flag for England and the CCA are Rohan and Rhea Pal! At present Rohan is in joint-second place with 5.5/7 and two more rounds to go. Good luck to both for the final matches!

The 3rd Freerollers Avengers Chess Arena took place today on Lichess. This blitz tournament attracted a very strong field, including numerous titled players. Jude Shearsby took part and produced a fantastic performance. He defeated FIDE Master Konstantin Borsuk of Ukraine and, in a massive result, took down Grandmaster Pavel Kotsur of Kazakhstan!😲 Wow!! Great stuff Jude!

In other news, the qualifiers for the final of the English Online Blitz Chess Championship⚡️ have been announced. Making it through to the final are none other than our super sister duo of Imogen and Elis!👭 Just amazing. The finals start tomorrow and we can’t wait! Wishing you all the best, girls! We’re so proud of you both, you can do it!



We’re delighted to report on more fine results for Coventry Chess Academy members in online events! The seventh International Youth B Team Battle took place on Monday and numerous CCA members represented Warwickshire Juniors in this. The Bears finished top of the leaderboard ahead of teams from countries as diverse as Peru and Germany. The outstanding performance among CCA members came from Elis Dicen with a fantastic 42 points, the team’s second best performer overall, with Imogen Dicen, Rohan Pal and Billy Fellowes also scoring highly.

Yesterday the sixth round of the online 4NCL, the British National Chess League, took place and once again numerous CCA members were in action representing Warwickshire. There was disappointment for the A team as they went down to their first defeat against Downend 2, with only Jude Shearsby emerging victorious for the Bears. The B team fared better with a 2.5-1.5 triumph against the Doughnuts of Doom courtesy of wins for Elis and Billy. The C team whitewashed Watford Juniors B with William ‘Super Prefect’ Morris picking up his first win for the team. Finally the D team drew 2-2 with Streatham C which included a convincing win for Zain Amir.

Well done everyone!



We’re pleased to report on another great result for the one-and-only Billy ‘The Kid’ Fellowes🤠 AKA ‘The Fastest Gun🔫 In The West’! Today Billy played in the third British Junior Elite Bullet Arena. Today’s tournament was strengthened by the presence of a 181 ECF-graded player from Kent and the CCA’s good friend FIDE Master Nick Thomas AKA ‘The Dean of Warwickshire Junior Chess’. Unfortunately, for Mr T, he was one of the victims of a rampant Billy! ‘He’s just too quick!’ were the words of the fallen master. The CCA’s eight-year-old superstar finished a clear first again by a huge margin of 8 points. He showed it was no fluke either by taking down highly ranked Chinmay Monga and the visitor from Kent as well. Wow! Congratulations Billy!

Even CCA Director Paul Lam has turned into a bullet fan during lockdown, though the majority of the games have been laughably bad!🙈 We leave you with one of the better efforts – a crushing attack against an Iranian FIDE Master earlier today. White to play and win.




We’re delighted to report on a remarkable showing for Coventry Chess Academy members in the English online Blitz Chess Championships held on! They got to lock horns with the likes of IM Malcolm Pein, FM Marcus Harvey and GM Danny Gormally among a cascade of domestic stars. There were some terrific efforts and the titled players did not have it all their way! Nine-year-old Elis Dicen battled hard against FM Harry Grieve, lasting into the endgame and 70 moves before her resistance was broken. The CCA’s youngest competitor, Billy ‘The Kid’ Fellowes🤠, aged eight years, played brilliantly to finish on over 50%, defeating one higher rated opponent after the other, including 201 ECF-graded Oscar Pollack in a heroic performance. Rohan Pal held his nerve in a topsy turvy game against none other than Woman FIDE Master and Director of the UK Schools Chess Challenge, Sarah Longson, emerging victorious after 85 moves, showing bagloads of grit and determination; a fantastic result. Finally, our oldest member participating, Imogen Dicen outplayed and scalped well-known English FIDE Master Charlie Storey, crowning a tremendous set of results for the CCA contingent!😲🔥🔥🔥 Well done everyone, we’re so proud of you all!



We’re delighted to report on more fantastic results for Coventry Chess Academy members in recent events! The first Inter-County Team Battle took place this week and a large number of our members represented Warwickshire in this. The ‘Bears’ finished in second place behind the mighty Kent, an excellent result. The squad’s top performer was none other than Billy ‘The Kid’ Fellowes who seems to be on a one-man-mission to win as many of these events as possible! He did so in style, beating both of the talented Murawski brothers from Oxfordshire and taking down a number of other leading English juniors.

There was also another superb result for Hari Clark in the weekly Dunchurch Boughton-King Henry VIII school match. He finished second with 4/5 with Florence Shearsby not far behind with a fine 3/5.

On Tuesday, the fifth round of the online 4NCL, the British National Chess League, took place. Once more, numerous CCA members were representing the Warwickshire Bears squad and once more they produced the goods! The A team maintained their spot at the top of division 4 with a good win over Harrow 3, courtesy of wins for Rohan Pal, Manvith Sandhu and Jude Shearsby. Rohan ground his opponent down after two epic hours, while Manvith and Jude crushed their opponents in short order. Warwickshire Bears B also won their match in division 5 against Darnall & Handsworth, with wins for Billy Fellowes and Elis Dicen and a draw for Daniel Chen. The C team went down to East Cornwall Clowns, although CCA legend and super prefect William Morris made a very welcome first appearance for the squad. Finally, the D team defeated BBC Penguins with wins for Zain Amir, Margarita Nasibova and Olivia Chen.

The second British Junior Elite Bullet tournament took place yesterday and a big shock was nearly on in the first round. Billy ‘The Kid’ had top seed Finlay Bowcott-Terry on the ropes, but was not quite able to finish the job. Finlay survived and showed his class to win with an incredible 100%, with Imogen Dicen being the only other person able to push him hard.

The online Junior 4NCL took place today and the A team made amends for their reversal in the last round with an excellent 6-2 win over the KCJA Young Kestrels B. Imogen had two very creditable draws against the very strong James Merriman, while Elis and Billy both won their games in fine style. The B team won, but the C team struggled against the Ojays D team, with only Keaten Patel managing a solitary win. The D and E teams also went down by heavy margins, although Shriya Sastry scored 1.5/2 in her games. Some cheer was brought though by the F team who won 7-1 with 1/2 for Rhea Pal and 2/2 for Amraya Johal.

Well done to everyone for some great performances!



It was another very well-attended and enjoyable Coventry Chess Academy online session yesterday! Pawn power was the theme of the session and there were some excellent contributions, with Satvik Manyam, Robbie Gillespie and Andrew Chen standing out in particular. The final puzzle, a combination leading to a checkmate delivered by a pawn, proved tricky, but Billy ‘The Kid’ Fellowes came to the rescue and found the solution before the session’s end!🧠

In other news, we’re delighted to report on more excellent results for members in online tournaments. There was a superb performance from Rohan Pal in the European Chessmates U14 team battle. He was one of the highest-placed England players, finishing 7th out of 225th ahead of compatriots Luca Buanne, Jacob Yoon and Shlok Verma. On top of this, he crushed FIDE Master Alexander Jimenez of Venezuela in a blitz game😲, adding to his scalp tally.

Today saw the first British Junior Elite Bullet Arena take place. Organised by FIDE Master Nick Thomas, it attracted a very strong turnout. Rohan, Kanav and Chinmay Monga, Imogen and Elis Dicen, Zain Amir, Kai Miller, Ansh Agrawal and Jude Shearsby were among the local chess stars participating. Third place🥉 went to Elis, second place to Jude🥈, but first place went yet again to the one-and-only Billy ‘The Kid’🤠🥇, AKA ‘The Bullet’, the youngest participant in the event. Wow! Well done Billy, another fantastic performance!

We leave you with a position from a recent online game played by Coach Roy Watson. The ‘Baddest Great-grandpa on the Planet’ has, after a period of adjustment, started to take to online chess like a duck to water! He found a crushing finish here, White to play and win.




The great results for Coventry Chess Academy members just keep coming through! Rohan Pal, who showed his blitz skills in carving up a FIDE Master and former European Junior Chess Champion recently, showed he can shine in classical format too as he finished his campaign in the first ever online Sunway Sitges International with a fine 5/9 against some good opponents. Well done Rohan!

In other news, today saw the first ever Warwickshire Juniors Blitz Arena take place and numerous CCA members competed. The star-studded line-up was filled with England national team and junior squad members and stars of the Warwickshire junior chess squad, including Imogen and Elis Dicen, the elusive Devan Patel, Daniel Chen, Silas Bowcott-Terry, Tristan Wong and Kanav Monga. It proved an exciting and very competitive affair with plenty of upsets. One notable result was Felix Kuang overturning a big grade disparity to beat Daniel in their game. When all the dust had settled though, one person stood head and shoulders above the rest. It was none other than the brilliant, inimitable Billy ‘The Kid’ Fellowes🤠, still one of the youngest competitors at just eight years of age. He literally blitzed the field to finish with an absolutely insane 11.5/12!!⚡️⚡️⚡️ Congratulations Billy, what a performance!



We’re delighted to report on more excellent results for Coventry Chess Academy members in recent events! A number participated in a match between Hallfield School and Manchester Grammar School. Hallfield’s number one Rohan Pal was his team’s top scorer while Zain Amir also performed well to finish as the team’s second top scorer. Felix Kuang also produced a fine performance, finishing on 4/7 against some good opponents.

Rohan also added to the CCA scalp leaderboard as he defeated FIDE Master Alexandru-Bogdan Banzea, rated over 2400 FIDE, with the Black pieces in fine style in a blitz game. FM Banzea streamed the game on Twitch and was full of praise for Rohan’s play, admitting that he had been fairly and convincingly defeated.

Also on the warpath was Rohan’s friend and clubmate Jude Shearsby. Playing in Woman International Master Fiona Steil-Antoni’s bullet arena on Lichess, he took down FIDE Master ‘AMADAN’ and mated International Master Alex Astaneh Lopez.

Well done to all on some great results!



We’re delighted to report on more excellent results for Coventry Chess Academy members! The second round of the online Junior 4NCL took place on Thursday and there were some great performances from members representing the Warwickshire Bears squad. The A team crushed a strong Harrow Juniors team 6.5-1.5 with Imogen and Elis Dicen and Daniel Chen contributed five ones and one draw between them. Playing for Hallfield School in the same division, Zain Amir managed a creditable draw against England star Max Pert, son of International Master Richard Pert. Felix Kuang was the only winner for Hallfield B, a good result for him against the higher-graded Ethan Jia. The B team lost narrowly 3.5-4.5 although Vincent Xia did well to score 1.5/2, the team’s big hitter for the match. The C team lost by the same margin but there were two wins for Olivia Chen and a great comeback win for Ethan Vas against the much higher-graded Harrison Postans. The D and E teams struggled though Vassily Sagyaman scored a good win and finally the F team won 7-1 with 2/2 for Rhea Pal. Playing in the same division for Hallfield C, Rhea’s good friend Diah Patel also won both her games. This comes off the back of another fine performance from Diah in winning the Hallfield year 3/4 tournament with 4/5, defeating opponents graded ECF 65 and 48 along the way! Well done to everyone, great stuff!

In other news, Jude Shearsby had a great performance in the Qatar Blitz Marathon held on Lichess. With a first prize of $1000 it attracted a number of Grandmaster entrants and other titled players. Jude performed excellently to finish in the top half of the field, defeating Woman Grandmasters ‘mekoch’ and Maka Purtseladze and taking his Lichess Blitz rating to well over 2200. He also found a spectacular finish in one of his games which we’ll leave to you to solve! White to play and win.




We’re delighted to report on more fantastic results for Coventry Chess Academy members! Last night, fast-improving Hari Clark was the winner of the Dunchurch Boughton-King Henry VIII schools chess tournament which involved a number of his CCA clubmates, an excellent result.

The third round of the online 4NCL also took place and not two but three Warwickshire Bears teams filled with CCA members competed this time round. The C team drew a competitive match against the Grangemouth Giants, the B team lost to strong opponents in the Kent KJCA Kestrels and the A team juggernaut continued with a fine 2.5-1.5 win against an Oxford side which outrated them on average. The team hero was the one-and-only Manvith Sandhu who thoroughly outplayed and took apart his opponent, the 164 ECF-graded Graham Cole.

Well done to all on more great results!



We’re delighted to report on more great results for Coventry Chess Academy members! Rohan Pal is currently playing in the online edition of the prestigious Sunway Sitges International and stands on 1.5/2. Manvith Sandhu had a fantastic game today featuring a sacrificial king hunt. Additionally, Jude Shearsby, Elis Dicen and Rohan all had excellent performances for Team England in an online international match against the likes of Ireland, Israel and other countries. Between them, across over 30 individual games, only five were lost, meaning that they contributed a huge amount to the final England tally.

Later on in the day, CCA Director Paul Lam, donning his Warwickshire Junior Chess Head Coach cap, took to Lichess for an online simultaneous display! The event proved an extremely popular one and an incredible THIRTY TWO Warwickshire juniors, including numerous CCA members, registered for it. It turned out that Paul had bitten off more than he could chew, having to battle against the clock🕖 as well as the talented juniors. He ended up winning 12, drawing 2 and losing 18. Ouch!! 😳🙈 All in all, it was a hugely fun and successful event enjoyed by all (even Paul!). Many thanks to Alex Holowczak for organising it and well done to all who participated (and got the better of Paul)!



We are delighted to report on more fantastic results for Coventry Chess Academy members in recent online events!

Rohan Pal produced another fine performance in the ECF PM Blitz Arena earlier this week. He finished fourth overall in a very strong field, was incredibly close to defeating Candidate Master ‘piscatorix’ and took down both Ben ‘Greenbecker’ Graff and one-time CCA coach (and recent special guest), Dr Josh Pink.

On Tuesday, the second round of the online 4NCL took place on Lichess and the two Warwickshire Bears teams were once again in action. Jude Shearsby delivered a great performance against Lloyd Retallick (181 ECF), and was unfortunate not to win, with only his time trouble saving the draw for his senior opponent. There were good wins as well for Imogen Dicen and Manvith Sandhu who annihilated his opponent in only 16 moves. The result was that Warwickshire Bears A won their match against the East Cornwall Killers and currently sit top of the division.

There were concerns in some quarters for the B team who faced a much stronger team in Bolton & Worsley, but they put up a gallant fight, going down only by the narrow margin of 1.5-2.5. There was a good draw for Elis Dicen on top board and a fantastic win for Billy ‘The Kid’ Fellowes against an ECF 140 graded opponent (157 rapid).

Then yesterday, the online Junior 4NCL took place. An unprecedented SIX Warwickshire Bears teams took to Lichess for the event. The A team won their match against St Albans Early Knights with great wins for Imogen and Billy. Rohan and Zain were in action too, albeit for their school Hallfield, and contributed to a good win against the Marshall Artists. Zain won both his games, while Rohan drew with England teammate Daniel Shek and then took him out in the next game with a brutal sacrificial finish.

The B and C teams struggled in their matches, although there was a win for Margarita Sanchez and a creditable draw for Vincent Xia against a much higher-graded opponent. The D team went down narrowly by the margin of 3.5-4.5, though Shriya Sastry shone by winning both her games. The E team also lost, with one of the high points being the welcome return of Astrid Gibara who scored a good draw upon her comeback. Finally, the F team also lost against tough opponents, but there was a fantastic win for Rhea Pal against an opponent graded ECF 88. All fantastic experience against strong opposition and no doubt the teams will go from strength to strength as the season progresses.

In other news, Jude continues to add to his titled player scalp tally while his Blitz rating soars. On top of which, he found an absolutely brilliant finish in a game yesterday where he had a mere 8 seconds left on his clock. Can you work it out as quickly?



Great to see everyone at the Coventry Chess Academy’s latest online session on Saturday! The focus was on CCA Director Paul Lam’s speedy win against a FIDE Master Mr A.Nonymous, demonstrating the perils of falling behind in development in the opening. Paul got a much better game during the session from our very own Ezekiel Ho, who pushed him all the way to a king and rook ending; a tremendous effort from Ezekiel.

We will be on BREAK next Saturday 18th April, but will be running online sessions again from Saturday 25th April – we look forward to seeing you then!

We’re delighted to report on yet more great news from online tournaments and games. Silas Bowcott-Terry is making fast progress, recently getting a draw against highly-graded Henrik Stepanyan and even managing a win on time against GM Keith Arkell.😲 Amazing results! Jude Shearsby also continue to add to his titled player scalp tally, taking down several FMs and a WFM in blitz in the last few days.

Meanwhile, Billy ‘The Kid’ Fellowes, who caused a sensation with his performance in the recent Warwickshire junior super blitz, has produced more sparkling games featuring some glorious combinations. Billy’s ability to spot tactical resources in milliseconds is frightening and resulted in another pretty mate featuring below.

There was a fantastic performance from Rohan Pal in the ECF Saturday Slow Blitz Arena. He finished third, defeating Robert Starley (ECF 193) in crushing fashion and also drawing with chess author and good friend of the CCA, Ben Graff.

In other news, Ben, who has been making a name for himself with his articles in CHESS magazine, has released his first novel and it’s all about chess! ‘The Greenbecker Gambit’ tells the tale of Grandmaster Tennessee Greenbecker and his journey to claim the World Chess Championship. The novel has already been receiving rave reviews, so do order a copy from London Chess and Bridge!



We’re pleased to report on another excellent online result! Rohan Pal won the Blitz Shield Arena on Lichess with a perfect 8/8 against opponents with an average blitz rating of 1830. His favourite game was his crushing sacrificial win against igorx70 (2100) who got well and truly ‘Rohanned’. Check out the final position below! Congratulations Rohan on a great result!

While Rohan and scores of Coventry Chess Academy members are watching their ratings soar, CCA Director Paul Lam is heading in the opposite direction, but did manage to give International Master and Chessbase presenter Robert Ris a decent challenge, losing a 5 game match by the narrow margin of 2-3. Even IMs can go badly wrong in blitz. In the position below, Black has just played …f6?? Why is this a blunder?



We are delighted to report on more fantastic results for Coventry Chess Academy members in online events! A Warwickshire junior ‘super blitz’ took place today which featured the cream of the county crop. The winner with a super 6/7 was Imogen Dicen, closely followed by Rohan Pal and Tristan Wong in joint-second place. Perhaps the most sensational performance though came from the youngest player in the field, eight-year-old Billy ‘The Kid’ Fellowes. He started like a train, inflicting Imogen’s only defeat and also beating Jude Shearsby, Kanav Monga and Ansh Agrawal. While he fell away in the second half of the tournament, it was still good enough for outright third place with 4/7. On top of scalping a FIDE Master on, it crowned a very successful 24 hours for ‘Kid Dynamite’.

Later on in the day, the first matches of the inaugural online 4NCL took place. Two Warwickshire Bears teams which included a number of CCA members participated in divisions 4 and 5. The A team won against Bristol Cabot Blackbeards 2.5-1.5 with excellent wins for Manvith Sandhu (against an ECF 173-graded opponent) and Rohan. The B team also won 3-1 against Manchester Juniors C, with Billy tearing through his opponent in just a few minutes.

Well done to all, great stuff! We leave you with a position from Manvith’s online 4NCL game today, Black to play. Can you see the neat tactic which won him material?




Yesterday was another great Coventry Chess Academy online session! CCA Director Paul Lam received some very worthy challenges, with plenty of praise in particular for the play of Ezekiel Ho, Andrew Gordon, Omar Awan and Zak Nahal. The focus of the session was endgames and among the top solvers were Billy, Satvik Manyam and Julia Kozhan. The puzzles got progressively trickier and the final one left many stumped.🤔 Cometh the man, cometh the hour and Jude Shearsby stepped in to find the solution before the session’s end!👏

Whether it’s on,, chess24 or, the difficulties posed by the current period have not stopped our members from enjoying the game they love. Even Paul, a notoriously inactive player over-the-board and online, has caught the internet chess bug, taking down three GMs and twelve IMs since lockdown began. Unfortunately for him, he is banned from the CCA Scalp Leaderboard currently headed by Jude who took down IM Buli of Italy (rated over 2400 FIDE OTB) yesterday in a performance full of doggedness and determination, fighting back from a horrible position to stand better before the master’s flag fell.

There were some excellent results too for Rohan Pal playing in the ECF Saturday Slow Blitz Arena. Facing an anonymous Birmingham league regular, he demolished his opponent’s Latvian Gambit in a mere eleven moves.😲 Ouch! His next game was a much tougher proposition, against a 183 ECF-graded opponent. He battled back from a difficult middlegame to outplay his opponent in the endgame, demonstrating why piece activity can trump material, finishing with a lovely ‘hook’ checkmate which features below.

Billy ‘The Kid’ Fellowes🤠 has also been burning up the chess stratosphere🔥🔥🔥 and found some wonderful moves and ideas in his recent games. Check out the position below, from one of his games as White. How did Billy save the draw?




We are delighted to report on some great results for Coventry Chess Academy members in online events! This week, a massive Warwickshire-Oxfordshire match across 50 boards was held on the brilliant, also home to the CCA’s online chess club. Numerous CCA members were selected to play and there were some excellent individual results. Billy ‘The Kid’ Fellowes🤠 produced two picturesque mates delivered by a pawn and knight respectively.😎

More members were in action today in an online match between King Henry VIII and Dunchurch Boughton School. Florence Shearsby was one of those participating and was delighted to score a fine 3/5. Meanwhile, Florence’s big brother Jude was terrorising titled players on, bludgeoning a FIDE Master from Armenia to defeat in only 17 moves! With five wins and two draws against titled players since lockdown began, he currently sits atop the CCA ‘scalp leaderboard’.

Well done to all!



It was another great Coventry Chess Academy online session on today! Dozens of members logged on to play games with their friends, solve puzzles and challenge CCA Director Paul Lam. Some excellent play was on display, with great efforts produced in particular by Ezekiel Ho and Omar Awan. The top puzzle solvers included Diah Patel, Satvik Manyam, Julia Kozhan and Billy ‘The Kid’ Fellowes.

Members have also been active on all the popular chess servers like and and some notable results have been achieved. Billy has demolished a 2200+ rated woman international master and was 0.01 seconds away from claiming the scalp of grandmaster Mathias Womacka! Also shooting up the online rating system is Jude Shearsby, whose most notable scalp has been that of Paul himself after the latter made a major tactical oversight, one which featured in today’s Chess Kid puzzles (all the members saw it!).

We leave you with some light humour (courtesy of Eden ‘The Pacific Star’ Oshri!) and a couple of puzzles, all from online games played in the last week. Enjoy!



It was a great Coventry Chess Academy online club session on today! It featured games, drills, some tricky puzzles and quite a few members keen to challenge CCA Director Paul Lam. Among those enjoying the morning’s chess were James and Harry, who you can see below engrossed in action!

Paul is also involved in a heavyweight battle🥊 with the legend that is FIDE Master Nick Thomas😲 to be continued next weekend. You can watch their game progress online, who’s your money on?🤔

A big well done in particular to Julia Kozhan who solved both of the first two puzzles and to Zak Nahal for putting up a great effort in his game against Paul!

Great to see everyone today and we hope even more members can join us next Saturday!




It’s been a difficult past week, but at the Coventry Chess Academy we’re not going to allow the challenge we’re all facing get in the way of us enjoying the game which we love. We’re fortunate to have our own online club on the excellent So club members, log on every Saturday morning from 10-12am for games against your friends, puzzles, lessons and the chance to challenge CCA Director Paul Lam! It should be great fun, we look forward to seeing you tomorrow for the first one!😀

Below we have a cheeky (there’s a clue for you!) brainteaser to warm you up. It’s White to play and win!




We are sad to inform you that the Coventry Chess Academy will be taking a BREAK, effective as of now. We will not be running Saturday morning sessions for the rest of term and until further notice is given.

This is a painful decision, but we believe it is in the best interests of our members, staff and their families given the current climate. Please rest assured that this break is only TEMPORARY. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and will inform you of any changes.

A detailed message has been sent to the parents of all members. Please could you check your emails and take the time to read this. Our commitment to the ongoing chess development of our club’s members, notwithstanding the challenges posed by the current climate, remains undiminished. We will strive to ensure continuity in an alternative space.

Please stay safe and stay in touch during the break. We could all do with some social interaction at this time and technology goes some way towards breaking barriers. We are more than just a chess club. We are the Coventry Chess Academy, a community of friends, and it is imperative that we all look out for each other at this time. We may end up taking a hit, but remember that we started from absolutely nothing. We WILL be back.

Thank you for all your support and your understanding.





We are delighted to report on some excellent results in the popular Birmingham Rapidplay today! In the Minor section (U110 ECF), there was an excellent result for nine-year-old Vassily ‘The CCA Torre’ Sagyaman🇵🇭♜, who won our UKSCC primary schools qualifier last weekend. He scored 4.5/7 for joint-second place🥈, defeating some other talented juniors and experienced adult players on the way. Vassily’s dad, Francis, shared the family success👨‍👦 as he won the Major (U170 ECF) with 6/7! In the Intermediate section (U140), Silas Bowcott-Terry was outgraded in all but one game, but still finished with a fine 4/7, performing significantly above his grade. The joint section winner🥇 with a fantastic 5.5/7 and a 150 ECF grading performance was the one-and-only Billy ‘The Kid’ Fellowes🤠🔥🔥🔥. It was a special moment for the CCA’s eight-year-old sharpshooter as it marked the first time he has won the Intermediate section. Just brilliant!

Congratulations to everyone who competed today, we’re so proud of you all!




We’re pleased to report on success for a number of our members who played in an online chess match for Warwickshire Juniors🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 against Etyud Chess School in Russia🇷🇺. This match, the first of its type involving our members, took place on the excellent on which we have our own online club. It involved two rounds with alternating colours against the same opponent. The final result was 7-3 to the Warwickshire team of Manvith Sandhu, Jude Shearsby, Rohan Pal, Elis Dicen and Kanav Monga. Congratulations to them all!




It’s been a long, tiring, but ultimately rewarding day for Coventry Chess Academy members playing in our Delancey UK Schools Chess Challenge qualifier! This year it was an extra special event, with free entry for all and cash prizes too. In addition to the Primary Schools Qualifier, Secondary and Masters sections were also organised, so there was something for all ages and abilities. The Masters section was comprised of 50% juniors and 50% adults, including some very special guests, headed by International Master Chris Baker, one of the best chess players to come out of Coventry and making a very welcome appearance in a tournament in his home city. In charge of the event was CCA Director Paul Lam, with Alex Holowczak the chief arbiter, ably supported by ECF arbiter Dennis Dicen. All sections were ECF-graded and the Masters was FIDE-rated, a first for our club.

The Primary Schools qualifier was a competitive affair which featured some incredibly young members. Four-year-old Aidan Howe was the youngest competitor, playing in his first ever chess tournament, and was delighted to win his well-deserved badge and certificate! There was a big tie for third place, with Ezekiel Ho, Andrew Chen, Zak Nahal, Satvik Manyam, Hari Clark and Sid Sailesh all scoring 4/6. In outright second with a fine 5/6 was Rayyan Khan and finishing first with a perfect 6/6 was Vassily ‘The CCA Torre’ Sagyaman!

The Secondary section was smaller but no less keenly-contested. Third place went to Henry Wood with 3/5, second place to Oscar Szturc with 3.5/5 and winning the section with 4.5/ was Keatan Patel, concluding a very successful weekend of chess for him in which he scored a total of 9.5/10 across two days!

There was a big tie for third place in the Masters section. In joint-third on 3.5/6 were CCA Coach Bernard Charnley, Dustin Bowcott-Terry (playing alongside his talented sons) and special guests Joshua Pink and David O’Neill (former CCA Asst. Director). Finishing on the same number of points and winning the ‘Best CCA member’ prize was nine-year-old Jude Shearsby who valiantly held Dr Pink to a draw in the final round. Outright second place went to our visiting Coventry chess legend and a very gracious guest, the one and only IM Chris Baker, who kindly presented the Primary school participants with their prizes. His only defeat was inflicted by fourteen-year-old Finlay Bowcott-Terry who won the Masters with a perfect 6/6 and was delighted to score his first ever win against an IM!

Congratulations to all, we hope you enjoyed the event!



We’re delighted to report on a very successful day for Coventry Chess Academy members at the Coventry Junior Open held at King Henry VIII School! CCA Director Paul Lam was in attendance in support as was former CCA Asst. Director David O’Neill, making a special guest appearance. They got to witness some fine chess being played!

In U11 Group D, there were bronze medals for Austin Pula, Anuj Chitre and Robbie Gillespie, silver medals for Julia Kozhan and Diah Patel, and a gold medal for Satvik Manyam, the section winner with 4.5/5. In U11 Group C, Andrew Chen won a bronze medal playing for the first time in a higher section. In U11 Group B, bronze went to Amraya Johal, silver to Vassily Sagyaman and Felix Kuang justified his top seed billing by hitting gold with 4.5/5. In U11 Group A, Zain Amir won silver and finished in outright second behind Elis Dicen who won gold with an imperious 5/5.

In U18 Group B, Henry Wood and Ethan Vas both won bronze medals. There was no stopping their clubmate Keatan Patel, who stormed to victory with another perfect 5/5 score having beaten the second, third and fourth placed players! In U18 Group A, Silas Bowcott-Terry won silver finishing on a massive tie for second place. The section winner was Imogen Dicen and she did it with another fabulous 5/5 score!

A big well done to all our members who competed today!



We hope you’ve all had a great half term and are settling back into the school routine. Don’t forget that the Coventry Chess Academy resumes sessions this SATURDAY 7TH MARCH! We’re excited to be back and looking forward to seeing everyone again!

In case you needed to get your chess brain🧠 back into gear, we have a little brain-teaser for you to solve, the creation of our very own Billy ‘The Kid’ Fellowes!🤠 It’s Black to play and draw.




We’re delighted to report on more good news, this time from the 4NCL, the British National Chess League! One surprise was the presence in the Warwickshire Select 1 team of Coventry Chess Academy Director Paul Lam, playing his first 4NCL game in three years. Unfortunately, it was far from a glorious comeback as he played an embarrassingly poor game on board 5 and found himself in an utterly lost position with only seconds left on his clock. Resourcefulness however came to the fore, aided by inaccuracies from his 205 ECF graded opponent, and he secured an improbable and ill-deserved draw. Far more impressive was the performance of his fourteen-year-old teammate Finlay Bowcott-Terry on board 4, who scored an excellent win against a highly-experienced and strong opponent in Candidate Master Paul Dargan. It meant that Warwickshire Select 1 drew their division 2A match against North East England 4-4-, securing a vital point as the 4NCL season nears the end. Well done Finlay and team!




We’re delighted to bring news of yet more success for our members! At the weekend, Diah Patel played in the Northern Junior Chess Championships up in Chester. Continuing a trend of CCA members playing ‘away’ and bringing home silverware, Diah produced a great performance to finish on 3/5 and win the best U8 girls title! As if this wasn’t enough proof of #ChessGirlPower, Imogen Dicen, who finished as the joint-highest placed female player in the Open section of the Warwickshire Congress at the weekend, has been crowned as the Warwickshire Women’s Chess Champion for 2020! Well done girls!




The Warwickshire Chess Congress has concluded after an exhausting extended weekend. After putting so much into the first three rounds, the Coventry Chess Academy contingent slowed down on the final day as tiredness and errors began to set it. Playing multiple standardplay games – each lasting for up to four hours – in a single day is not easy for children as young as eight years. Nevertheless, some first-rate fighting spirit and determination was on display. Sunday’s unlikely big hitter turned out to be Coach Roy Watson, AKA ‘The World’s Most Energetic Great-grandfather’👴, who recovered from his indifferent start by scoring 1.5/2 today and finishing on a respectable 2.5/5 overall in the U140 section. It was not enough however to catch up with Billy ‘The Kid’ Fellowes🤠, the CCA’s youngest member competing this weekend. After losing a very competitive round 4 game, Billy showed some serious grit to draw an inferior rook and pawn ending in the final round to finish on 3/5 in the U140 section in his first adult standardplay congress and the CCA’s big hitter👊 for the weekend, both fine achievements!

Well done to everyone who competed this weekend, enjoy a well-deserved rest!😴 We’re proud of you and your efforts.



Delighted to report on a brilliant first two days for Coventry Chess Academy members at the Warwickshire Chess Congress, taking place at the Citrus Hotel in Coventry! This local standardplay tournament always attracts a strong and varied field, with sections ranging from U110 ECF all the way up to Open, the latter being headed this year by grandmaster Mark Hebden. CCA Director Paul Lam has been among the interested spectators and he’s witnessed plenty of splendid action!

In the U110 section, there was a fantastic start for Olivia Chen as she defeated the older and higher-graded Karan Kukreja. Zain Amir stands on a very solid 1.5/3 in the same section, with a draw against an experienced adult opponent and a win against clubmate Vassily Sagyaman. Vassily bounced back in style though in round 3, securing a well-deserved first win of the tournament.

In the U140 section, legendary CCA coach Roy Watson has 1/3 with two draws against higher-graded opponents. He was doing well in round 2, before an untimely blunder cost him. However, a swift and brutal revenge was inflicted on his opponent in the following round by the amazing, irrepressible Billy ‘The Kid’ Fellowes.🤠 The CCA’s eight-year-old superstar vaporised his opponent to finish day 2 on 2.5/3, with the half point having come from a first round bye, giving Roy a measure of satisfaction!😁

In the Open section, Daniel Chen and Imogen Dicen each have half a point, but having played against higher-graded opponents and given excellent accounts of themselves, being among the last players to finish their round 3 games and showing tremendous battling qualities. Jude Shearsby, the youngest player in the section at nine years of age, currently stands on a 1.5/3, finishing today with a brilliant standout win against 181 ECF-graded Chirag Guha.

Well done to everyone for some fantastic performances so far,🔥🔥🔥 wishing you all the best for tomorrow’s rounds! Keep it up, you’re doing just brilliantly!



Don’t forget that the Coventry Chess Academy is on BREAK this weekend and next. We hope you’re enjoying half term and look forward to seeing everyone when we resume sessions on SATURDAY 7TH MARCH!

There is still plenty of competitive chess taking place beyond our doors over this period and we look forward to reporting on our members’ endeavours!

The Austrian Adventure has concluded for our brilliant brother-sister duo of Rohan and Rhea Pal in the Graz International Chess Open. In Group C, Rhea scored 2/9. This is an excellent result considering that Rhea was one of the youngest and least experienced participants, with the highlight being her first win over a near 1200 FIDE-rated opponent after battling for 100 moves. To score any points at this level is an achievement and the tournament proved a great experience for Rhea who thoroughly enjoyed herself. In Group B, Rohan played powerful, assertive chess en route to an outstanding 5/9 against some very strong and experienced opponents, deservedly gaining a huge chunk of 100+ FIDE rating points in the process! We leave you with a position from his fifth round game in which a 1880-rated Austrian got completely ‘Rohanned’! Black to play and terminate his opponent, Arnie style!💥💥💥

Well done Rohan and Rhea, we’re so proud of you both!👏👏



We’re delighted to report on more great news from the Graz International Open in Austria! Rohan Pal continues to impress, scoring 1/2 against 1800+ opponents in Group B yesterday. Also playing in Group C is Rohan’s little sister Rhea, aged just eight years. It has been a great experience for Rhea to play long, tough games on the international stage against experienced adult opponents. Despite losing her first four rounds, including some incredibly close calls, her enthusiasm has remained undimmed and she was justly rewarded yesterday with her first win of the tournament! Moreover, it came against a 1197-rated opponent and after a gargantuan 100 moves of play!😲 What an incredible effort and achievement!

Well done Rohan and Rhea, you’re doing yourselves and us proud! Wishing you all the very best for the remaining rounds, you can do it!



We are delighted to report on more great results for Coventry Chess Academy members over the weekend! Henry Wood and Vassily Sagyaman were both playing in the popular Nottingham Rapidplay which attracted plenty of experienced, adult club players. However, our guys more than held their own playing in the Minor (U110 ECF) and Improvers (U80 ECF) respectively. Henry scored 3/6 and Vassily scored 4/6.

In other news, Rohan Pal continues to impress in the Graz International Chess Open in Austria against opponents out-rating him by around 300 points on average. He followed his draw against a 1978 FIDE-rated opponent in round 2 with another creditable draw against an 1897-rated opponent, this time after 80 moves and 5 hours of play. Today, he faced a 1912-rated opponent and carved him up in only 21 moves. Can you see how Rohan finished with a flourish in the position below!

Well done guys, fantastic stuff!



Delighted to report on a great day 2 to conclude a very successful final J4NCL weekend of the season for the Warwickshire Bears chess squad, including a large number of CCA members and CCA Director Paul Lam, the squad coach. A special mention also for Curly the Bear,🐻 the beloved team mascot who accompanied the teams in each round!

In round 4, the B team juggernaut in division 2 finally came to an end at the hands of the Berkshire Bishops, losing by the narrowest margin of 2.5-1.5, although Ethan Vas drew in his game of the weekend for the team while Silas Bowcott-Terry scored yet another dominant win to take his record to 4/4. The C team beat Desert Penguins convincingly 3-1, with Zain Amir holding 140 ECF-graded Andrew McLeod to a draw on top board. In division 1, the A team put BJC 1 to the sword, winning comprehensively 3.5-0.5. Finlay Bowcott-Terry took down Adam Hussain the White side of a sharp Poisoned Pawn Winawer and there were also good wins for the super sister duo of Imogen and Elis Dicen.

In the fifth round, there was everything to play for, with all the Warwickshire teams being within striking distance of a podium finish. Unfortunately, the B and C teams were drawn against each other. It looked like it was going to be an honourable 2-2 draw at one point. Keatan Patel was in big trouble at one point but held his nerve and got off the mark with his first win of the weekend. ‘Tactical’ Tom Junde He was in a completely lost endgame against Margarita Sanchez, but a last ditch promotion trick turned tables and he emerged victorious to finish his J4NCL debut with 4/5. Ethan Vas lost though after an opening error and Silas’ unbeaten run was looking in peril against Zain on top board as he was two pawns down in the endgame. Zain’s attempts to simplify the position backfired though and let his winning advantage slip, which meant that Silas escaped with a draw, winning the match for the B team 2.5-1.5. It meant that they finished the weekend in SECOND place🥈, a great result!

In division 1, the A team faced a very young but talented 3Cs Charmanders side in the final round. Fears of a potential banana skin however proved unfounded as the team ran out winners by the margin of 3.5-0.5, with Finlay producing another assured performance; getting the better of the opening, outplaying his opponent in the middlegame and winning a pawn before converting effortlessly in the endgame. It meant that the A team also finished the weekend in SECOND place🥈. Finlay and brother Silas shared the title of ‘Bears Big Hitter’ for the weekend with an outstanding 4.5/5 each.

Well done to all the teams on some excellent results and a great end to the J4NCL season, we’re proud of you all!👏👏👏



It was great to see everyone who could make it down today for the Coventry Chess Academy’s final session before half term! Don’t forget that we’re now on BREAK for the next two weekends. Have a great half term everyone and we look forward to seeing you all again when we resume sessions on SATURDAY 7TH MARCH!

A notable absentee at the CCA today was Director Paul Lam, as he was attending the J4NCL as squad coach for the Warwickshire Bears which included a significant number of our members. The first round could not have gone any better for the Bears as all three teams won their matches, the C team 2.5-1.5 against Manchester B, the B team 3.5-0.5 against Watford Red and the A team by the crushing margin of 4-0 against Chess in Schools. There was a draw for Keatan Patel and wins for Finlay Bowcott-Terry, Imogen and Elis Dicen, Tom Junde He (in his J4NCL debut!). The performance of the round without a question came from Silas Bowcott-Terry who made light of a 51 ECF grading points deficit to destroy England star Jeff Tomy with the White pieces in only 22 moves, crowning his play with a delightful queen sacrifice to force mate. Check the position out below!

Round 2 got off to a rocky start, but the teams recovered to finish with a win, draw and a loss between them. Silas and Tom continued to dominate their opponents, helping the B team along to their second win in a row. Finlay won convincingly for the A team against Sam Parry of Manchester A, but the match result lay in the balance after reversals on boards 3 and 4. Imogen saved the day by overcoming Tarini Jayawarna in a hair-raising struggle.

The A team’s unbeaten run came to an end in the next round, losing 3-1 to the very strong Six Young Oysters. The C team recovered from the debacle of the previous round, emerging victorious against BJC2 with Margarita Sanchez scoring her first win of the day and Zain Amir drawing on top board. The B team juggernaut continued with a 2.5-1.5 win against Desert Penguins. The deadly duo of Silas and Tom were at it again; both wiped out their opponents to finish on 3/3 for day 1.

Team morale has been high all day and there has been plenty of enjoyable and productive analysis, while Tom has been a solving machine on tactics puzzles in between rounds, even managing to find some of the solutions quicker than Paul! Well done to everyone and we look forward to reporting on their endeavours tomorrow!

In other news, we’re delighted to report on a great day for the brother-sister duo of Rohan and Rhea Pal who are proudly flying the flag for us in the Graz International Chess Open in Austria! Rhea was desperately unfortunate not to defeat her 1145 FIDE-rated opponent as there was a forced mate available at one point, but she can take plenty of confidence from the way she is acquitting herself in this calibre of event. Rohan was delighted to draw against an experienced 1978 FIDE-rated opponent, a superb result for him. Well done to both and wishing you all the best for the remaining rounds, we’ll be cheering you on every step of the way!



Delighted to report on a great experience for the Coventry Chess Academy’s very own ‘Pacific Star’, Eden Oshri! Eden’s chess has continued to go to strength from strength in New Zealand and he recently celebrated another milestone with his first ever game against a grandmaster! Eden was one of a number of players who took on GM Dejan Bojkov, also a leading chess coach, in a simultaneous at Auckland Chess Club. The grandmaster eventually prevailed, but only after a great effort from Eden and 70 plus moves of play. Well done Eden!




Delighted to report on some more great results! Some very welcome news has come through of success for Amraya Johal in yesterday’s Liverpool Rapidplay, in which she scored 3/5 and was also the best U9 girl. Well done Amraya!

More good news followed from the 4NCL today. In Division 4 South, the Warwickshire Select 2 side was depleted by illness and no doubt the prospect of a treacherous journey to Maidenhead in the middle of Storm Ciara, the team was under-strength, but still managed to defeat War and Piece 4.5-1.5 with Margarita Sanchez stepping in as the wildcard to save the team from defaulting and scoring a great win on her team debut. On the board above, Daniel Chen was unfortunate to lose his game, having quickly transitioned from the opening into a favourable endgame and declined two draws in pursuit of the win. There was however a speedy win for Jude Shearsby on board 4.

In division 2, the Warwickshire Select 1 side was less successful, going down to Chessable White Rose 4.5-3.5. Warwickshire chess legend and FIDE Master Nick Thomas made a very welcome return to the team but fell to former UKIP MEP Jonathan Arnott. He must however have been pleased with the performance of the team’s sole junior, Finlay Bowcott-Terry, who handily defeated a veteran of British Championship Main Events, the very experienced Peter Shaw.

Congratulations to everyone, great stuff!



It was great to see everyone at another very enjoyable CCA session today! A very warm welcome to all our new members, we hope you enjoyed the experience and look forward to seeing you at future sessions. Fiendish studies, forced mates and captures were all on the chess menu today and were consumed with aplomb. Two excellent worksheets were produced by the youngest people in attendance, Aidan Hall and Oliver Varoczi, aged four and five respectively. An impressive Silence Score of 9.8/10 was achieved in challenge matches and fun time was enjoyed by all, with exchange chess proving particularly popular! Oliver was brave enough to challenge CCA Director Paul Lam to a friendly game, with an ever-thoughtful Oscar Szturc proposing a piece handicap. Unfortunately for Paul, the deficit proved too great to overcome and he ended being lawnmower-mated by a delighted Oliver!

In other news, we are delighted to report on some fantastic results for Coventry Chess Academy members in tournament action! Yesterday, Rohan Pal, Felix Kuang and Zain Amir were among the members of the successful Hallfield School chess team competing in the Birmingham & District Junior Chess League. The result was a resounding victory for the Hallfield side, one of the youngest in the competition.

Today saw the Midland Junior Team Championships take place in Nottingham, for which a large number of CCA members were selected to play for Warwickshire. Billy Fellowes, Elis Dicen, Olivia Chen and Rohan Pal led the four Warwickshire Teams on the top boards, with Ezekiel Ho, Rhea Pal, Gregory Kornilovich, Zain Amir, Felix Kuang and Shriya Sastry also comprising the teams. The results were nothing short of spectacular as Warwickshire romped to victory, winning EVERY SINGLE SECTION: U9s, U11s and U11 girls! Notably, there were 100% scores achieved by Elis, Rhea, Gregory, Rohan, Zain, Shriya and Olivia. One of the highlights was undoubtedly Olivia’s final round game against the talented and higher-graded Lindsay Pyun of Leicestershire, which would decide the outcome of the U11 girls section. It went right down to the wire, but Olivia emerged victorious, retaining the trophy for Warwickshire!

Meanwhile, down south in Maidenhead, Olivia’s big brother Daniel was in action for Warwickshire Select’s 2nd Team in Division 4 South of the 4NCL, the British National Chess League. He won his game while teammate Jude Shearsby drew with WCM and former British Women’s Chess Champion Dinah Norman, helping to secure a 3.5-2.5 victory for Warwickshire.

Brilliant performances from everyone today, well done, we’re so proud of you all!



We’re delighted to report on more excellent tournament results! The EPSCA National Schools Championship Birmingham Zone was held today. There were outstanding individual performances from Tom Junde He (St Mary’s), Felix Kuang, Zain Amir and Rohan Pal (all Hallfield) who won all their games. Hallfield were crowned winners in both the U9 and U11 sections, much to the delight of school coach, FIDE Master Nick Thomas. Well done to all!

In other news, readers of CHESS Magazine, the UK’s most popular chess monthly which has featured a number of our members in recent times, may have spotted the aforementioned Rohan in this month’s edition! He is pictured before the start of his recent tournament game against chess writer and good friend of the CCA, Ben Graff, in an article entitled ‘Chess Marathon’ detailing Ben’s efforts to play as many competitive games as possible over the space of four days. Check it out (no pun intended)!




The new ECF grades are now out! You can check your grade online at and as you will see there has been FANTASTIC progress across the board for Coventry Chess Academy members! Many members have gained their first grades and many others have seen their grades increase, often quite dramatically. NINE CCA members rank in the top 20 boys or girls their age nationally, of whom EIGHT are also ranked in the top 10. Well done to all!



We’re delighted to report on an absolutely tremendous weekend of tournament results for Coventry Chess Academy members!

Our super sister duo of Imogen and Elis Dicen were battling away far from home in the very strong South of England Junior Chess Congress. In a strong U15s section won by Candidate Master Rajat Makkar, Imogen scored a fine 3/5 and was the best girl in her section. The U11s was similarly strong as well, with many of the top England juniors out in force. Elis, technically still an U9, produced a superb performance. She was the top girl and beat all the boys for good measure to win outright with a perfect 5/5! WOW!😲 Just incredible!

Closer to home, the Coventry Rapidplay Congress was taking place. Although this was an adult tournament, some plucky CCA members entered and did themselves proud. There were two standout performances. Playing in the Major section, Billy ‘The Kid’ Fellowes – the youngest entrant at eight years of age- scored 3/6 against higher-graded adult opponents in every round, keeping up his trend of incredibly consistent performances since making the jump up in sections. In the Open section, Billy’s good friend Jude ‘The Juggernaut’ Shearsby – the second youngest entrant at nine years of age – was on fire!🔥🔥🔥 He caused a stir in round 1 as he held Dave Ireland, the frequent Coventry A board 1, to a draw. In the second round he wiped out the ECF 163-graded Christopher Lewis in just 19 moves, setting up a clash against 199-graded Bruce Baer, who recently defeated FIDE Marcus Harvey at the Shropshire Congress. Mr Baer faced far more trouble against his vastly younger opponent on this occasion. Jude played absolutely brilliantly and Baer escaped with a draw by the skin of his teeth. Jude continued to play superb, enterprising chess right until the final round and finished with a final score of 3.5/6, an ECF 183 grading performance and a share of the grading prize to boot!💸 Just marvellous!

Not far away, dozens of CCA members were competing in the Kenilworth Junior Open, part of the Warwickshire Junior Chess Grand Prix. CCA Director Paul Lam was an interested though erratic observer, performing a chess hokey cokey as he walked in and out in between various engagements. Also on hand was FIDE Master Nick Thomas who presented the prizes at the end and there were medals galore for the CCA contingent!🥇🥈🥉 In the U18s Group B, Keatan Patel won a bronze medal with 3/5 while there were silver medals for Henry Wood, Margarita Sanchez and Vincent Xia with 3.5/5. Ethan Vas was the outright winner, taking home a gold medal with an unbeaten 4.5/5. In the U11s Group A, Felix Kuang won bronze with 3/5 and there were silvers for Zain Amir and Tom Junde He with 3.5/5. Tom’s good friend David Dmitrov scored 2.5/5 for bronze in the U11s Group B with Shriya Sastry scoring 4/5 for silver. In the U11s Group C, Thomas Zanyi, who has not been a member long but already made a very positive impression, scored 2.5/5 for bronze, as did the fast-improving Ezekiel Ho. Gregory Kornilovich was the CCA’s big hitter in the section with an impressive 3.5/5 for silver. Finally, there were some fantastic performances in the U11s Group D, by far the biggest section. In his first-ever chess tournament, Siddharth Sailesh scored 2.5/5 for bronze, an excellent result, also achieved by Pavi Bhavanandan, Ayush Chitre, and Anuj Chitre. The same feat was also achieved by Sara Nahal, playing in her second chess tournament. Sara didn’t win a game in her first tournament, but still enjoyed the experience and to now score 2.5/5 and win a medal in her second tournament is a truly inspirational achievement! Finishing on 3/5 and also winning bronze was Sara’s brother Zak who has now medalled in his first two tournaments! Also winning bronze with the same score was the ever-enthusiastic Robbie Gillespie. There were some outstanding results for our girls further up the field. Winning silvers with 3.5/5 and 4/5 respectively were Julia Kozhan and Diah Patel. The CCA big hitter for the section was Rhea Pal. She scored a brilliant unbeaten 4.5/5, deservedly taking home a gold medal for her efforts.

Congratulations to everyone on some amazing performances. We’re so proud of you all!👏👏👏



It’s been another great weekend for Coventry Chess Academy members! Our second Saturday session of 2020 was a very well-attended and enjoyable occasion and it was great to see more new members in attendance, we hope you enjoyed yourselves! The session ran very smoothly under the supervision of CCA Asst. Director Andy Ward and our stalwart coaching staff. There was also a special guest appearance from a local chess legend in the form of FIDE Master Nick Thomas, the first time that some of our members had met a real life chess master. Some fascinating king and pawn endings from club play, the ‘Vicious Vienna’ and escaping from check were all on the chess menu, with the endings proving particularly engrossing for members. There were some absolute fireworks produced in club games. Billy ‘The Kid’ Fellowes upset the odds against David Phillips and then gave Nick everything he could handle, with the master pronouncing amazement at Billy’s quality of play.

A notable absentee at the session was CCA Director Paul Lam as he was 70 miles up north wearing his Warwickshire Junior Chess Head Coach cap at the J4NCL in South Normanton along with the Warwickshire Bears chess squad which included a large number of our members. Warwickshire A got off to a good start in division 1, beating Welsh Dragons Red 2.5-1.5 with a nice win coming for Imogen Dicen on top board which featured a wrecking ball sacrifice on h6. Olivia Chen also helped Warwickshire B to a win by the same margin in division 2, while Keatan Patel was Warwickshire C’s sole winner in a narrow defeat to Barnet Knights 2 with a creditable draw for Zain Amir in the same match. Things turned sour for the A team however in the next two matches, a near wipe-out at the hands of a super-strong Five Young Oysters team and a narrow loss to Manchester A. The B team drew and won their next two matches with notable wins for Olivia and Margarita Sanchez. The C team suffered another disappointing loss, but bounced back to win their third match with a crushing win for Zain against an England junior player.

Day 2 in division 2 saw mixed fortunes for the Bears. Keatan was the sole winner for Warwickshire C against the Ojays C team. Ethan Vas was losing his final round game, but hung on to claim a gutsy draw, while Zain’s opponent castled queenside against his English opening and into a devastating attack. The highlight was undoubtedly the B team’s 4-0 wipe-out of CSC 2. In division 1, the A team redeemed themselves after the disappointment of the previous two rounds. They routed CSC’s first team 4-0, including a fine, thematic effort from Imogen the Black side of a Sicilian against the talented Toby Kan. Imogen’s little sister Elis won both of her games, a controlled effort against Acharya Kandara and then a topsy-turvy game against Alannah Ashton. Daniel Chen scored 1.5/2 and pushed hard against England teammate Ruben Evans in the final match, but had to settle for the draw in a congested position. The match was however won against the exotically-named 3Cs Charmanders by the narrowest margin of 2.5-1.5, meaning that the A team finished in fourth place, narrowly missing out on a share of the silverware.

With the teams at nowhere near full strength and beset by illness, it was always going to prove a challenging weekend, but all performed creditably with good points scored all-round and it was no doubt a great learning experience. Moreover, team morale was excellent throughout. Everyone was extremely keen to analyse their games, which took place non-stop in between rounds and this proved extremely productive as well as generating plenty of smiles and laughs. Well done to everyone!



It was great to see everyone again at a very well-attended and enjoyable first Coventry Chess Academy session of 2020 today! A very warm welcome to all our new members, we hope you enjoyed the experience and look forward to seeing you at future sessions!

We had a big round of applause for all the numerous fantastic achievements of members over Christmas. It was then straight onto coaching and finding good captures, avoiding bad ones and converting material advantages in the endgames were all on the menu. An additional treat was in store as Billy ‘The Kid’ Fellowes showed one of his brilliant games from the London Junior Chess Championships U8s on the demo board along with CCA Director Paul Lam. Members soon realised why the game’s quality of play had been dubbed worthy of a strong county player by a chess master recently, but they were nevertheless up to the job of working together to decipher some of it’s most profound moments, with excellent contributions from Keatan Patel and Henry Wood.

Challenge Matches featured some heavyweight contests with some of the strongest pairs having an average grade of well over 160 ECF. One of the most keenly contested battles was between rising stars Roger (aged six) and Reyaansh (aged four), possibly the youngest matchup in CCA history. A Silence Score of 9.8/10 was achieved, hugely impressive considering the inexperience of some of our new members with tournament rules. The reward was an extra 5 minutes of fun time and members took advantage to play all their favourite variants. CCA Coach Roy Watson was ambushed by Oscar Sturc in Scotch chess, but got some measure of consolation by showing his game from round 2 of the Shropshire Chess Congress to members eager to see how he won in a mere eleven moves.

Imogen Dicen showed fantastic commitment by attending the session despite receiving a late notice call-up for the Warwickshire Select 1st team in Division 2 of the 4NCL, making the trip down to Daventry straight afterwards. Further down south, a number of her younger clubmates are also in action representing Warwickshire Select’s 2nd team in Division 4 South. At the time of writing, Jude Shearsby has won the battle of England players against Ruwan Dias, while Manvith Sandhu, Daniel Chen and Imogen are still battling away, all facing strong opponents. Well done Jude and good luck to everyone still playing, we’re all cheering you on from home!




Don’t forget that the Coventry Chess Academy resumes sessions THIS SATURDAY 11TH JANUARY!😀 We are VERY EXCITED to be back and to see everyone again!

We hope that you’ve all had an enjoyable Christmas break and are ready for the new school term. The festive break is a time for rest and relaxation, but also for reflecting on the year gone and planning for the future. There have been some very positive developments behind the scenes and some exciting plans for our club are in the pipeline for 2020, so watch this space!

Looking forward to seeing everyone on Saturday and may 2020 be the biggest and best year yet for our club and members!




A very Happy New Year to all from the Coventry Chess Academy! We’re delighted to report on a successful start to 2020 for members competing at the Shropshire Chess Congress in Telford.

Our very own irrepressible brother-sister duo of Rohan and Rhea Pal were in action, having only recently returned from an enjoyable and successful chess trip to Switzerland. Rohan played in a very strong Major section (U170 ECF) which featured the likes of none other than CCA Asst. Director Andy ‘Fire On’ Ward. Facing strong and experienced adult opponents who out-graded him in every round, Rohan produced a fine performance to finish on 2.5/5, the same score as Andy.

Playing in the Intermediate section (U135 ECF) was inimitable CCA Coach Roy Watson. He got off to a shaky start, losing his first round game. However, he rebounded in the next round with a personal record, winning his shortest ever game with the Black pieces in a mere ELEVEN MOVES😲 and subsequently finished on 2.5/5 as well. At the CCA, our members are regularly reminded of the danger of not thinking about what a piece is doing before you move it. The final position from Roy’s round 2 game, given below, should serve as a salutary reminder of this!

In the Minor section (U100 ECF), Rhea was playing in her first ever adult standardplay chess congress. Aged just eight years, she was by far the least experienced competitor in the whole tournament. Despite being massively out-graded in every round, she put in a remarkable effort, playing for three hours in her first round game and coming within a whisker of a win in the final round! Moreover, she thoroughly enjoyed the tournament experience, with big smiles😊 all-round at the end.

In other news, Manvith Sandhu’s campaign in the Hastings Masters has come to an end. Manvith finished with a very creditable 3.5/9 against opponents who outrated him in nearly every round, had his fair share of long, tough struggles, and will gain 46 FIDE rating points. An excellent experience for Manvith in one of the world’s most famous chess tournaments!

Well done all on a great start to 2020!



We’re delighted to report on some marvellous results for Coventry Chess Academy members in the post-Christmas period! Our superstars have made a habit of creating waves on the international chess scene in the last two years. Countries such as Latvia, Spain, Turkey, Ireland, Slovakia, China, Belarus and Estonia have all been visited. Now Switzerland can be ticked off the list as well! Flying the flag for us in Zurich – the mountainous European state’s biggest city – was the one-and-only Rohan Pal! He competed in the Weihnachtsopen Allgemeines tournament, featuring a 2088 FIDE-rated top seed. Facing opponents who out-rated him by 200+ points in every single round, he produced an excellent performance to finish on 3.5/7, gaining nearly 100 FIDE rating points. Well done Rohan, just tremendous! Moreover, it was a fantastic tournament experience for Rohan who thrived from some long, hard-fought games against strong and experienced opponents.

Rohan’s enthusiasm for chess is absolutely infectious and some of it seemed to rub off his dad! A quickplay ‘hobby’ tournament was organised alongside the main sections and Mr Pal was among the entrants. The name given to the tournament however turned out to be quite misleading! It featured a 1785 FIDE-rated top seed and dozens of experienced Swiss club players rated over 1400. Mr Pal battled against overwhelming odds, but with a complete lack of experience, this was one Alpine mountain that could not be conquered and he finished bottom of the list. He could however still emerge from the tournament a very proud man as playing in the same section was daughter Rhea, by far the youngest competitor at eight years of age and the only girl! It was Rhea’s first taste of competitive chess against adult opponents and she did brilliantly, managing to score one win, coming within a whisker of a draw against 1608 FIDE-rated opponent and being agonizingly close to beating a 1678 FIDE-rated opponent in the final round. Furthermore, the quality of her play deservedly won her a huge number of fans who tipped her for great things in the future. What a great experience! Well done Rhea!

Back in the UK, Manvith Sandhu has made a fine start in the prestigious Hastings Masters. The tournament has a long and prestigious history, with almost all World Chess Champions having played in it. This year, the top seed is Grandmaster David Howell. Manvith has been out-rated in all three rounds, but has nevertheless achieved two draws, one of which came against respected veteran John Sugden (FIDE 2065), a multi-time competitor in the British Chess Championship Main Event. Well done Manvith! Good luck for the rest of the tournament and keep it up!

Moving from the south coast to the capital, the second half of the prestigious London Junior Chess Championships was underway at the University of Westminster. Playing in the U8s and defending his title was our very own Billy ‘The Kid’ Fellowes, AKA ‘Kid Dynamite’! Billy of course won the U8s in stunning fashion last year as an U7, scoring 6.5/7, finishing atop the cream of the British chess crop an age group above him. In 2019, he had already caused a sensation earlier this month when he finished third in the U10s and was a whisker away from defeating the eventual winner, Max Pert. Now competing in his natural age group, Billy was the clear favourite heading into the event, but still had to contend with some very talented opponents and rising stars in the same position as he was last year. This top seed was not going to crash and burn though! Billy was simply brilliant as he played some of the best chess you’re likely to see in an U8 tournament, deeply impressing CCA Director Paul Lam who was in attendance for the event. Prophylactic subtlety mingled with tactical flair as he comprehensively outplayed all his opponents, including the dangerous number 2 seed, en route to retaining his title, this time with a perfect 7/7 score! We’ll leave you with a simple (by Billy’s standards!) but attractive combination which crowned his round 5 game. Congratulations Billy, awesome stuff!



A very Merry Christmas to everyone from the Coventry Chess Academy!🎄🎅⭐️ We hope that you and your families have a great day!🎁🥂🍗



It’s been a simply fantastic weekend for Coventry Chess Academy members in tournament action! Following on from an outstanding Saturday, our superstars did not hold back today. In the Leyland Congress U1900 FIDE-rated section, Manvith Sandhu finished in joint-second place with 3.5/5, a really good result, and won the grading prize, a cool £40!💵 Clubmate Rohan Pal finished on 2.5/5, a fine achievement considering he was second-to-bottom in the section seeding. Both played well above their current FIDE ratings and will add some good points as a result.

Simultaneously, good news was pouring through from the prestigious London Junior Chess Championships held at the University of Westminster. In a very strong U14 Major Section featuring a 2000+ FIDE-rated top seed, Daniel Chen finished with a fine 4/6. There were two superb performances from Olivia Chen and Vassily Sagyaman in the U10 Minor Section. Olivia finished on 5.5/7 and was also the joint highest-placed girl in the section🥇. Vassily had a ridiculously tough draw, facing opponents who outgraded him in all but one of the rounds including the top seed, the mighty Patrick Damodaran, in the final round. Nevertheless he finished on 5/7, performing far above his grade.

The last word goes to the CCA’s youngest member competing this weekend, the one-and-only Billy ‘The Kid’ Fellowes🤠, playing in the U10 Major Section despite being an U8. He entered day 2 on the back of an outstanding Saturday which saw him storm to 4/4 ahead of some of the finest U10 chess players in the country. In round 5, he faced a very stern challenge in the form of fellow England star, the highly talented Aayush Dewangan. In a long, tough game Billy achieved a draw, a fabulous result against the reigning UK Schools Chess Challenge Terafinal Champion! In round 6, it got even tougher. He faced leading U10 Max Pert, son of International Master Richard Pert, on top board. The older and higher-graded player eventually prevailed, but not after another long, tough game in which Billy gave it everything. Kid Dynamite💣🧨 was not done however. He finished on a high by winning his final round game to end with a magnificent 5.5/7. For an U8 to come this close to winning the LJCC U10s is almost unheard of and Billy was rightly rewarded with THIRD PLACE on tie-break, ahead of a veritable ‘who’s who’ of English U10 chess and the BEST U9 PLAYER prize🏆, although he is of course an age group below this!

Congratulations to all our members who competed this weekend! You’ve been amazing yet again and we’re so proud of you all!👏👏👏




We’re delighted to report on some fantastic performances from Coventry Chess Academy members in tournament action today! Manvith Sandhu and Rohan Pal are playing in the Leyland Congress in a strong U1900 FIDE-rated section. Rohan has been outgraded in every single round, but has more than held his own. A hard-fought loss in round 2 to the 1888 FIDE-rated top seed was sandwiched by two comfortable draws against ECF 150 and 167-graded opponents; all highly experienced adult players. Manvith produced an assured performance in round 1 to outplay and defeat the top seed. Although he lost on time in the second round, he showed what champions are made of by bouncing back with a win as Black in round 3 which included a simply lovely finish! In the below position, Manvith played the precise 25…Rxc4! After his opponent’s reply 26.Qxc4, how did he bring proceedings to a quick end?

At the other end of the country, CCA members have been setting the capital alight in the London Junior Chess Championships, one of the most prestigious junior tournaments on the UK chess circuit! In the U10 Minor, Olivia Chen and Vassily Sagyaman stand on an excellent 3.5/4 and 3/4 respectively. It’s worth noting that both are technically U9 players and that Vassily has also been outgraded in three of the four rounds. Tremendous stuff! In the U14 Major, Olivia’s big brother, Daniel, has 2/3 and finished day 1 with a fine win against England teammate Ruben Evans. The CCA big hitter for the day has been our very reigning London U8 Chess Champion, Billy ‘The Kid’ Fellowes! Billy is in fact still an U8 and eligible to defend his title later this month, but having qualified for the U10 Major earlier this season, he bravely chose to take a step up and play in this as well for experience. The tournament is packed full of the very best U10 players in the country, including numerous members of the England National Team. A daunting prospect for any U8, but not ‘Kid Dynamite’! but With day 1 having concluded, Billy stands on a PERFECT 4/4!!😲 Yes, you read that correctly! Just remarkable!

A massive well done to all our members for today’s outstanding performances! Keep it up, you’re all doing brilliantly and we’re so proud of you all. Wishing you all the best for tomorrow’s rounds, we’ll be cheering you on every move of the way!




Although the Coventry Chess Academy is now on break for Christmas, quite a few of them still have the chess bug as is evident from the number of them in tournament action this weekend! A number of members competed in the Coventry Rapidplay, playing against largely adult opposition. In the Minor section, Ethan Vas and Vassily Sagyaman both finished on 4/6, a fine result for both and particularly for Vassily considering he is only eight years old and was outgraded in all but one round. In the Major section, Billy ‘The Kid’ Fellowes, the youngest tournament participant, was once again in top form. He was outgraded in every single round, but finished on 3.5/6 including taking the scalp of the Warwickshire U140 County Team Captain.

Further afield, CCA members were in action in the prestigious London Chess Classic, one of the UK’s premier chess events. Every year, this event attracts the world’s strongest chess players, including the current World Chess Champion, Magnus Carlsen. With a wide range of tournament sections appropriate to your playing level, there’s something for everyone! Juniors and humble club players alike can rub shoulders with their chess heroes and even end up playing against them!

The Women’s Open Rapidplay featured some of the best female players in the country, among them our super sister duo of Imogen and Elis Dicen! They even had to play each other in round 6(!), an encounter won by Imogen, before both eventually finished on a fine 4/7.

In the Super Blitz, playing in Group A headed by top seed Grandmaster Michael Adams, was our very own Manvith Sandhu. He scored a fine 5.5/11, which included a good win against fellow England player Shahjahon Saidmurodov (ECF Rapid 173). He also got to play against International Master Ali Mortazavi and gave a good account of himself before the time pressure took its toll.

In Group B headed by Grandmaster David Howell, was David ‘The Assassin’ Phillips, playing in his first tournament since the 2019 British U16 Chess Championships. David produced an excellent performance to finish with 6.5/11, alongside IM John Cox and Viktor Stoyanov (ECF Rapid 205) who he drew against and half a point ahead of IM Peter Roberson. A great result for the comeback kid!

Well done to all our members who played this weekend!



It was the Coventry Chess Academy’s final session of 2019 today and we celebrated in style as only we know: with a massive, fun-filled Christmas Party!! We had a fantastic turnout with members of all ages attending. Prefect William Morris was at his SIXTH CCA Christmas Party, whereas it was the first for Roger Zhu, who was not even born when our club was formed in 2013!

A lovely cake was made for the occasion by Mrs Pal which left everyone with jaws dropped; it was almost too good to eat, but that’s what happened! Food🍕, drink🥤, music, fun activities and lots of chess was the order of the day! Paul’s Puzzle, a mate in two with the pieces arranged in the shape of a Christmas tree, proved popular again, as did the Chess Openings quiz. Who knew that the Razzle Dazzle Gambit was such a thing?! One of the surprises was that CCA Director Paul Lam was nowhere to be seen; with his person having been taken over by a jolly bearded-fellow speaking in a dubious voice and constantly saying ‘ho ho’, none other than Father Chessmas!🎅 Another surprise was the production of ground-breaking research revealing that CCA Coach Roy Watson is actually greater than the World Chess Champion, Magnus Carlsen. We were never in any doubt!

The Exchange Tournament was extremely popular and proved a very keenly-contested affair! Bronze🥉 medals went to ‘A Name’ (Oscar Sturc and Andrew Gordon), ‘Team Santa’ (Vincent Xia and Keatan Patel) and ‘I don’t Know’ (Vassily Sagyaman and Leo Guo). Silver🥈 medals went to Cityzens (Jude Shearsby and Billy Fellowes) and Gold🥇 medals were won by the aptly named ‘The Winners’ (Rohan Pal and Henry Wood) with a perfect 6/6 score. The winner of the Openings Quiz was Roger while the winner of the prize for Paul’s Puzzle was Rithanya.

A massive thank you to all our coaches, parents, Cheylesmore Community Centre and other supporters for today and everything you have for us this year. Above all, a massive thank you to our amazing members who make our club what it is. Our club keeps growing and growing; we’ve had many new people join us this year and become a valued part of the CCA family. It’s been an amazing year with multiple tournament winners, Warwickshire Junior Champions, Midlands Junior Champions, British Champions, Terafinalists, England Selectees; the list goes on! Friendships have been formed, confidence has been gained, personalities have emerged and the chess progress has been phenomenal. You can all be very proud of yourselves, we sure are!

There will still be plenty of chess taking place beyond the Academy’s doors this month. Members will attend the London Chess Classic, arguably the UK’s premier chess event that features the world’s top chess players. Members will also compete in the prestigious London Junior Chess Championships. We look forward to updating you on their endeavours. For now, may we wish you all a very Merry Chessmas🎄 and Happy New Year! We look forward to seeing you in 2020!



It’s that time of year! Yes, the legendary annual Coventry Chess Academy CHRISTMAS PARTY is upon us! It takes place this SATURDAY 7TH DECEMBER and will also be our final session of 2019. What an amazing year it’s been for our club and members! We will be celebrating in style with plenty of food and drink, music, the return of ‘Father Chessmas’, puzzles, fun activities, prizes and of course plenty of chess! We look forward to seeing all members there, we can’t wait!!!




After two epic days in Estonia, the European Youth Rapidplay and Blitz Chess Championships have come to an end. Today saw the Blitz take place and it was a final chance for the terrific trio of Billy Fellowes, Shriya Sastry and Elis Dicen to finish with a bang. They did not disappoint!

With there being no separate U8 Blitz, Billy had to play in the U10 Open Blitz, facing children up to two years older. The top seed was a 2145-FIDE rated Candidate Master which gives you an indication of the strength of the field. A daunting prospect for anyone who only recently turned eight years of age, but yet again though, Billy exceeded expectations! He produced another brilliant performance to score 5.5/9, finishing incredibly strong with four points from the final five rounds and performing over 100 points above his FIDE rating. His final ranking was 51 out of 151 participants and he was the joint second highest scoring England player alongside the older, higher-graded and vastly more experienced Shlok Verma.

In the U10 Girls Blitz, Shriya finished on a fine 4/9. She showed her battling qualities by recovering from a slow start and, like Billy, finished very strong with three points from the final five rounds; a trio of wins against Eastern European opponents. In the same section, Elis scored a superb 6/9. From standing on a single point after three rounds, she then went on an absolute tear and was unbeaten till the end of the tournament, scoring four wins and two draws against strong FIDE-rated opponents mostly from Russia and Ukraine, including a Woman Candidate Master. Once again, she was the highest-placed England player in the section with a final ranking of 12 out of 83 participants. It also meant that she finished with a grand total of 17.5 points from 25 games, the HIGHEST CUMULATIVE NUMBER OF POINTS SCORED BY ANY ENGLAND PLAYER across all age groups! Wow!!😲

It’s been a truly memorable experience in Estonia for everyone, on and off the board. Tallinn has provided a beautiful location for the Championships and there has been time for sight-seeing and some good photo opportunities! Billy, Shriya and Elis, you’ve represented yourselves and Team England brilliantly and we’re so proud of you all! Congratulations, a hero’s homecoming awaits!👏👏👏



When it rains it pours, so the saying goes, and such is the case for good news involving Coventry Chess Academy members! No fewer than three featured in this month’s edition of CHESS, the UK’s most popular chess magazine. Elis and Imogen Dicen star in a feature on the English Girls’ Chess Championship in which both reigned supreme while Jude Shearsby features in an article on local chess pictured alongside the reigning British Senior Chess Champion and Coventry chess legend Mark Page, a great friend of the CCA, with our club also getting a very welcome and positive mention!

Meanwhile, more terrific news has come through from the European Youth Rapid and Blitz Chess Championship in Estonia! The Team Rapidplay event took place this afternoon and while it had a fun and relaxed dimension to it, there was no stopping our terrific trio of Shriya, Billy and Elis! Shriya played for the England Reds and scored a fantastic 3/7. She performed 200 points above her FIDE rating and defeated talented and higher graded England teammate Anirudh Muppidi. Billy played for the England HFBR team and was his team’s TOP SCORER with an excellent 4.5/7, including a fine win over older and higher-graded England teammate Yunus Ahmed. Elis was fittingly in the same team as Shriya and scored a brilliant 5.5/7 on top board, finishing as her team’s TOP SCORER and performing 250 points above her FIDE rating. She held the 1774-rated Vladyslav Garsky to a draw and defeated dangerous Russian talented Iakov Korovko (who had beaten England superstar Denis Dupuis two rounds previously).

The England team tallies from the Rapidplay have also been confirmed and Billy has snagged another feather in his first England cap; he was in fact the joint HIGHEST-SCORING ENGLAND PLAYER in the whole tournament across ALL AGE GROUPS!

Just brilliant again from all three! Well done to them and bring on the Blitz tomorrow!



We are delighted to report on some AMAZING news from Tallinn, Estonia where the European Youth Rapid and Blitz Chess Championships are taking place! Eighteen years after Coventry Chess Academy Director Paul Lam set foot in the scenic Baltic city to make his international debut, three talented players from our club are making a name for themselves in the same location. The Rapid Championship has just concluded and there are some marvellous results to report.

In the U10 Girls, Shriya Sastry scored 3/9, a really creditable result in her England debut and first overseas international facing the best girl chess players in Europe. In the same section, Elis Dicen, also making her England debut, finished on a superb 6/9 for a final ranking of 10th out of 52 competitors. It also meant that Elis finished the tournament as the TOP-PLACED ENGLAND PLAYER in her section.😲 Just brilliant! Well done to both girls who fulfilled their dreams to play chess for England and did themselves and country proud. No doubt there will be many more such occasions to come!

In the U8 Boys, Billy ‘The Kid’ Fellowes🤠 was making his second appearance in England colours. In August this year, he took the chess world by storm with his outstanding performance in the World Cadets Rapid and Blitz Championship in Belarus, in which he finished the Rapidplay with 6/9 and was the highest-placed England player in his section. To repeat would prove a tough ask. Playing in his section were England teammates Ayush Dewangan and Patrick Damodaran, two brilliant little players in their own right, along with a monstrous contingent of prodigies hailing from the chess heartlands of Eastern European and the former Soviet Union.

Undeterred, Billy once again reached deep into his pocket of talent to produce another performance to go down in CCA folklore! He finished on a magnificent 6.5/9, bettering his score in Belarus, once again finishing as the TOP-PLACED ENGLAND PLAYER in his section and the TOP-PLACED PLAYER FROM THE WHOLE OF WESTERN EUROPE, finishing 9th on tie-break out of 84 competitors and JOINT-FOURTH overall! Congratuations 💣🧨Billy, take a bow, you’re the real life Kid Dynamite!

The chess party hasn’t finished just yet though! We have the Team Rapidplay coming up and then the eagerly-awaited Blitz Championship tomorrow. It should be an absolute blast and we can’t wait to see how everyone gets on! Shriya, Elis and Billy, you’ve all done brilliantly and we are so proud of you just as Team England should be!👏👏👏 Good luck for the rest of the Championships and have a great time in the Blitz!




We are delighted to report on an absolutely magnificent day for Coventry Chess Academy members! The Warwickshire Junior Chess Championships took place today at Kenilworth School and there was a sizeable CCA contingent present for the occasion spanning all age sections, with CCA Director Paul Lam also attending in support.

In the combined U14/U16/U18 section, Henry Wood was the youngest and lowest-graded participant, but scored a very creditable 3/7. The U12 section saw bronze medals🥉 for Margarita Sanchez, Rugved Shedbalkar and Zain Amir, a silver medal🥈 for Vincent Xia and gold medals for Silas Bowcott-Terry and Manvith Sandhu who justified their billing as the top two seeds by winning golds🥇 with 6/7 each and sharing the title of Warwickshire U12 Champion (having shared the U9 Championship a couple of years ago!). The U10 section saw bronze medals for Aayush Chitre and Aaron Suthi and gold for rising star Tom Junde He who was crowned Warwickshire U10 joint-Champion🏆, the first time he has achieved this feat.

Finally in the U8 section there were some sparkling performances as Adit Nahar, Julia Kozhan, Sai Prajan Venkatesh and Zak Nahal all won bronze medals. This was a special performance from Zak in particular as he was playing in his first-ever chess tournament and he was delighted not just to take home a medal but to have won games using ideas learned in Saturday lessons! A special mention must also go to Rhea Pal who not only won bronze with 4.5/7 but was the highest-placed girl in the section. She scored the result of the tournament by outplaying and defeating the number 1 seed Jamie Walker (ECF 68), despite being massively outgraded, for her best win to date, beating her previous record just a week after setting it!😮 She also gave the eventual tournament winner, the hugely talented Adithya Vaidyanathan, by far his toughest game, pushing him all the way to a king and pawn ending with level material in the final round. Finishing with a silver medal and 5/7 for joint-second was the one-and-only Ezekiel Ho who continues to impress all with his outstanding progress and commitment.

Furthermore, each and every CCA member who competed today deserves our congratulations. It was a long, tiring day due to the longer format consisting of seven instead of five rounds, but they coped admirably with the demands. Many of those who competed were playing in their first ever tournament and had a fantastic day, thoroughly enjoying the experience. Well done everyone, you all did yourselves and our club proud!👏👏👏

In other news, our terrific trio of Billy Fellowes, Shriya Sastry and Elis Dicen have been lighting up the international scene while on duty for TEAM ENGLAND in the European Youth Rapid and Blitz Chess Championships being held in Tallinn, Estonia! The Championships kicked off today. In the Rapid U10 girls Shriya currently stands on a fine 2.5/6 and Elis has an excellent 4/6 which makes her the joint highest-scoring English representative in the section at present. In the Rapid U8 Boys, Billy Fellowes has been on a tear, winning three games on the trot to stand on 4.5/6 which also makes him the joint highest-scoring English player in his section. His prize is a mouth-watering clash with the top seed tomorrow! Well done to all three, you’re doing brilliantly and we’re so proud of your efforts! Wishing you all the very best for tomorrow’s rounds, you can do it!



We’re delighted to report on more success over the board for Coventry Chess Academy members! Two familiar faces were recently spotted on the social media pages of Bablake School, namely our very own Keatan Patel and Vincent Xia playing on the high boards of the House chess competition! CCA Director Paul Lam, a Bablake old boy, commented that the chessboards don’t seem to have changed in twenty years! It transpires that both guys had performed brilliantly, despite only having started senior school this year, with Keatan making it to the quarters of the competition while Vincent made it the final where he vanquished his sixth-form opponent to be crowned champion representing his House, Crow, which Paul happened to belong as a pupil. Great stuff!

In other news, the London Chess Classic, one of the most eagerly-anticipated events on the UK chess calendar, has kicked off! This event is attended by CCA members every year who have a great time not just playing in one of the many tournament sections but also getting to meet their chess heroes, as all the world’s top players are in attendance! Rohan Pal made an excellent start in the U2050 FIDE rated section, defeating an 1826 FIDE-rated and 165 ECF graded opponent, despite a very tiring week away on a school trip. Well done Rohan and wishing you all the best for the rest of the tournament!

Tomorrow, the European Youth Rapid and Blitz Chess Championships starts in Tallinn, Estonia🇪🇪 and we can’t wait to see our terrific trio of Billy Fellowes, Shriya Sastry and Elis Dicen in action as they fly the flag for TEAM ENGLAND! Results and live games will be available online and we look forward to updating you on their progress! Good luck to all three! We’re so proud of you all and just know you can do it!

Sadly we must conclude with some rather sad news. At today’s CCA session, it was announced that the double A force of Aarav and Arnav Agarwal will shortly be leaving the UK with their family.😥😥😥 Aarav and Arnav have been outstanding members ever since joining us at an incredibly young age and have made superb advances with their chess, reaching the UK Schools Chess Challenge Gigafinal, representing the Warwickshire Junior Chess Squad and Warwickshire Bears in the J4NCL and medalling and winning at numerous tournaments across the country, among numerous achievements. An almost ubiquitous presence on Saturday mornings, they have brought infectious smiles and big personalities with them and made numerous friends at the CCA who will likewise be very sad to see them leave. It was fitting that for the last part of today’s session, Aarav and Arnav took over as CCA Co-Directors, with Paul relegated to the role of simul-giver!

Thank you Aarav and Arnav not just for the lovely goodies you brought in today but for everything you’ve done for our club and achieved in chess. We’re incredibly proud of you both and will miss you lots. Wishing you and your family all the best for the future and please stay in touch.




It’s been another superb day for Coventry Chess Academy members! Some fantastic news came from down south where Rhea Pal was playing in the Wellington U10s. This was a strong tournament and Rhea had to play against opponents who were not just older but often out-graded her. Undeterred, Rhea scored 3/6 which included a tremendous win against a 61 ECF-graded opponent, her best win to date. Congratulations Rhea, what a fantastic result!

Closer to home, Rhea’s big brother and fellow CCA superstar, Rohan, was doing battle for the U18 Warwickshire Team playing in the Four Counties tournament in Kenilworth. The U11s, U11 girls and U9s teams were also in action, all under the watchful eye of CCA Director Paul Lam who was wearing his Warwickshire Junior Chess Squad Head Coach hat for the day. Numerous CCA members were selected to play, making up over half of the entire squad.

The U9s were split into Warwickshire Red and Warwickshire Yellow and they finished second and third respectively. There were some notable individual results. Billy Fellowes scored 2.5/3 on top board for Warwickshire Red and held fellow England star, the older and higher-graded Jan Murawski of Oxfordshire to a draw with Black in round 2, showing incredible determination to fight back from a losing position and outplay Jan in the endgame to earn half a point. On board 6 in the same team, Vassily Sagyaman won every single game to be crowned Warwickshire Red’s joint ‘big hitter’ for the day. The Warwickshire Yellow’s high points included a crushing 7-1 win over Leicester and Arnav ‘A Force’ Agarwal’s brilliant win against the mighty eventual winners Oxfordshire, in which he outplayed a higher-graded opponent and finished with a flourish by sacrificing his queen to force mate!

The U11s section was a very evenly-matched one on paper and the Warwickshire team finished in third place with one win, one loss and one draw, AKA a perfectly balanced result! The highlight was definitely the 7-1 win over Northamptonshire in round 1 which featured a fine finish from Zain Amir, joint highest scorer in his team with 2.5/3. The U11 girls proved superstars as they won every single match to be crowned champions in their section! The standout performance in the team without a doubt came from soon-to-be England debutant Shriya Sastry who outclassed her opponents en route to a perfect 3/3 score!

The U18 team was one of the youngest Warwickshire has ever fielded in the competition with an average age of just twelve years. They started their campaign with a bang, beating Leicestershire 6.5-1.5 with Rohan expertly outplaying his opponent the White side of a Sicilian Sveshnikov, forcing through a thematic c5 pawn break to create a passed d-pawn which proved decisive. Jude Shearsby also impressed with a strategic pawn sacrifice, gaining great piece activity as a consequence which enabled him to create a mating net around the talented Samia Sheikh. A subpar team performance against Oxfordshire in the next round resulted in a drawn match and the pressure was on to win the final round in good style. This they managed, beating Leicestershire 5.5-2.5 with key wins coming from Daniel Chen and the peerless Elis Dicen, the team’s youngest member aged eight years. She was the team’s big hitter for the day, winning every single one of her games. As a result of the team’s margin of victory, they edged out Oxfordshire on points difference to be crowned champions!

Congratulations to all our members who competed today and to all the Warwickshire teams!



We’re delighted to report on more stunning success on the local chess front! The University of Warwick Rapidplay took place today, attracting a horde of strong and undergraded student entries. There was also a small but plucky group of juniors playing and some creditable results were achieved with 2/7 for Vassily Sagyaman in the Minor/U105 (beating two opponents who outgraded him by over 30 points), 2.5/7 for Margarita Sanchez and 3/7 for Silas Bowcott-Terry in the Major (U140) and 4/7 for Finlay Bowcott-Terry in the Open.

The star of the show was however once again the youngest entrant! It just had to be the amazing, inimitable Billy ‘The Kid’ Fellowes!🤠 We’re wondering whether the Coventry Chess Academy’s eight-year-old superstar now needs to go permanently by the sobriquet of ‘Kid Dynamite’💣🧨 as just one day after making local chess history he did it again! Having compiled some superb performances in Minor sections this season, including winning the HE Atkins Memorial in Leicester with a 100% score, Billy took a bold step up in class for this event by entering his first ever U140 ECF section.

The result was nothing short of sensational. Billy started the tournament by taking the scalp of none other than former CCA coach and recent university graduate Jaspar Goodall! Ouch😬, it couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy! Two rounds later, he faced an even tougher assignment in the form of the top seed, 138 ECF-graded James Harrison, who boasts a standardplay grade of over 150 ECF. He bit the dust as well.👎 Billy then suffered his only loss of the tournament, to a German student who was the eventual section winner. He bounced back though in round 5, with the unfortunate victim being local veteran and Coventry Chess League president Mike Johnson.🧓 His seniority did not save him; Billy swatted him out of the way and signed off with another win and a draw to finish on 5/7, with a delighted CCA Director, Paul Lam, arriving in time to witness the moment. With all the dust settled, Billy stood in joint-third place, owner of the grading prize and a cool 153 ECF grading performance to boot. Simply astonishing!!😲😲😲 The University of Warwick is home to some of the brightest young minds in the country, but even they were shocked by the little dynamo in their midst, with the name of ‘Billy The Kid’ striking fear into every student’s mind by the tournament’s end.

Congratulations Billy, what a performance, we’re all so proud of you!👏👏👏




We’re delighted to report on another piece of local chess history made by the one-and-only Billy ‘The Kid’ Fellowes! England superstar Billy, who is shortly due to represent his country for the second time in the upcoming European Youth Rapidplay and Blitz Championship, became tonight the youngest person to ever play top board in division 1 of the Coventry Schools Chess League, making his debut for Warwick Senior School. And despite only just having turned eight years of age and started Junior School this year! Warwick School has a rich chess history, with former Chess A team top boards including the likes of FIDE Master Richard Weaving. However, to our knowledge even Richard did not achieve this distinction at such a young age!

The scene was set for a contrast of almost comical proportions! The rest of the Warwick team arrived at King Henry VIII School by mini-bus. Billy got a lift from his dad, avoiding unnecessary teenage banter. Billy’s opponent and teammates, including some sixth formers, towered over him. To the unwitting observer, it might have seemed like an extraordinary mismatch was about to transpire. They were right! It was all over in a mere two minutes. Billy ‘The Kid’ was transformed into ‘Kid Dynamite’ as he utterly vaporised his opponent who could only shake his head in disbelief, while Billy’s older Warwick teammates and their teacher could barely contain their glee. It was also a proud moment for CCA Asst. Director Andy Ward, Warwick Senior School chess coach, and CCA Director Paul Lam, who coaches at Warwick Junior School, albeit bittersweet for Andy being an Old Coventrian himself!

Well done Billy, you’re a superstar!



We are delighted to report on some absolutely fantastic news! Just a few days removed from the epic Coventry Chess Academy – Hallfield School chess match, we can officially announce than no fewer than FOUR participants in that event will be representing ENGLAND in the upcoming EUROPEAN YOUTH RAPID AND BLITZ CHESS CHAMPIONSHIP🏆 taking place in Tallinn, Estonia later this month and into December! Shriya Sastry, Billy Fellowes and Elis Dicen from the CCA have all received the call-up to play for their country. Kai Miller, who played for the Hallfield School team, is also among those who have been selected. Just brilliant! You can see the full England team on the English Chess Federation website at

Coventry Chess Academy Director Paul Lam said ‘This is fantastic news for all concerned! By coincidence, my first ever international was in Tallinn, Estonia, all the way back in 2001, of which I have fond memories. This achievement once again highlights the strength of junior chess in Warwickshire and the West Midlands which has come on leaps and bounds over the last six years. First and foremost though, it’s a tribute to the talent, hard work and dedication of all those who have been selected. You can all be very, very proud of yourselves!’

Congratulations to all our superstars, we’re so proud of you and can’t wait to see you in action for Team England!



We’re delighted to report on more fantastic performances this weekend! Warwickshire Select’s 4NCL (Four Nations Chess League) Division 4 South campaign kicked off in Maidenhead and it was a great to see a large number of juniors seated alongside their senior team-mates, including Manvith Sandhu, Jude Shearsby, Rohan Pal, Daniel Chen and Silas Bowcott-Terry. It proved to be a tough weekend with some very strong adult opponents rated up to 2000 FIDE and over, but there were still some fine performances. Manvith finished on 1.5/2 for the weekend and Daniel achieved a creditable draw against higher graded WCM Shayanna Sivarajasingam.

Back in Coventry, a very special event was taking place, namely the second Coventry Chess Academy-Hallfield School Chess Match. The CCA and Hallfield School have contributed the bulk of the award-winning Warwickshire junior chess squad over the last several years and this annual event is an appropriate celebration of the ties which exist between us. CCA Director Paul Lam was at the helm of the home team, with FIDE Master Nick Thomas leading the Hallfield side. Last year, the CCA won the match by the narrowest margin of a single point, with the outcome in doubt right up till the final game! Once again this year, there was barely anything to separate the teams on paper, promising a competitive and evenly-matched affair, and so it proved! Round 1 was drawn 4.5-4.5 and some fantastic chess was produced on both sides. The CCA highlights were Ezekiel Ho’s superbly played win against Elizabeth Webster on board 8 in which he shunned the lure of material to produce a lovely checkmate instead and a fine, controlled win for Billy Fellowes on board 2 in which he expertly using the positional plus of the semi-open c-file to produce a thematic queenside breakthrough.

Round 2 brought more fireworks. It started well for the CCA with quick wins for Rhea Pal and Billy, sandwiched with an early draw between Gregory Kornilovich and Rishab Murthy. However, Hallfield fought back to take the lead. Kai Miller’s opening trickiness caught out Aarav Agarwal. Aarav’s little brother Arnav was doing well against Aaron Suthi, winning a pawn with a nice discovered check combination, but then learned how knights defending each can get in each other’s way which enabled Aaron to turn tables. Elizabeth gained revenge on Ezekiel and Anay Agrawal won against Sai Prajan Venkatesh. The CCA’s prospects of holding onto the ‘Thomas Trophy’ appeared grim. Hope came through Shriya Sastry’s win on board 4 against Rithvik Muthuvelu. It now all came down to the top board clash between Elis Dicen and Zain Amir. Elis’ kingside attack proved irresistible and overcame a valiant Zain, with a crushing knight sacrifice proving the coup de grace. It meant that round 2 was also draw 4.5-4.5, for a perfectly balanced final result of 9-9!

Excited chatter between the two teams raised the prospect of a blitz tie-break between team managers Paul and Nick! However, the cooler adult heads prevailed as the decision was taken for the two teams to share the trophy; a fitting conclusion to a hard-fought, competitive and exciting match and a hugely enjoyable day! Well done to everyone from both teams and special thanks to Nick, official photographer Dennis Dicen, Coach Roy Watson and all parents for their support. Bring on next year’s match!



It was great to see everyone again at a fun-filled and very well-attended first session back after half-term yesterday, with neither heavy rain nor the Rugby World Cup Final deterring members! Pawn structure, development, responding to threats, and chess notation were all on the menu for the different groups and they went down a treat, with some great answers and contributions across the board. Challenge matches were keenly-contested and an impressive silence score of 9.96/10 was achieved, along with some notable results. CCA superstar Rohan Pal squared off with CCA Director Paul Lam who was unable to break his prodigious opponent’s resistance in an opposite-coloured bishops ending and forced to concede a well-earned draw.

In other news, plenty of familiar faces were in tournament action this weekend. Vassily Sagyaman achieved another fantastic result, this time in the Northampton Junior Congress. He scored 5/6, emerging as champion on tie-break. Well done Vassily!

Slightly closer to home, the inaugural First Weekend Birmingham tournament was taking place, a product of the efforts and hard work of Ravi Sandhu, with Paul one of the keen spectators dropping in. In the U1600/U120 section, Margarita Sanchez recovered from a slow start to finish on 3/5 which included taking the scalp of the top seed. The same scored was achieved in the U1900/U160 section by Elis Dicen who also defeated the tournament joint-winner. The U2200 section attracted the most entrants and there were some fabulous individual results. Finlay Bowcott-Terry finished in joint-second place with 3.5/5, half a point behind the tournament leaders. The trio of Manvith Sandhu, Daniel Chen and Jude Shearsby all scored a very creditable 2.5/5. Notable results included Manvith drawing with Finlay in round 1 and Jude holding a 194 ECF-graded and 2031 FIDE-rated opponent to a draw and defeating a 173 ECF-graded opponent in the final round.

Congratulations to everyone on yet more fantastic performances and thanks to Ravi for bringing a great new FIDE-rated tournament to the West Midlands. Here’s to future editions!




Don’t forget that the Coventry Chess Academy resumes sessions THIS SATURDAY 2ND NOVEMBER! We’re very excited to be back following the half-term break and looking forward to seeing everyone again!

We’re pleased to report on more good results for our members. Last night, round 1 of the KO Cup of the Leamington & District Chess League took place. Injecting the U120 competition with youthful vigour were our very own Billy ‘The Kid’ Fellowes (just turned eight years of age) and Coach Roy ‘The Boy’ Watson (age irrelevant), both of whom drew their games, a particularly creditable result for Billy against an adult opponent who outgraded him by over 20 points. Clubmate Jude ‘The Juggernaut’ Shearsby was delighted to be making his debut in the Open KO Cup and he recovered from being in trouble early on to win his game. Well done guys!

In other news, we are delighted to report on another good result from Vassily Sagyaman AKA ‘The CCA Torre’. Vassily competed in a very strong 52nd Berkshire Junior Rapidplay Championship which featured the likes of superstars Soham Kumar and Ayush Dewangan who Vassily played in round 2. This was one of only two losses experienced by Vassily as he finished on 4/6, meaning that he has now qualified for the London Junior Chess Championships U10 Minor in two separate events. Congratulations Vassily on a fine performance!




We’re delighted to report on more fantastic results as a super Saturday was followed by a stunning Sunday! The Birmingham Rapidplay was taking place close to home and CCA Director Paul Lam turned up in time to witness some gripping final round action!

The Open Section was a very strong one featuring International Master Alan Merry (ECF 229) who was joint-winner with 5.5/7. Scoring a fine 4/7 in the same section and winning the grading prize was fourteen-year-old Finlay Bowcott-Terry and scoring 2.5/7 in the same section was nine-year-old Jude Shearsby. This event was a big step up for Jude, but he acquitted himself extremely well, scoring great draws against Jonathan Bourne (ECF 193) and Emil Angelov (FIDE 2208). In a very strong and competitive Major Section, there were creditable performances from Manvith Sandhu (3/7), Rohan Pal (3/7) and Daniel Chen (3.5/7) and fine results in the Intermediate Section for Margarita Sanchez (3.5/7) and Silas Bowcott-Terry (4/7), particularly considering they were outgraded in nearly every single game. The Minor Section attracted the largest turnout and proved extremely hard-fought with some nerve-wracking battles. Vassily Sagyaman scored 2/7 having faced higher-graded opponents in nearly every round and came very close to winning his final round game with only some hasty decisions costing him in a favourable position. There were creditable scores too for Olivia Chen (3/7), Felix Kuang (3.5/7) and Tom Junde He (4/7). Billy ‘The Kid’ Fellowes made an uncharacteristically slow start, losing his first two games, but demonstrated what champions are made of as he roared back into contention, winning all his remaining games including a final round nail-biter to finish on a fantastic 5/7. The CCA big hitter for the tournament was Zain ‘The Brain’ Amir. Zain turned eleven years old today and had extra reason to celebrate as he was just brilliant, finishing the tournament unbeaten with four wins and three draws for a final score of 5.5/7 and joint-second place. Happy Birthday Zain and massive congratulations!

Meanwhile, the second day of the English Girls Chess Championship was taking place in Blenheim Palace. In a very strong U11s section, Shriya Sastry produced a fine performance, finishing on 4/6. In outright first place and adding to her English U9 Girls title from yesterday was the extraordinary Elis Dicen. She did it again with another perfect 6/6 performance which included defeating the event’s top seed. There was further joy to come though as big sister Imogen won rounds 3 and 4 of the main Championship before drawing the final round to finish in outright first place with 4.5/5 to be crowned English Girls Chess Champion 2019. It means that the CCA’s very own Polgar Sisters scored a mind-boggling 16.5/17 between them in two days against some of the best girl chess players in the country. Absolutely amazing! Congratulations girls, we’re so proud of you!



It’s been a glorious day for Coventry Chess Academy members in action over the chessboard today! Zain Amir, Billy Fellowes and Ethan Vas were all selected to play for the Warwickshire U100 team facing Leicestershire at home in the historic settings of Charlecote village. All made a great impression in their debut for the county’s senior side, facing battle-hardened adult opponents at a standardplay time limit. Zain battled hard on board 2, but lost after a very good game indeed. There was a draw for Ethan on board 9 and a win for Billy, the team’s youngest member, on board 4, who comfortably dispatched his genial opponent in relatively short order. Great stuff guys!

Meanwhile, in South Birmingham, the Warwickshire Open team were taking on Worcestershire. Featuring in the team together for the first and certainly not last time were good friends Manvith Sandhu and Jude Shearsby. Manvith drew his game, while Jude won against another familiar face and friend in Silas Bowcott-Terry, contributing to a Warwickshire victory. Brilliantly done boys!

Further south in Oxfordshire, four of our girl superstars were playing in a very special event, the inaugural English Girls’ Chess Championship! In the U9s, good friends Diah Patel and Rhea Pal demonstrated what fantastic progress they are making by scoring 2.5 and 3 points respectively; excellent scores considering the strength of the tournament. The winner of the same section was the one-and-only Elis Dicen who justified her top seed billing with a flawless 6/6. Elis therefore adds the English U9 Girls title to the four British titles which she already owns!

Heading the Championship section is Elis’ big sister, Imogen, who also finishes day 1 with 100%. In round 1, she produced a strategic master class, elegantly outplaying her opponent with the White pieces in a manner which would have made Capablanca proud. In round 2 she demonstrated her tactical flair with the Black pieces, producing a stunning blow on move 31! Can you find Imogen’s lovely continuation below?

Congratulations girls, simply terrific!



Just a gentle reminder that the Coventry Chess Academy is on BREAK for the next two weekends due to half-term. We will resume sessions on SATURDAY 2ND NOVEMBER. There will of course still be plenty of chess taking place between now and then and we look forward to reporting on our members’ endeavours!

Wishing you all a great half-term and we look forward to seeing you when we resume sessions next month!



Following on from a sparkling Saturday for the Coventry Chess Academy and its members, one was moved to ponder whether it could get any better for them this weekend? Well it did and then some!

Our very own Polgar sisters, Imogen and Elis Dicen👭, were once again in action for the Warwickshire Bears🐻 in day 2 of the first ever Women’s 4NCL Weekend in Kenilworth. In round 3 they faced another pair of older and higher-graded sisters, Woman Candidate Masters Shayanna (ECF 168) and Venetia Sivarajasingam (ECF 165). The ‘Dynamic Dicens’ proved a match for them though as two hard-fought draws were achieved, a fantastic result in particular for Elis in light of the grade disparity in her matchup. In the final round, Elis had another long tough game, this time losing but still demonstrating her trademark determination and resourcefulness. Imogen secured a comfortable win and the final outcome was that Warwickshire Bears finished in THIRD place🥉, beating Manchester on tie-break. Wow, a fantastic achievement!

Meanwhile, something special was taking place in the Wild Wild West, AKA Leicester. The HE Atkins Memorial Atkins Rapidplay was on and featuring in the U115 ECF section, was none other than the fastest gun in the West, Billy ‘The Kid’ Fellowes🤠, still in year 3 at school and recently turned eight years of age! It turns out that Billy’s very creditable performance yesterday in the Warwick Junior Open was just a warm-up for the main event. He took the field in Leicester by storm as he racked up win after win en route to becoming the youngest CCA member in history to WIN an ADULT CHESS TOURNAMENT🥇 with a PERFECT 6/6 and a scary 152 ECF grading performance! Just incredible!! As legendary CCA coach Roy Watson likes to say, ‘it’s the glory which counts’, but a delighted Billy also cashed in a cool £100 for his first place finish!💰 Skills literally do pay the Bills in this case!😎

Congratulations to Imogen, Elis and Billy, we’re so proud of you all!



It’s been an action-packed day for Coventry Chess Academy members! In the morning we had a very enjoyable last session before half-term. Captures, discovered checks, danger lines and focal points were all on the agenda and all groups performed extremely well. There was a warm welcome for a special visitor, former multiple Warwickshire Junior Chess Champ Mark Lam! He partnered Jude Shearsby in an epic exchange chess match against CCA Director Paul Lam and Billy Fellowes which saw the latter pair emerge triumphant after many twists and turns.

Next stop was the Warwick Junior Open, which included a large number of super-enthusiastic CCA members who had also attended the morning session but clearly hadn’t satisfied their chess appetite! The results were just brilliant as numerous medals were won in all categories, with a delighted Paul presenting the prizes. In the U11 D group, there were bronze medals for Diah Patel and Adit Nahar and silver medals for Robbie Gillespie, Rayyan Khan and Rhea Pal. Rayyan led the section right till the final round and Rhea also achieved the distinction of being the highest-placed girl in the section. In the U11 C group, there were bronze medals for Gregory Kornilovich, Amraya Johal and Ezekiel Ho. There was also a bronze medal for Aarav Agarwal in the U11 B group, with one of his only two losses coming to runaway tournament winner Shriya Sastry on a superb 5/5. The U11 A group was an extremely tough one, featuring no fewer than five England national team members. Billy, the youngest player in the section, took home a bronze medal and Zain Amir secured a silver medal for outright third place. The winner was our very own Rohan Pal who, despite an 11+ induced break from competitive chess, demonstrated why form is temporary and class is permanent! He faced all the other top seeds, including talented England teammates Ethan Gardiner and Ruben Evans, en route to a perfect 5/5 performance and a memorable return to the board!

The U18 B group proved an evenly-matched and competitive section. By the time the dust had settled, there were bronze medals for Ethan Vas and Keatan Patel and silver medals for Margarita Sanchez and Rugved Shedbalkar. The winner, again with a perfect 5/5, was the one-and-only Henry Wood! This is an outstanding achievement, particularly as Henry started the tournament as only the eighth seed based on ECF grade! Finally, as if there hadn’t been enough 100% scores for the day, Finlay Bowcott-Terry absolutely monstered the U18 A group, justifying his top seed billing by comfortably winning all five of his games.

Just 15 minutes away, two CCA superstars were doing battle in a very special event indeed. The inaugural Women’s 4NCL (Four Nations Chess League) kicked off in Kenilworth, featuring some of the best female players in the country. This included the super sister act of Imogen and Elis Dicen who proudly represented the Warwickshire Bears team along with Shriya Pillay and a legend of Coventry chess on top board, Woman FIDE Master Ann-Marie James! The close proximity to Warwick allowed Paul to do a good impression of a human yo-yo and catch some gripping chess action. Elis drew with good friend and fellow girl star Thisumi Jayawarna in round 1 and lost in round 2 but only after an epic game which lasted several hours and 109 moves! Imogen won both her games which included an excellent victory over older and higher-graded England star Anita Somton.

Well done to everyone for their performances today, we’re so proud of you all! Best of luck to Imogen, Elis and the Warwickshire Bears for tomorrow’s rounds, you can do it girls!



We’re delighted to report on another very successful weekend for the Coventry Chess Academy’s tournament warriors! Billy ‘The Kid’ Fellowes was in action in an London Junior Chess Championship (LJCC) U10s qualifier, facing older and higher-graded opponents. Billy of course is the current LJCC U8 Chess Champion, having risen to national prominence by topping a star-studded field in a sensational performance last year. Billy was playing in the higher age group mainly for experience, but he went one step further and finished in second-place, thus qualifying for the Major section of the LJCC U10s! Wow! Well done Billy on another brilliant result!

In other news, a good-sized CCA contingent descended upon Basingstoke for the first weekend of the J4NCL, the children’s wing of the British National Chess League. In fact, they comprised almost the entire squad! With CCA Director and Warwickshire Junior Squad Head Coach Paul Lam on wedding duty on Saturday, first-rate cover was provided on day 1 by the one-and-only FIDE Master Nick Thomas. The B team finished day 1 in division 2 with a very creditable two draws and one loss, facing opponents who out-graded them heavily on average. The A team stood near the top of the leaderboard in division 1 with two wins and one draw, with Finlay Bowcott-Terry standing out for the completeness and maturity of his play. Seven-year-old Bears debutant Arnav ‘A Force’ Agarwal was the youngest squad member, but scored a memorable win in an epic game lasting nearly several hours, winning the title of ‘Bears Hero of the Day’.

Paul joined the squad today, inheriting a group of players full of energy and motivation in spite of the long first day. The B team scored their first win of the weekend, defeating Barnet Knights 1 courtesy of convincing wins for Margarita Sanchez and Keatan Patel and a good draw for Zain Amir against a higher-graded opponent. The A team went down 1-3 to pre-event favourites, the Five Young Oysters, although there was an excellent draw for Jude Shearsby against Robert Akeya-Price (ECF 175). Finlay pressed hard against former Terafinal winner Christopher Tombolis, declining numerous draw offers in search of victory, before the point was finally split.

The final round saw the B team draw against Barnet Knights 2, with Margarita winning again and Aarav ‘A Force’ Agarwal, older brother of Arnav and fellow J4NCL debutant, taking Paul’s pre-match guidance to heart. He deservedly emerged victorious after nearly several hours having used his time very wisely indeed! The A team comfortably defeated Chess In Schools 1 by the score of 3-1, with top two boards Finlay and Jude claiming the wins, the latter crushingly after a major error by his opponent in the opening. It meant that Jude finished the weekend with an impressive 4.5/5 and the title of ‘Bears Big Hitter’. Moreover, the result ensured outright second place for the team and a share of the silverware at the prize-giving! Woohoo!

A big well done to all our members who competed this weekend!



Readers of CHESS, the UK’s most popular chess magazine, may have spotted some familiar names and faces in this month’s edition! Coventry Chess Academy Director Paul Lam and our very own superstar Olivia Chen both feature in an article by Ben Graff who is quickly making a name for himself as a writer and author in the chess world. The article entitled ‘It Starts with Hello’ (page 32) explores the power of chess to bring people together beyond the competitive arena and the ways in which it can be used as a positive force in local communities. You can check out an excerpt below!




Just a gentle reminder that the Coventry Chess Academy is ON BREAK this Saturday coming 5th October. We will resume sessions the week after, Saturday 12th October, and look forward to seeing everyone there!

We’re pleased to report on some fine performances at the NYCA (National Youth Chess Association) Championship event held locally in Kenilworth on Sunday. The Warwickshire U18s, featuring Finlay Bowcott-Terry and William Morris but missing some key players, had a tough time of it against some very strong opponents, but the Warwickshire U14s excelled, finishing joint-first! Margarita Sanchez and Keatan Patel scored 3/3, with 2.5/3 for Vincent Xia and Ethan Vas. Eshan Suthi, Silas Bowcott-Terry, Daniel Chen and Manvith Sandhu also made important contributions to the team. Great stuff, well done everyone!

In other news, not one but two CCA prefects were in action last night for the same club! David Phillips took to board 2 for Kenilworth in division 1 of the Leamington & District Chess League, winning his game in a 4-0 hammering of Shirley and Wythall. In division 4, there was a symbolic passing of the torch as William Morris took top board for Kenilworth ahead of inimitable CCA coach Roy Watson in a proud moment for both. It was a bittersweet occasion for Roy, losing his top dog spot and also his individual game, but he could still go home a happy man after William won on top board, saving the match for the team. Well done guys!



It was another fantastic Coventry Chess session today! Escaping from check, the Destructive Danish and endgame mating technique were all on the menu. A new record was set on the bishop and knight mate challenge, with Jude Shearsby completing it in a mere 10 seconds. For good measure, he then had to do the challenge blindfold which he successfully accomplished! Challenge matches were held and last week’s silence score was matched. The most notable result was achieved by Aarav ‘A-force’ Agarwal who downed Coach Roy Watson after a tactical oversight from the latter which doomed his female monarch. CCA Director Paul Lam was in clock simul mode and found himself in trouble early on against Jude and tactics whizz Tom Junde He, before the positions stabilised. The blindfold was going better, but time intervened to bring the session to an end and a well-earned split point for Dhruv Dabas, Andrew Chen and Sid Sailesh.

It was also a very special occasion for a member who has been coming along since he was only five years old. The one-and-only Billy ‘The Kid’ Fellowes celebrated his eighth birthday in the best way possible, surrounded by all his friends at his favourite place, and kindly brought in some sweet goodies which were enjoyed by all. Happy Birthday Billy, we hope your day is amazing as you are!

In other fantastic news, the Coventry Chess Academy is delighted to have won a British Chess Educational Trust award! This award is administered with funds provided by the generosity of the legendary, multi-talented Sir George Thomas (,_7th_Baronet). Alex Holowczak who submitted the nomination accepted by the BCET Trustees said:

‘The award is richly deserved as the Coventry Chess Academy has helped not only with junior chess in the Coventry area, but the Warwickshire county teams too with which I am involved. In fact, it has helped to turn Warwickshire from a county that was doing relatively little for junior chess four years ago and had very few junior players actively involved in tournament chess, into a county that is now helping to compete for national titles. Individuals at the Academy have subsequently gone on to represent England in various competitions around the world, and even become British Champions in their age group.

This prize is a credit to Paul Lam and his colleagues Andy Ward, Roy Watson and other volunteers at the Coventry Chess Academy for their hard work over a number of years.’

‘This was a wonderful surprise for our club!’ said Paul. ‘I would like to extend my appreciation to Alex Holowczak for his very thoughtful and kind nomination. Alex has made a tremendous contribution to chess locally and nationally as an organiser and arbiter. Warwickshire junior chess has benefited directly from his tireless efforts and is greatly indebted to him and figures like FIDE Master Nick Thomas who helped lay foundations for the junior chess resurgence which our region is experiencing. The Coventry Chess Academy is proud to be part of this and I look forward to it continuing for many years to come. We are fortunate to have the backing of a small but loyal team whose commitment to our club and members is beyond reproach. The final word should go however to our amazing members: the people who make the Coventry Chess Academy what it is and achieve incredible things over the chessboard on a weekly basis. You make us so proud and this award belongs to all of you.’




We’re delighted to report on some excellent news for a Coventry Chess Academy member! Fast-improving Vassily Sagyaman competed in the first event of the North London Schools Grand Prix. He faced higher graded and older opponents in every round, but still scored 4/6, winning a gold medal and qualifying for the U10 Minor section of the prestigious London Junior Chess Championship (LJCC).

Congratulations Vassily on a fantastic performance! Bring on the LJCC!




It’s been a great weekend at the Delancey UK Schools Chess Challenge Terafinal for Coventry Chess Academy members! No fewer than eight were in action in the grand final of the world’s biggest chess tournament, with CCA Director Paul Lam also in tow. The standard in each section was scarily high with all the top England juniors out in force, but some notable performances were nevertheless produced by our members. In the U8s, Billy Fellowes scored 5.5/10 in his first ever Terafinal with the highlight being his round 2 upset win against clubmate Elis Dicen. Incredibly, Billy is still technically an U7 so will be eligible for the U8s again next year. Elis rebounded in fine fashion, showing a tonne of grit and determination, to finish on an excellent 7/10 and winning the best girl prize. In the U10s, Jude Shearsby played some fine chess to finish on a fantastic 7.5/10 and would almost certainly have made the KO stages if it weren’t for an unfortunate reversal in round 2 in a winning but tricky endgame. In the U14s, Imogen Dicen finished on a very creditable 5/10 against some very tough opponents, drawing with Jacob Yoon in round 1 and scoring notable wins against Shahjahon Saidmuradov and Toby Kan.

Well done to each and every one of our members who competed this weekend! Just to qualify for this stage – roughly the top 0.5% of over 40,000 entrants – is a phenomenal achievement. You can be very proud of yourselves, we know we are!



An interesting feat has been achieved by a Coventry Chess Academy member! Midlands chess player and former English Chess Federation official Alan Ruffle recently authored a book titled ‘The Chess Scene’. Featuring in one of the chapters – in fact heading the chapter – is none other than our very own Manvith Sandhu and his win against the author when he was only nine years old! Check it out below. Fast-forward two years and Mr Ruffle’s suspicions have proven prophetic! We suspect it won’t be the last time we see one of Manvith’s games appearing in print!



The local chess league season has kicked off and already Coventry Chess Academy members have enjoyed success! In the Birmingham & District Chess League, Manvith Sandhu was in action for Halesowen, facing an experienced ECF 155-graded opponent. Manvith outplayed his opponent with the Black pieces in the opening, won material after a tactical oversight from White and later converted the endgame comfortably for a good win for him and his team.

25 miles down the M42, Manvith’s good friend and clubmate Jude Shearsby was playing in the Kenilworth division 1 derby in the Leamington & District Chess League. His first game in the top flight this season was against a very tough opponent in the 171 ECF-graded Mike Donnelly, an International Master of correspondence chess and former 200 ECF+ player who is well-known in local chess circles for his highly informative website providing a wealth of chess resources ( Jude more than held his own in a complex struggle, and an impressed Mike was compelled to offer a draw in the endgame when he could not find any way to make progress.

Well done guys on two fine results and a great start to the season!



It was fantastic to see everyone today at a very well-attended and enjoyable FIRST Coventry Chess Academy session of 2019-2020! A very warm welcome to all our new members who joined us, we hope you enjoyed the experience and look forward to seeing you at future sessions! CCA Director Paul Lam reported on the successes of members over the summer and there was a huge round of applause👏👏👏 from everyone present. Teaching started and it was like a heartbeat hadn’t been missed. Group D got to grips with some tricky captures with Anuj Chitre among the star performers, spotting first what looked like a plausible capture and then superbly demonstrated the flaw in it to an impressed Asst. CCA Director Andy Ward. Groups C and B enjoyed ‘Roy on the rampage’ as the CCA’s favourite great-grandfather went through his crushing🔨 round 4 victory from the U1750 section at this year’s British Chess Championship in Torquay. The top groups explored the theme of ‘python chess’🐍 with Paul and there were some fabulous contributions from Billy Fellowes who quickly identified key pawn breaks in the test position, and other great suggestions from Aarav Agarwal, Ethan Vas, Olivia Chen and Henry Wood. Challenge matches were conducted in a great spirit and impressive silence score🤫 of 9.92/10 was achieved. Onto ‘fun time’ it was and the room was filled with chatter and laughter as members enjoyed their favourite variants again. Paul made the dubious decision to play a clock and blindfold simultaneous🙃 and paid the price as he ended up getting flagged by a delighted Oscar Sturc!

In other news, the UK Open Blitz qualifiers took place today. The CCA has its fair share of speedsters and a good number of them competed in the Birmingham qualifier. The event was an extremely strong one which featured the likes of Delancey UK Schools Chess Challenge Director and WFM Sarah Longson, WGM and newly-crowned English Women’s Chess Champion Katarzyna Toma and top seed IM Ameet Ghasi who has been a special guest at the CCA in the past. Ameet was unstoppable and romped to victory with a perfect 15/15!

It was a tough ask for the CCA members who were heavily outgraded on average, but they still produced some sparkling performances! There was a phenomenal result for eight-year-old Tom Junde He. He was one of the youngest and least experienced participants in the event but still scored 6/15 for a 1496 FIDE rating performance, beating some much older and higher-graded players in the process. Manvith Sandhu, fresh from representing England in the FIDE World Cadet Chess Championship in China, had to contend with a much faster time limit than he has been used to of late, but still scored 7/15 and gained 31 rating points. Finishing on the same number of points was good friend Silas Bowcott-Terry who performed far above his rating, holding Tom Brown (ECF 174 rapid) to a draw and defeating much older and higher-graded England junior Samia Sheikh and 1738-rated James Lee.

The story of the day was the sensational performance of Jude Shearsby, still aged nine. Jude went into full-blown Juggernaut mode and set the tournament alight🔥🔥🔥 with a series of massive upset victories. His victims included the likes of former Warwickshire Open Team captain Simon Smith, Birmingham League division 1 stalwart Phil Bull, England U13 superstar Edison Xu and Poland’s Wojcech Czaja (1931 FIDE). As round 14 started, Jude was sitting on board 9, on the same number of points as FM Harry Grieve and half a point ahead of Sarah Longson.😲 Just incredible! His final round came against a very familiar face and fellow England superstar – the one-and-only Finlay Bowcott-Terry. In a tremendous battle, Jude pushed Finlay to the brink, achieving a winning position, only for victory to fall out of his grasp and the older, higher-graded player eventually triumphing. It meant that Finlay finished on 9/15 and Jude on 8/15, both superb scores!

There was also consolation for Jude as he was the highest-placed player in his rating category, bagging a neat £50 prize. And in other news, he and clubmate Billy Fellowes have achieved the distinction of featuring in the local paper twice in the space of just two weeks! The Kenilworth Weekly has run a piece on the outstanding success achieved by both on behalf of Team England in recent international tournaments. Check it out below!

Well done to everyone for their performances and we look forward to seeing everyone at the next session for more chess and fun!



Delighted to report on a great event for two very popular Coventry Chess Academy personalities! The Leamington & District Chess League Jamboree took place tonight and once again proved a very popular warm-up event for the upcoming season. Teams of two entered from clubs spanning the League, with no pair allowed to exceed a combined ECF grade of 280. Representing Kenilworth Chess Club were our very own Jude ‘The Juggernaut’ Shearsby and Roy ‘The most energetic great-grandfather on the planet’ Watson! It proved to be an extremely enjoyable event with both achieving good results. Such is the progress which Jude has made that Roy found himself the lower-graded half of the pair, but still finished on a creditable 2.5/6 in his individual games and was unfortunate not to score more as he was winning his final round but lost on time. Jude scored a fantastic 4.5/6 and was a joint-winner of his section, including a win against the very talented and strong Ben Larkin and only losing to League Chairman and CCA coach/parent Ben Graff. Well done guys, what a fun evening!



We hope you’ve all had a great summer and are getting back into gear for the start of the new school term! Don’t forget that the Coventry Chess Academy resumes sessions THIS SATURDAY 7TH SEPTEMBER! We are VERY EXCITED to be back! Plenty of chess has taken place over summer, but there has also been time to rest, reflect and plan ahead for the coming academic year. With more exciting developments in the pipeline, hopefully 2019-2020 will prove to be the best year yet for our club and members!

In other news, we are delighted to report on more tournament success for our members. The Delancey UK Schools’ Chess Challenge Southern Challengers took place at the weekend, representing the last chance to qualify for the prestigious Terafinal. While the majority of members who qualified for the Challengers opted to play in the Northern event, two intrepid members made the trip down south at the weekend to play in its Southern sister event in Harrow, the double A-force of Aarnav and Aarav Agarwal. They finished on a very respectable 3/6 and 3.5/6 respectively in two super strong U8 fields.

Further up north, Vassily Sagyaman and Jude Shearsby, aged eight and nine years respectively, were doing battle in the Darnall and Handsworth Rapidplay in Sheffield. As usual, the opposition was overwhelming comprised of higher-graded adults. A special mention for Vassily’s dad, Francis, who was making a rare playing appearance and scored 2.5/6 in a strong Open section. Vassily played in the Minor (U110 ECF) section and, despite being heavily outgraded in many rounds, finished on a very creditable 2/6. Jude competed in the Major (U170 ECF) section and started like a train with an unbeaten 3/4. Although he fell short in the final two rounds, he still finished on a fine 3/6 and a 154 ECF grading performance against some strong opponents.

Well done to everyone on yet more great results and we look forward to seeing you all on Saturday when we resume sessions!




After eleven gruelling days in China, the FIDE World Cadet Chess Championship 2019 campaign of Team England and our one-and-only Manvith Sandhu has come to an end. It has been an extremely tough schedule with many long, hard games, but Manvith has acquitted himself excellently on his second appearance on behalf of his country and his first time travelling so far abroad to play chess at the international level. It was a whole new experience and no doubt a hugely beneficial one in terms of learning and development. Manvith’s final score was a very creditable 5.5/11 and, like his clubmate Billy Fellowes in Belarus, he was the HIGHEST-SCORING representative of Team England in the whole event!🥇

Many congratulations Manvith, you can hold your head up high after a great effort and a fine performance. We’re so proud of you!👏👏👏



Delighted to report on great news from round 8 of the World Cadet Chess Championship in Weifang, China, where Manvith Sandhu has been flying the flag for Team England! Today, Manvith faced a very strong and experienced opponent, the 1907 FIDE-rated Nejc Herega of Slovenia. Undaunted, Manvith strategically outplayed his opponent from the opening, establishing a very pleasant bind on the position. The opponent opted for a pawn break in an attempt to free his position, but it was tactically flawed and Manvith brought down the hammer🔨, wrapping up victory in only 26 moves to move past the 50% mark in the tournament. Just brilliant! His reward will be a clash against a 2028 FIDE-rated Candidate Master tomorrow. Congratulations Manvith on a terrific result and wishing you all the best for tomorrow, you can do it! 🙌




We’re delighted to report on more Coventry Chess Academy tournament success! The Northumbria International Congress took place from 23-27 August in Newcastle with a very strong Master’s section, headed by 2618-rated top seed Grandmaster Alexander Donchenko and numerous other titled players. Also making up the numbers in the Masters was CCA Director Paul Lam, playing in his first chess tournament in two years. He was the definition of ‘Mr Average’ as he performed almost exactly to his rating and finished in the exact position that his pre-tournament seeding would have predicted with a final score of 4/9. Former CCA coach Liam Dobson (now known as Dr Dobson!) celebrated the end of his PhD with a fine 5/9 in the Major (U1825 FIDE/U150 ECF) section. Pride of place however went to twelve-year-old Daniel Chen in the Challengers (U2050 FIDE/U180 ECF) section. Our Daniel was on terrific form as he scored 4.5/9 against some very strong opponents for a 162 ECF grading performance and will gain a massive 138 FIDE rating points. Wow! Well done Daniel, great stuff!

In other news, Manvith Sandhu currently stands on 2.5/6 in the World Cadet Chess Championships in China, having already faced some incredibly tough opponents for an U12 section, like his last opponent, 2033 FIDE-rated American Luke Ye. Today was a day off for the competitors, so Manvith and the rest of Team England have had a nice relaxing day full of leisure. It’s straight back into tough games tomorrow though with a seven round showdown against yet another player for the host nation. Wishing you the best Manvith, you’re doing yourself, club and country proud!



Those of you who read the Kenilworth Weekly might have seen some familiar faces appear between its pages this week! Our very own Jude Shearsby, Billy Fellowes, David Phillips, Coaches Roy Watson and Ben Graff, and Coventry Chess Academy Director Paul Lam all got a mention in a news piece focussing on the success of Kenilworth Chess Club members at the recent British Chess Championships, along with local chess legend Mark Page who has been a great supporter of the CCA. You can check it out below!

In other news, Manvith Sandhu continues to do club and country proud in the 2019 FIDE World Cadet Championship in Weifang, China. After losing his second round game, he showed how champions respond by bouncing back with a good win against a Latvian in round 3. Tomorrow, he takes on a very strong and well-known opponent, rising star Zhang Di of China. It should be a cracking contest! Well done Manvith and wishing you all the best for tomorrow’s round, you can do it! 🙌




We’re delighted to report on a winning start for Manvith Sandhu who is flying the flag for England in the FIDE World Cadet Chess Championship in Weifang, China! In round 1 of the U12s, he faced a local player, Wang Jiangbo. The Chinese chess explosion of the last two decades has seen the host nation rise to the status of bona fide chess superpower and it is not unusual to encounter unrated Chinese players who are in fact playing at a very high level⚠️. In fact, they have caused a number of upsets on paper already in the first round. Any fears of a potential banana skin in round 1 were not however realised in Manvith’s case as he comfortably outplayed his opponent with the Black pieces.😎 His reward will be a tougher assignment against a 1961 FIDE-rated American in round 2. Well done Manvith for a great start and wishing you the best for tomorrow’s round, you can do it! 🙌



We are delighted to report on more excellent results for Coventry Chess Academy members in tournament action over the weekend! There was a fine result for Jude Shearsby in his first tournament back following on from his heroics for England in Slovkia. Jude scored 2.5/5 in the Major section of the Manchester Summer Chess Congress facing higher-graded opponents in all rounds and was unlucky not to score even more points as he played some high-quality chess and was dominating many of his opponents. Not too far away in Oldham, the Northern Challengers of the Delancey UK Schools Chess Challenge was taking place. A large number of CCA members were competing by virtue of excellent results in the Gigafinal, aiming to take advantage of the final opportunity to qualify for the prestigious Terafinal. All CCA members competing did themselves proud and scored good points meaning that as a club we comfortably finished on a plus score for the event. In particular, Margarita Sanchez was the highest-placed girl in the U12 section and Manvith Sandhu the joint-highest-placed boy in the same section and also the joint section winner with an unbeaten 5/6. It means that both qualify for the Terafinal next month! Congratulations to both and to all members who competed at the weekend!

This is however only the prelude for Manvith to a very special occasion. Starting from tomorrow, Manvith becomes our THIRD England international of August as he travels to Weifang, China to fly the flag for his country in the FIDE World Cadet Championship! You can check out the England team for the event on the English Juniors website at Manvith will play in a ferociously strong U12 section boasting a 2311 FIDE-rated top seed😲 and no fewer than 17 players rated 2000+. We have full confidence however in Manvith, who is one of our club’s superstars and has risen swiftly through the ranks in the last few years to emerge as one of the best chess players his age in England.

Manvith, aged eleven, only completed primary school this year, but already has cut his teeth in Open sections, taking down 180+ ECF-graded opponents and facing his first titled opponents over-the-board this year, memorably squaring off with former Bobby Fischer conqueror, IM James Sherwin at the British Chess Championships earlier this month. Manvith has been one of the stars of the Hallfield School chess team, one of the best in the country, under the tutelage and mentorship of the one-and-only FIDE Master Nick Thomas. He is a two-time Terafinalist, twice a runner-up in the British Junior Chess Championship and a multiple Warwickshire Junior Chess Champion among many other achievements. He recently made his England debut, representing his country in the 2019 Glorney Cup🏆 in Ireland and will be looking to continue his excellent recent form in China.

Wishing you all the best for China, Manvith! We know you’re going to give it your best shot and do everyone proud. We’ll be cheering you on the whole way!🙌🙌🙌



The 2019 FIDE World Cadets Rapid & Blitz Chess Championship🌍has concluded in Minsk, Belarus, and what an event it has been for our new and latest international chess star Billy ‘The Kid’ Fellowes! Having performed brilliantly in yesterday’s rapidplay, he was massively excited for the Blitz today, a time limit which he simply loves. Blitz is great fun for all chess-playing kids (and even adults!) and the environment was bound to be more relaxed than yesterday’s rapidplay. However, this did not prevent Billy from producing the goods again!

As was the case yesterday, the field was terrifyingly strong for an U8 section, with the number 1 seed in the Blitz boasting a FIDE rating of 1825 (equivalent to an ECF grade of 153). Billy again faced a murderer’s row of strong and experienced juniors, mainly hailing from the chess heartlands of Eastern Europe. He finished on a fantastic 5.5/9 to finish 31st of 142 competitors. Moreover, Billy was the HIGHEST-PLACED representative of Team England as well as boasting the BEST RATING PERFORMANCE of any English player in the section. WOW!! Just brilliant!

Congratulations Billy on a simply magnificent performance, many miles away from home. If the international chess community didn’t know about you before, they sure do now and you’ve made nothing but a positive impression (except if you’re poor old team Russia who faced decimation at the hands of ‘The Kid’🤠 or the guy at the hotel who was desperate to use the computer but couldn’t interrupt a practice session😂). You’ve acquitted yourself amazingly at your first international chess event and we know you’ve loved your time there. Take a bow Billy, you’ve done yourself, club and country proud. 👏👏👏




It’s been an absolutely BRILLIANT two days in Belarus for Billy Fellowes! The Coventry Chess Academy’s little superstar, flying the flag for England, stood on 2.5/4 in the U8 section of the World Cadets Rapid Chess Championship after day 1 and day 2 brought five more rounds and the promise of more tough opponents. Billy however rose to the occasion in style. After drawing with the 1357-rated Maksim Volgin in round 5, ‘The Kid’🤠 went on an absolute tear🔥, beating strong FIDE-rated Russian opponents in rounds 6, 7 and 8, setting up a final round clash with yet another Russian, this time rated 1401. The blushes of the Eastern European nation and bona-fide chess giant were finally spared, as their man emerged victorious, but only after another great effort from Billy who, as always, gave it absolutely everything.

It means that Billy finished the 2019 World Cadets Rapid Chess Championship🌍 with a splendid 6/9. His final ranking was an outstanding 19 of 150 players from across the globe, the HIGHEST-PLACED ENGLAND PLAYER in the standings. Considering that his compatriots and fellow England superstars Patrick Damodaran and Kameron Grose were also competing, this is an amazing achievement! Billy did not even have an international rating entering this tournament, but his FIDE rating performance for was a phenomenal 1484.😲 We have another international superstar⭐️ on our hands, what a player!

Belarus hasn’t seen the last of Billy though. Tomorrow, the Blitz Championship starts and anyone who knows Billy well know that he absolutely LOVES blitz. Minsk will have one super-excited seven-year-old on its hands tonight! Wishing you all the best for tomorrow Billy and enjoy the occasion, we know you’re going to have so much fun! We’re so proud of you and what you have achieved. 👏🙌



Delighted to report on a brilliant first day in Belarus for Billy ‘The Kid’ Fellowes🤠 where he is flying the flag for England in the World Cadets Rapid & Blitz Chess Championship! In round 1 he faced the number 5 seed, a 1414-rated Russian. Billy was outplaying his opponent before dropping material, but went on to win on time! In round 2, it was an all-English clash with one of the best U9s in the country, the talented Kameron Grose. The younger player emerged victorious and Billy was now on 2/2. A draw followed against a strong Latvian opponent, leading to a round 4 clash with none other than the 1696-rated top seed from Ukraine! The stronger opponent eventually prevailed, but not after a great effort from Billy. It means that Billy currently stands on 2.5/4 after day 1, having faced highly-seeded FIDE-rated opponents in every single round. WOW, just WOW! Our little star has also had the opportunity to savour the sights of Minks and is having a great time, finding opportunities to practice and have some fun as well as the photos indicate!😂 Well done Billy, and wishing you the best of luck for rounds 5-9 tomorrow! You’re doing brilliantly and we’re so proud of you! 🙌🙌🙌



Did you manage to solve yesterday’s brainteaser? The answer is 19.Bg4! and, if the rook moves to b8 and a8, 20.Nxb7 wins material. Unfortunately for Roy’s opponent he chose an even worse response in 19…Rc7?? and after 20.Na4 found himself facing the loss of his queen. Ouch!

We are delighted to announce that the 3rd FIDE World Cadets & Blitz Chess Championship kicks off tomorrow in Minsk, Belarus, marking the international debut of our very own Billy ‘The Kid’ Fellowes!🤠 Billy will proudly fly the flag for England, becoming the second Coventry Chess Academy member to report for international duty this month, following on from Jude Shearsby’s recent heroics in Slovakia.

Billy, aged seven years, has been a CCA member since he was only five years old, and has risen to become one of the best chess players his age in the country, winning the London Junior Chess Championship last year against the best U8s in the country despite playing an age group above. More recently he qualified for his first UK Schools Chess Challenge Terafinal, winning his Gigafinal with a perfect 6/6, and scored 4/6 in his first British Chess Championships where once again he played an age group above.

As a pupil at Warwick Prep School, Billy has benefited from the sessions run by the best in the business – FIDE Master Nick Thomas. Billy is also a member of the excellent Kenilworth Chess Club where he regularly plays and beats adult opponents and was one of their team’s highest-scoring members in the Leamington & District Chess League last season. You can read more about Billy’s chess achievements and his upcoming trip to Belarus at the Warwick Prep School website at

As Billy’s sobriquet would indicate, he’s a real sharpshooter and no-one is safe against him! Check out the below position taken from a blitz game which Billy played against the CCA Director when he was only six years old. Can you find Billy’s eye-catching continuation😲 for White which nearly made Paul fall off his chair?

Wishing you all the best for Belarus, Billy! Enjoy what should be an amazing experience and we’ll be cheering you on every move of the way! 🙌🙌🙌



Amidst a treasure trove of brilliant performances from Coventry Chess Academy members at the 2019 British Chess Championships, there were some jewels to be found among our coaches as well! The standout performance from the older generation came from Roy Watson who rolled back the years to score 4/5 for second place in the U120 section of the Championship. He faced even tougher opponents in the FIDE-rated U1750 section and in round 4 faced a talented and higher-graded junior. On this occasion however, experienced trumped youth as ‘The Baddest Great-grandpa on the Planet’ outplayed his opponent positionally and then delivered a killer blow in the position below. Can you find Roy’s winning continuation for White which forces the win of material?

On the chess tournament front, we’re pleased to report on more fine showings from our members! The deadly duo of Manvith Sandhu and Daniel Chen, England team-mates in the recent Glorney Cup, were in action in the Open section of the Midlands Chess Championship at the weekend, which also served as a qualifier for the British Chess Championship Main Event next year. The section included two International Masters and one FIDE Master and for players aged eleven and twelve years respectively to be competing at this level is very impressive. Both of our guys showed why they belonged by scoring 2/5 each despite being outgraded in every game. Highlights included Daniel downing Midlands chess stalwart Dave Gostelow and Manvith outplaying former Warwickshire County Captain Simon Smith then ruthlessly finishing him in the endgame. Well done to both!




After nine epic, exhausting days in Slovakia, the European Youth Chess Championship campaign of our Team England star, Jude Shearsby, has come to an end. Once again, Jude was out-rated, this time against an opponent from Finland. Although the higher-rated payer prevailed on this occasion, it has been a magnificent showing in this tournament for Jude. He finished on a plus score of 5/9, facing higher-rated opponents in eight of the nine rounds and playing an age group above in the U10s (Jude is technically an U9!). Jude has gained a tonne of FIDE rating points from the event, but also more invaluable experience on the international stage against the best that Europe has to offer. Some brilliant chess has been played, but his sheer effort, fighting spirit and determination have also been on full display. Moreover, he has had a great time on and off the chessboard and friends from across the globe🌍 have been made; a nice reminder of how chess can bring people together.

Well done Jude, we’re so, so proud of you and what you have achieved! You’ve done yourself, club and country proud. Take a bow Jude, a hero’s homecoming awaits! 👏👏👏



How did you get on with yesterday’s brainteaser? David’s neat solution is 27…Nd3! as after 28.Bxf6 Black does not recapture the bishop but plays the neat intermezzo 28…Qb6! and White is forced to part with his queen to stave off mate. Nicely done!

Today’s puzzle comes from our very own Team England member, Jude Shearsby, who is currently battling on behalf of his country in the European Youth Chess Championships in Bratislava, Slovakia against the best chess players his age and a year older in Europe. In the below position from Jude’s sixth round game, his Polish opponent has just erred with 24…Bf3? As might be expected, Jude already knew what was coming up! Can you find his winning continuation for White?

Today saw the penultimate round of the European Youth Chess Championships take place and, for the seventh straight round, Jude faced a higher-rated opponent, Georgia’s Luka Kiladze (1766 FIDE). Of course, many of these participants, being juniors, are even stronger than their actual rating! It was another tough battle, lasting nearly 4 hours, with chances for both sides right up till the end. It is normal for tiredness to set in at this late stage of such a gruelling and intense tournament, but Jude’s heart is clearly still beating with all the force in the world as he achieved a very creditable draw against his strong opponent. Well done Jude, another great result which takes you to 5/8, and a guaranteed plus score for the tournament! Just one more to go now, wishing you all the best for the final round tomorrow! We’ll be cheering you on loudly as always, you can do it Jude!🙌🙌🙌 #ComeOnJude #TheresOnlyOneJudeShearsby #Superstar



We’re pleased to bring you another brainteaser courtesy of one of the Coventry Chess Academy’s superstars at the 2019 British Chess Championships in Torquay, David ‘The Comeback Kid’ Phillips. In the final round of the U16s Championship, he faced the undefeated tournament leader. Needing to win at all costs, David produced a positional masterclass crowned with a fine finish. Can you find his decisive continuation in the below position? Black to play.

Today, more good news came through from the European Youth Chess Championships in Slovakia for Jude Shearsby and Team England! Jude was paired with a strong Danish opponent, the sixth straight round in which he has been outrated. It was another difficult and complicated struggle, but Jude again showed admirable sang-froid in a position which would have made strong men feel weak, turning the tables on his opponent and agreeing a draw in a position in which he held all the trumps but one which was still extremely hairy. It means that Jude now stands on 4.5/7, surpassing his score for England last year in the same event, but with two rounds to go! Well done Jude, what you have already achieved is incredible and anything beyond this point is a bonus. We’ll be cheering you on through the final rounds, you can do it! 🙌



Did you manage to solve yesterday’s brainteasers? We hereby provide you with the solutions! In position 1, CCA Asst. Director Andy Ward found the fine queen sacrifice 30…Qh1+!! After 31.Kxh1 Nxf2+ Black won back the queen plus two pawns as the b2-pawn will also fall. In position 2, Imogen Dicen played the superb 16.b5!! cxb5 17.Nxb5! These consecutive pawn and knight sacrifices rip open the Black king’s position, leaving him at the mercy of White’s minor pieces. After 17…axb5 18.Rxb5+ Kc8 19.Qa6+ Kd7 20.Rd5+ Black was forced to jettison his queen.

We’re delighted to report on more fantastic news from the European Youth Chess Championships in Slovakia! Once again, Jude Shearsby has done himself and Team England proud with another terrific result! In round 6 today, he faced a Polish opponent, the fifth straight game in which he has been out-rated by over 200 points. Jude stood much better in the opening after an excellent, enterprising pawn sacrifice, but the tables turned after some inaccuracies and good play from his very strong opponent. Undaunted and showing his trademark determination, Jude found some brilliant tactical resources and fought his way back into the game. After a major error from his opponent, he pounced with a crisp combination, forcing the win of material and with it the game. Another fantastic display from Jude and a great result which takes him to 4/6! Well done Jude, you’re just awesome! Wishing you all the best for tomorrow’s round, you can do it!




Spectators at the 2019 British Chess Championships🇬🇧♟ in Torquay were treated to some sublime displays of chess over the course of ten days. The Coventry Chess Academy’s contingent of members and coaches contributed their fair share! We give you two brainteasers for today. The first is Black to play and comes from CCA Asst. Director Andy ‘Fire on’ Ward’s fourth round win in the Major Open. The second is White to play and comes from ‘Incredible’ Imogen Dicen’s fifth round win in the U14 Championship. Can you find their superb winning continuations?

In other news, we are delighted to report on the endeavours of Jude ‘The Juggernaut’ Shearsby who is flying the flag for England in the European Youth Chess Championships in Slovakia! Jude had a tough round 4 game yesterday, experiencing his first loss of the tournament against a very strong Serbian opponent. He faced an even higher-rated opponent today from Turkey and also had the Black pieces for the second game in a row. It looked grim early on after a tactical error left Jude in major trouble. Team-mates and coaches alike could easily have written the game off at this stage, but Jude had other ideas. Showing unbelievable fighting spirit and determination, he played simply BRILLIANTLY thereafter, fought back and managed to save the draw against his very strong opponent who played very well himself. Jude moves on to 3/5 in the U10s; lest we forget, he’s technically an U9! What a fighter, what a player!

Well done Jude, we’re so proud of you, you’re an absolute star!⭐️ Keep it up, you’re doing amazingly!



The 2019 British Chess Championships🇬🇧 in Torquay have come to an end. Congratulations to Grandmaster Mickey Adams who became British Champion for the seventh time (and presented a number of our members with their prizes!) and to International Master Jovanka Houska who became a nine-time British Women’s Champion. The full list of prize-winners is now up at and the Coventry Chess Academy took away an impressive haul, with the names of David Phillips, Daniel Chen, Manvith Sandhu, Jude Shearsby and Elis Dicen all appearing on the aforementioned Championship webpage, plus mentions for Coaches Roy Watson and Ben Graff. Congratulations once again to all of them along with each and every CCA member who competed over the last week and did themselves and our club proud.

In other news, Jude Shearsby took to the board today for round 3 of the European Youth Chess Championships. Some reports of the event are already coming through on the ECF Juniors website at Having won his first two rounds, Jude was up against a very strong Russian opponent. Despite being the underdog on paper, Jude manhandled his opponent in the opening and had him in major trouble throughout the game. Although his opponent managed to escape with a draw, once again Jude did Team England🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 proud, demonstrating why he belongs at this level and that even the strongest players in the field aren’t safe when they face him. Well done Jude and good luck for tomorrow’s round, we’ll be cheering you on every move of the way!




It’s been a memorable day for the Coventry Chess Academy’s intrepid members on the final day of the junior sections of the British Chess Championships! David ‘The Comeback Kid’ Phillips was quite simply brilliant in the final round of the U16s. Facing the undefeated tournament leader as Black, he played with power and precision to win and finish joint-second with 5/7. Imogen Dicen drew her final game of the U14s in what has been a tough tournament for her but one which has still featured some superb individual results and been a very useful learning experience moving forward. In the U12s, Manvith Sandhu produced yet another sparkling performance, capitalising on loose play from his opponent in the opening to win material and then calculating his way through the subsequent complications created by his opponent to effortlessly emerge on top, finishing on 5.5/7 for joint-second and cementing his standing as one of the best players of his age in the country. Once the U12s finished, Manvith’s treat was a fun afternoon playing in the rapidplay with his many friends. He took the scalps of a number of higher-graded opponents and had the pleasure of sharing the chessboard in round 4 with legendary American International James Sherwin who once beat the great former world chess champion Bobby Fischer (! The veteran was able to survive a sacrificial attack and prevail, but what an experience nevertheless for Manvith! (Post-note edit – Manvith scored 5/9 and won a rating prize! Well done Manvith!)

Olivia Chen gave her England national team opponent a fright in a tactical slugfest and while she couldn’t quite pull it off she still finishes on a creditable 3/7 in the U10s. Unfortunately, Rohan Pal found himself paired with Elis Dicen in an all-CCA final round clash. That they found themselves facing each other on the high boards in the final round is however testament to how well both have played in this tournament. It was a tremendous clash which showcased the very best of both players. Rohan won two pawns in the opening and was winning, but Elis never gave up, creating problem after problem for Rohan to solve. Rohan played very well to parry all of these, but a sacrifice in the spirit of Tal from Elis proved to be the game changer, provoking a decisive error from Rohan and leading to checkmate for Elis. It meant that Rohan finished on a fine 4/7 and Elis on 5/7. Not only did she finish in joint-third overall, she was the best girl in the section and was consequently crowned BRITISH U10 GIRLS CHAMPION, adding to her U9s title from last weekend. It means that Elis is now a FOUR-TIME British Chess Champion at the age of only eight years!😲 Well done Elis, simply amazing!! 👏👏👏

The icing on the cake was provided by Jude Shearsby despite being 1000 miles away. Having won his first round game for England in the European Youth Chess Championships in Slovakia, he found himself playing White against a much higher-rated Hungarian opponent in the second round. To Jude’s delight, he found himself playing on one of the live boards, meaning his friends and supporters back home could follow his progress. He was quite simply BRILLIANT, clinically outpointing his opponent and forcing his resignation with the Black king in the middle of the board facing checkmate, provoking cheers from an on-looking CCA Director and coaches. Check it out for yourself at Jude is now on a perfect 2/2 and will no doubt face another very strong opponent tomorrow. Well done Jude and good luck for tomorrow’s round, we know you can do it!

Congratulations to all of our members for their performances not just today but over the past week. It’s been a truly memorable time in Torquay with plenty of fun in the sun, basking on the beach, fantastic food, day trips, some amazing times with friends and family, and some simply sublime chess! We’re so, so proud of you all. Time to celebrate! 🍾



The Coventry Chess Academy’s British Championship contingent enjoyed a stunning day 8 in Torquay. Coach Ben Graff finished his campaign with 1.5/2 and was undefeated for the duration of both tournament sections which he played in. CCA Asst. Director Andy Ward won another fine attacking game to move to 4.5/7 in the Major Open. The star man among the coaches was however once again Roy Watson! On a run of 4 successive wins, he managed to produce a performance of such pristine perfection in today’s morning round of the U120 section that it surpassed even the ‘Watson Immortal’ of yesterday afternoon. Not a single error was committed, though that might have had more to do with the fact that his would-be opponent did not turn up and was defaulted! One can only surmise that he saw the pairings last night and was paralysed by fear at the prospect of facing a rampaging Roy! The consequence was that our man finished on an excellent 4/5 for joint-second and a handy share of the prize fund. Anyone who knows Roy well will of course know that it’s the GLORY which counts as opposed to the money! The great man’s fame has reached such proportions in Torquay that they even constructed a statue of him in recognition of his achievement. Check the photo out below if you don’t believe it!

As excellent as Roy’s performance was, even he had to bow down in awe at the sheer brilliance on display from the CCA’s members today. Daniel Chen completed his Championship with two comfortable draws against higher-graded adult opponents and might even have scored more as he enjoyed a favourable position in the afternoon game. Rohan Pal produced a great performance against fellow England player Mickey Maurus in the U10s. He countered Mickey’s optimistic flank attack with a thematic central pawn break, took control of the position and finished with a flourish! See if you can find his winning finish below, Black to play. There were also wins for Olivia Chen and Elis Dicen in the same section, the latter producing a miraculous comeback. In the U12s, Manvith Sandhu recovered from missing an opportunity in the opening and played a magnificent game for its remainder, finding some brilliant, profound strategic moves. David Phillips drew in the U16s to move to 4/6 and will face the tournament leader in the final round. Tomorrow will be the last day in action for all our members and we’re sure you’ll join us in wishing each and every one of them the very best of luck. Guys and girls, it’s been a magnificent tournament for you all, let’s do our best to finish on a high note!

To top off a great day, more fantastic news reached us from Slovakia where Jude Shearsby is flying the flag for England🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 in the European Youth Chess Championships. We are delighted to report that Jude won his first round game against his Greek opponent and will face a strong opponent from Hungary in round 2 tomorrow. It should be a terrific encounter! Well done Jude and good luck for tomorrow, you can do it!



We’ve enjoyed glorious sunshine☀️ all day in Torquay at the British Chess Championships and it rubbed off on Roy! Once again he won both his games, making it four on the trot for ‘The Baddest Great-grandpa on the Planet’, including an absolute demolition job in round 4 of the U1750 section which will be making its way to a CCA demo-board at some point. His good friend and fellow CCA sage, Bernard ‘The Artist’ Charnley, also had a fine day, spectacularly defeating a 2167 FIDE-rated opponent in the over 65s section.

Our members once again did themselves and us proud with their performances. Imogen Dicen bounced back from a tough two days with 1.5/2. Little sister Elis drew against two higher-graded and older England national team members, the talented Max Pert and Luca Buanne, in the U10 and U1750 sections. Olivia Chen won a piece early in the U10s and converted nicely, showing her understanding of simplification and managing to find some clever prophylactic moves in the process. Big brother Daniel enjoyed two good draws against higher-graded adult opponents in the U1900 and U2050 sections. Manvith Sandhu played a fine game against the 170 ECF-graded Aarnavh Trivedi in the U12s, holding the draw comfortably and standing much better at one point. Well done everyone, you’re all doing brilliantly! Keep it going, the finish line is within sight!

In other news, our very own Jude Shearsby has arrived safely in Slovakia for the European Schools Chess Championships where he will be representing TEAM ENGLAND🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 for the second time! Jude will playing an age group up in the U10s against the very best players in the world🌎 for this age category. The field boasts a top seed of 2236 FIDE (well over 200 ECF!😲), terrifying testament to the calibre of the tournament. Jude however has enjoyed a simply brilliant season in which he has gone from strength to strength and we have no doubt that he’s going to do himself and his country proud once again. Good luck Jude, we’re so proud of you! Enjoy what should be an amazing experience; we’ll be cheering you on every step of the way!



Sunny weather returned to the British Chess Championships today along with the playing form of the Coventry Chess Academy’s inimitable coach Roy Watson! He managed to win both of his games and finally got over his junior hump, managing his first win in Torquay against a member of the younger generation. There was also an excellent result for coach Bernard Charnley in the Senior Championships; managing to extract blood from a stone by winning what should have been a dead drawn opposite-coloured bishops ending. Coach Ben Graff finished on 1.5/2 for the day and is still unbeaten so far in Torquay.

There were some more sparkling results for members. Daniel Chen lost a pawn early on but enterprisingly engineered a crushing kingside attack for victory against a 154 ECF-graded opponent in the U1900 section. Can you find his game-changing continuation for Black in the position below? Elis Dicen also defeated a higher-rated opponent in the U1750 section, having earlier given the U10s top seed, the very talented Denis Dupuis, a good run for his money. In the same section, Rohan Pal moved to 3/4 with a very maturely-played win, winning one pawn, then another and then returning the pawns to transition into a trivially-won ending. Manvith Sandhu won his second game on the trot and also stands well-placed on 3/4 in the U12s. Olivia Chen bounced back well from a tough morning loss with a good win in the U100 section in the afternoon while David Phillips took down a 179 ECF-graded opponent in the U16s and now stands on 3/4 with the field still wide open.

Wishing everyone the best for the next round which will be a key one, you can all do it!




Today we had our first spot of rain since arriving in Torquay for the British Chess Championships and it reflected a miserable day for the Coventry Chess Academy’s coaches with two notable exceptions. Ben Graff achieved a won position after only six moves in the U1900 section while CCA Asst. Director Andy ‘Fire On’ Ward is now on 3/4 in the Major Open, winning a fine game featuring a lovely queen sacrifice to win back material with interest.

As might be expected, the CCA’s members put their elders to shame with some fine results. Daniel Chen showed how true champions respond by putting a tough day 4 behind him and playing some excellent chess to score 1.5/2. David Phillips also rebounded from yesterday’s reversal to win his third round game in the U16s. Manvith Sandhu won convincingly in the U12s while Rohan Pal drew with fellow England player Sanjit Kumar in the U10s, taking both to an unbeaten 2/3 in their respective sections. Recently-crowned British U9 Girls Champion Elis Dicen faced her male counterpart Theo Khoury in the U10s. The result was an eminently fair draw setting up a top board clash for her tomorrow. Elis also comfortably won her afternoon game in the U1750 section to cap a fine day 5 for her. It was a tougher day for big sister Imogen and Olivia Chen, but both have tremendous fighting spirit and no doubt they’ll bounce back.

Well done to everyone, you’re doing yourselves and our club proud! Here’s to a big day 6 tomorrow!



It’s been an action-packed day for the Coventry Chess Academy’s British Championship contingent! The coaches had a decent day with 1.5/2 for Josh, Andy and, in a very welcome arrival, Ben Graff. Bernard however lost to a strong opponent in round 1 of the Senior (Over 65 years) Championship. Roy scored another impressive attacking win as Black in the U120 morning section, but came unstuck against a talented ten-year-old in the U1750 section, making it 4.5/5 against adult opponents and 0/2 against junior opponents so far for the CCA’s favourite great-grandfather.

Onto the CCA members and there were more fantastic results achieved! Elis won her round 2 game in the U10s with a crushing rook sacrifice. She found her higher-graded adult opponent in the U1750 afternoon tournament a tougher nut to crack, but a great experience nevertheless. Rohan started well against fellow England player and the talented son of one of British chess’ biggest names, Max Pert, but ended up drifting and was staring defeat in the face. Rohan’s resourcefulness came to the fore though and when Max erred he pounced upon the sole saving resource in the position to hold the draw. Olivia suffered a surprise loss in the U10s, but recovered well in her afternoon game in the U100. She faced a higher-graded adult opponent aged 90 years old for what must be one of the biggest age gaps in a chess game ever, 82 to be precise!!! Both players had chances for a win before the game reached an ending in which Olivia’s knowledge of the opposition proved more than up to scratch for the purposes of holding the draw. Manvith enjoyed a good opening in the U12s but wasn’t quite able to find the best plan and settled for a solid draw. There have been a large number of upsets already in his section and the field remains wide open. David faced the top seed in the U16s, but lost a pawn early due to an uncharacteristic mistake and went down to defeat. Imogen had a good draw against WCM Anum Sheikh in the U14s, a game in which she was strategically worse and then the exchange down, but showed her battling qualities once again to hold the draw. She enjoyed a much more comfortable draw in the afternoon against 186 ECF-graded Chirag Guha to complete a fine day’s work for her.

Well done to everyone, wishing you all the best for tomorrow’s rounds!



The Coventry Chess Academy’s British Championship Odyssey continued with a very successful day 3! Coach Roy Watson won with another crushing attack as White in round 4 and drew his final round game to finish on a creditable 3.5/5 in the Yates tournament. Coach Josh Pink drew his round 2 game in the Major Open as did CCA Asst. Director Andy Ward in the same section. Veteran CCA coach Bernard ‘The Artist’ Charnley has made a welcome arrival in Torquay and established himself as neighbour to Paul and Roy for the tournament’s duration!

Onto the people who matter the most, the Coventry Chess Academy’s marvellous members! Once again, they were outstanding. Daniel Chen drew both his games against higher-graded adult opponents to finish on an unbeaten 3/5 in the Soanes tournament. Rohan Pal and Elis Dicen both won their first round games in the U10s section and Manvith Sandhu kicked off his U12s campaign with a draw. Comeback kid David Phillips steamrollered his first round opponent and will face a much tougher game tomorrow against the top seed in the U16s.

The CCA’s youngest participants were in action in the U8s Championship, held as a one-day event. Amraya Johal scored 2/6, Vassily Sagyaman 3/6 and Billy Fellowes 4/6. These were fantastic results for all three who were playing in their first ever British Chess Championship. Billy’s result was particularly outstanding as he had to play three of the tournament’s strongest players; giving a great account of himself with a brand of high-quality chess that put most of the adults in the U120 section to shame (Roy will testify that this is no exaggeration!). Amazingly, Billy is technically an U7 and will still be eligible for the U8s next year. A terrifying thought for would-be opponents!

The outstanding result of the day was achieved by ‘Incredible’ Imogen Dicen. She faced an exceptionally strong opponent in round 1 of the U14s, the mighty Jacob Yoon, graded 190 ECF, who is good enough to be simultaneously playing in the British Chess Championship Main Event in which he drew with International Master Malcolm Pein in round 1. Imogen wound up giving Jacob perhaps more trouble than Malcolm! Imogen was in some trouble out of the opening as her king ended up stranded in the centre and prospects of survival appeared grim. Jacob however failed to capitalise on his advantage and Imogen produced a superb fight-back, at one point having a very difficult-to-find winning combination available.A draw was eventually agreed in an endgame in which she enjoyed very much the better of proceedings despite being a pawn down due to the far superior activity of her king and rook. A tremendous performance from Imogen who showcased her trademark fighting spirit and determination!

Well done to everyone for their performances! Let’s keep it up!



‘Sensational’, ‘Spectacular’, ‘Magnificent’: Just some of the words we’ve spotted walking along the seafront in Torquay which perfectly sum up the performances of Coventry Chess Academy members today! In addition to the chess, we’ve enjoyed walking along the pier, hitting the beach and having lots of fun with friends and family!

Onto the chess and coach Roy Watson rebounded from yesterday’s dodgy start with two comfortable wins. In round 2 he faced a Mr Holliday, who is probably not having a very good one after being brutally put to the sword by Roy ‘The Resurgent’. However, en route to victory in that game, Roy overlooked an immediately crushing combination that little Olivia Chen was able to spot! Can you find the winning move for White? Coach Josh Pink drew with 204 ECF-graded Matthew Payne in the first round of the Major Open and deserved to win having been a clean pawn up.

In the Soanes tournament, Daniel Chen achieved two good draws against higher-graded adult opponents in which he had his moments. In the U11s, Rohan Pal finished on a fine 4/6, with his only losses having come to fellow England national team members in very long, tight, competitive games which could easily have gone his way. In the U9s, Vassily Sagyaman finished on a very creditable 2/6 in his first ever British Chess Championship in which he was playing an age group up. Shriya Sastry and Olivia Chen both had good tournaments and finished on a fantastic 3/6. Jude Shearsby had a great tournament, scoring 5/6 for joint-second and only losing to friend and clubmate Elis in round 4. Elis finished on 4.5/6 from a very tough draw, making her the joint-top scoring girl and was crowned BRITISH U9 GIRLS CHAMPION. Woohoo! At only eight years of age, she becomes a three-time British Chess Champion, a phenomenal achievement! To make the occasion even more special, both received their prizes from the reigning British Champion and a legend of UK chess, Grandmaster Mickey Adams.

Congratulations to each and every member who competed today. We’re so proud of you all! There’s still over a week of chess to go and we look forward to reporting on more good news soon!



It was a successful first day for the Coventry Chess Academy’s tournament warriors at the British Chess Championships in Torquay! Rohan Pal won his first two games in the U11s before facing fellow chess superstar Shlok Verma in round 3. Shlok emerged victorious, but was given plenty of problems by Rohan who played very well deep into the game and even stood better in the endgame at one point. In the U9s, Vassily Sagyaman and Olivia Chen have got off the mark and both stand on 1/3, having faced some very strong opponents. There are no weak links in a tournament of this calibre and a large number of the top seeds have already been upset. In round 3, Shriya Sastry, who is very new to our club but has already made a big impression, beat 10th seed Johan Mathew despite being seeded 42nd, a great result for her! Shriya’s only loss so far came in round 1 to our very own Jude Shearsby. Jude sits atop the tournament with a perfect 3/3 along with his good friend and clubmate Elis Dicen. Unfortunately, computerised pairings can be unforgiving and today the CCA’s deadly duo will have to face each other on top board. We wish them BOTH the very best of luck! The last CCA member standing was Daniel Chen who is currently playing in the Soanes tournament (equivalent to a Major section), fresh off his 3/5 score for England in the Glorney Cup. He faced a higher-graded and vastly experienced adult opponent in Stephen Williams and was struggling for most of the game, at one point being in a completely lost position. Daniel never gave up though and fought on through the difficulties. Eventually, inaccuracies from Stephen let him back into the game and Daniel completed the turnaround in emphatic fashion through the power of his passed queenside pawns, forcing the win of material and his opponent’s resignation just before 11pm, much to the delight of a tired, but very proud on-looking CCA Director! Daniel wasn’t quite the last man standing in the tournament hall at that point though. CCA coach Roy Watson’s game was still ongoing against a talented junior in the Yates tournament (equivalent to a Minor section). Roy stood better and then dead equal in the endgame before a major error led him to lose the opposition in a king and pawn ending and with it the game. Oops… Bad luck Roy, you’ll bounce back today!

Well done to all our members for their performances on day 1, what a start in Torquay! Wishing you all the very best for today’s round and the rest of the tournament!



Hot off the chess press, we’re delighted to officially announce our first TWO-TIME England🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 selectees! Next month, good friends Jude Shearsby and Manvith Sandhu will once again don the colours of team England abroad. Jude will be playing for England in the European Youth Chess Championship in Bratislava, Slovakia ( Later in the month, Manvith will represent his country in the World Cadets Championship in Weifang, China ( Just brilliant! Jude previously represented England in Riga, Latvia last year, the first CCA member to achieve this distinction, while Manvith recently made his England debut in the Glorney Cup in Ireland

August was already looking like a hotbed of chess activity, with the British Chess Championships still ongoing then and the CCA’s seven-year-old superstar Billy Fellowes making his international debut in Belarus. With Jude and Manvith joining him on overseas duty, the temperature has been ratcheted right up!🔥🔥🔥 The boys have enjoyed a breakout 2019 with some truly outstanding achievements registered on a frighteningly frequently basis. We’ve no doubt that they’ll do England proud once again.

There will be more for us to report on closer to the dates of these exciting events. No doubt the prospect of these will serve as fuel for Jude and Manvith as they battle in out over the board along with many other members in the British Chess Championships starting today. Hearty congratulations boys and wishing the best of luck, we’re so proud of you both!




The 2019 British Chess Championships kick off later today in Torquay! This is without a doubt one of the biggest and most important events on the UK chess calendar and we can’t wait! A large contingent of Coventry Chess Academy members, the biggest to date, will shortly converge on the popular seaside destination. They will be joined by CCA Director Paul Lam, who played in the Major Open and U14 Championship at the same venue all the way back in 2002. Asst. Director Andy Ward, Coaches Roy Watson, Bernard Charnley, Ben Graff and Josh Pink, and many more of our friends and supporters will all be there too playing in various Championship sections. You can check out the Championships website at 

We’re greatly looking forward to updating you on the progress of our superstars as they do battle over the board against the best players their age in the country. Last year was an outstanding year for our members; one which saw Rohan Pal crowned British U9 Chess Champion and Elis Dicen become a double British Girls Chess Champion in the U9s and U8s. We’re sure you’ll join us in wishing them and the many other members competing this year the very best of luck! We look forward to a week and a half of fun in the sun, chess success and more memorable moments to take away with us. Guys and girls, let’s do this! 😎☀️♟#CCAARMY



We’re delighted to report on Glorney Cup🏆 glory for our international chess superstars and Team England!🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 The tournament finished today and there were some splendid results. In the Stokes section of the tournament, Daniel Chen scored 3/5 on board 4 and Manvith Sandhu scored 2.5/5 on board 2, helping England to finish second, just behind the Dutch. In the Robinson section of the tournament, Finlay Bowcott-Terry finished on a perfect 5/5 on board 4, helping England to achieve first place in the rankings, ahead of France, Netherlands, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Wow! Just brilliant!

Congratulations to all three and to Team England! We’re so proud and pleased for you all!



The new ECF grades are now out! You can check out your grade online at There has been fantastic progress overall made by Coventry Chess Academy members! A large number have gained their first ever grade and many others have seen their grade increase, in many cases substantially. An impressive EIGHT CCA members are ranked in the TOP TEN boys or girls for their age in ENGLAND, with more being ranked in the top 20. Just fantastic! Well done to everyone!

In other news, it’s going well for Team England in the Glorney Cup in Ireland! There have been two draws for Manvith Sandhu and two wins apiece for Finlay Bowcott-Terry and Daniel Chen, with England leading the rankings currently. Good luck for the remaining rounds guys, keep it up! 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿



The Coventry Chess Academy may be on break now, but plenty of our members will be in tournament action over the summer holidays! We’re delighted to report on a fine showing for Jude Shearsby at the 22nd 4NCL Congress. After attending yesterday’s CCA Sixth Anniversary Celebrations and collecting his very well-deserved Player of the Year trophy, it was right back across the country for Jude to continue his tournament endeavours. It was a gruelling weekend, but he finished on 2.5/5 with a 154 ECF grading performance and a superb, clinical finish in his final round game. Well done Jude! Can you find his precise path to victory from the position below? White to play.

In other news, the terrific trio of Finlay Bowcott-Terry, Daniel Chen and Manvith Sandhu have touched down in Ireland for the start of the Glorney Cup 🏆 in which they will proudly fly the flag for England. Good luck boys and to team England! We’re cheering you on every move of the way! 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿




On #InternationalChessDay the sun was shining quite literally on the Coventry Chess Academy as we celebrated exactly SIX years to the day that we were founded with a good old-fashioned chess party! 🎂🎈🥤🏆🍕As expected, it was a very well-attended, fun-filled and enjoyable occasion, with 35 members and numerous coaches and parents joining in the celebrations. There was plenty of food and drink on offer and the Cajun chicken wraps went down a treat, as did the chocolate brownies kindly brought in by Billy Fellowes! Paul’s puzzle and the humorous chess quiz proved very popular and there were numerous submissions in the hope of winning one of the prizes on offer.

We were joined by a very special guest in the form of Coventry chess legend Li Wu who had flown in all the way from the Isle of Man for the occasion! Li is the strongest player (current FIDE rating 2332) produced by our city in recent years. He hit the chess headlines when, at the age of 10 he played against 12 fellow members of Nuneaton Chess Club in a simultaneous. He only lost one game and won all the rest. His outstanding performances in national competitions led him to be selected to play for England in the 2001 World Youth Chess Championships in which he led the competition until he was narrowly edged by a certain Sergey Karjakin! Li went on to represent England with distinction in numerous international competitions as a junior, with a highlight being the 2005 World Junior Championships in Belfort, France in which he scored 7.5/10. He was only 13 when he competed in the British Chess Championship main event, one of the youngest ever. Li reached FIDE Master-standard before he had even left school, but only played rarely after beginning a Maths degree at the University of Cambridge. He made a triumphant comeback last year in the London Chess Classic where, despite not having played tournament chess in years, he crushed Grandmaster Keith Arkell in only 24 moves.

Also in attendance was FIDE Master Nick Thomas, who of course has been a long-time friend and supporter of the CCA. Nick ran the Warwickshire Junior Chess Squad ‘dream team’ which were national county champions in the early 2000s and featured the likes of Li and CCA Director Paul Lam. He joined Li in delivering a tandem chess simultaneous in which they played against all members present. The strength of the two masters ultimately told on the majority of boards, but all members delivered a terrific effort and Li and Nick did not have everything go their way. There were well-earned draws for David Phillips, Billy, Jude Shearsby, Elis Dicen, Zain Amir, Ethan Vas and Keatan Patel and wins for Vassily Sagyaman and Imogen Dicen, with the latter hugely impressing Li and Nick with the quality of her play.

The winner of the chess quiz was Sahith Nallemeni who scored an impressive 11/13, correctly identifying that the ‘Joker’s Gambit’ is not really a thing and that Roy does not in fact own a dog called ‘Chess’ or a cat called ‘Checkmate’! Zain was the winner of Paul’s Puzzle, a tricky mate in two puzzle featuring a queen sacrifice.

The Best Newcomer award went to Olivia Chen in her absence, while Billy won the Most Improved Player Award and Henry Wood the Conduct Award. The joint-winners of the Services Award were Sahith and Siddharth Nallemeni and the winner of the Player of the Year Award for a second time was Jude. Jude has had an outstanding year, representing England in Latvia, becoming the CCA’s first ever Terafinal winner and London Junior Chess Champion, becoming the Midlands U12 Junior Chess Champion despite technically being an U9 and winning the English Youth Grand Prix for his age group, among many other superb achievements.

It’s been a simply amazing year for the CCA and its members, the best yet! Our first England selectees, our first British Junior Chess Champions, our first London Junior Chess Champions, Junior Chess Championships, a record number selected for the Warwickshire junior and senior chess teams, a record number winning prizes at junior and adult chess tournaments, a record number of Megafinalists, Gigafinalists and Terafinalists combined. Just records broken everywhere in sight! Huge thanks to all our friends, supporters, coaches, parents, Cheylesmore Community Centre and, above all, our amazing members without whom none of this would be possible. All of you continue to make fantastic progress with your chess and be outstanding ambassadors for our club. The name ‘Coventry Chess Academy’ is known across the country and whenever people speak of our club it’s always in glowing terms, whether it’s the quality of chess played by our members or the superb manner in which they conduct themselves. Well done everyone, we’re so proud of you. Have a great summer and may 2019/2020 prove to be the best year yet for us!



It’s the one which all members have been waiting for! This SATURDAY 20TH JULY the Coventry Chess Academy celebrates its sixth birthday and the final session of 2018/2019 with a good old fashioned CHESS PARTY! 🎂 Yes, on 20th July, exactly SIX years will have passed since the day that we first opened our doors.😲 Where did all that time go? It’s been another amazing year for our club and members, the best yet, and we have so much to celebrate! 🎈 Featuring plenty of food and drink 🍕🥤, fun activities, puzzles, a prize-giving, special mystery guests and, of course, lots of chess! You can’t miss it! We look forward to seeing as many members as possible at what should be a fun-filled and hugely enjoyable occasion! 😃 #ThereAintNoPartyLikeAChessClubParty




Delighted to report on more fantastic news from day 2 of the UK Schools Chess Challenge Northern Gigafinal! Rhea Pal, younger sister of Coventry Chess Academy superstar Rohan, has been making fantastic progress with her chess and is turning into a super player in her own right. She was playing in her first ever Gigafinal today as an U7 in a mixed U7/U8 section. Rhea was very unlucky to be given an extremely tough draw in which she played U8s in four of the six rounds, including the top seed Thisumi Jayawarna. Nevertheless, Rhea rose to the occasion and scored an excellent 3/6 which including two wins against graded opponents, despite being ungraded herself. Well done Rhea!

Playing in the same section was Olivia Chen (U8) who recovered from a round 2 setback in fine style. She won all her remaining games to finish on a fabulous 5/6, finish in joint-first place and qualify for the TERAFINAL, our fifth Terafinalist so far this year! Brilliant stuff! Big brother Daniel finished on 4/6 in the U12s and qualified for the Challengers, a fine result too. Well done to both!

Daniel of course was recently announced as part of the England team going to Ireland for the Glorney Cup later this month along with Manvith Sandhu and Finlay Bowcott-Terry. You can now check out a team profile on the English Chess Federation website featuring all three at




It was great to be back for another great Coventry Chess Academy session today! There was a hero’s welcome back and a big round of applause for all our Midlands Gigafinalists and England selectees, as well as a warm welcome back for a very popular member, the one-and-only Siddharth Nallemeni! Siddharth has been working admirably hard in preparation for important exams, but has been itching to get back to the CCA, where older brother and fellow CCA legend, Sahith, is also a keen member. It’s brilliant to have you back, Siddharth, we missed you lots and we just know your hard work is going to be rewarded!

In light of how well everyone performed on the ‘Checkmate Challenge’ last time round, we stepped up the difficulty level today, but some fantastic worksheets were still produced, with Siddharth and Rhea Pal impressing. There was a treat for the top groups as Manvith ‘Money’ Sandhu demonstrated one of his terrific wins from the recent ECF Schools Final along with CCA Director Paul Lam, leaving the audience impressed and educated in equal measure. Some great contributions were produced during the demonstration by Billy Fellowes, Zain Amir and Oscar Szturc among others.

Challenge matches were held in an excellent spirit and an impressive ‘Silence Score’ of 9.92/10 was achieved. Manvith gave a good account of himself against Paul. While the Director triumphed in the rapidplay and blitz games, he was very lucky to achieve a draw against Manvith in a thrilling bullet slugfest. In the below position, Paul, playing White, couldn’t resist sacrificing his queen with 17.dxc6 Rxd2 18.Re8+ Bf8 19.cxb7 Qb6 but then blundered with 20.b8-Q?? Can you see why White should lose after this seemingly natural move?

It caps another good week for Manvith on the chess front. Earlier in the week at school, he was announced as the winner of the inaugural ‘Hallfield School Chess Player of the Year’ award and was delighted to receive a splendid board trophy from his school coach and great friend of the CCA, FIDE Master Nick Thomas. Manvith leaves Hallfield School this year having led the chess team with distinction, and this honour is richly-deserved. Well done Manvith!

In other news, the Northern Gigafinal kicked off today in Manchester and we already have some excellent news for the double A Force of Aarav and Arnav Agarwal! In the U7 Boys section, Arnav scored a fantastic 4/6, thus qualifying for the Challengers. Big brother Aarav scored a brilliant 5/6 in the U8 Boys section for joint-second, with his only loss coming to section winner, the very strong Aayush Dewangan. He also qualifies for the Challengers next month. Brilliant stuff boys, we’re so proud of you! Wishing all of our members in action tomorrow the very best of luck!



We’re delighted to report on a new string of international selections! Later this month, the talented trio of Finlay Bowcott-Terry, Daniel Chen and Manvith Sandhu will all be heading off to Dublin, Ireland to represent ENGLAND in the prestigious GLORNEY CUP!🏆 The Glorney Cup has been running since 1949 and many future Grandmasters and chess stars have played in the event throughout its long and varied history. CCA Director Paul Lam himself represented England twice in the event, in 2003 and 2005 respectively. For a real blast from the past, check out page 7 for the 2005 report at

Solihull-based Daniel, formerly of Leicestershire, has previously cut his teeth playing for England in the 2018 European Schools Chess Championship. Meanwhile, Finlay and Manvith both play for the excellent Halesowen Chess Club in Birmingham. Additionally, Manvith attends Hallfield School, one of the best chess-playing schools in the country, under the leadership and tutelage of the very best in the business: Paul’s former chess coach, FIDE Master Nick Thomas. All three work extremely hard on their game and have ranked among the very best chess players their age in the country for some time now. This selection is just the latest in a glittering list of chess achievements.

Congratulations boys, we wish you the very best for the event and look forward to following your progress!



It’s been another MARVELLOUS day for the Coventry Chess Academy’s stars at the Delancey UK Schools Chess Challenge Midlands Gigafinal! Today it was the turn of older members and all our girls and they didn’t disappoint! In the U15-18s section, super prefect and a bona fide CCA legend, William Morris, was playing in his umpteenth Gigafinal. He scored a creditable 3/6 in a very tough section which boasted not one but two FIDE Masters. Finlay Bowcott-Terry finished on 3.5/6 in the U14 section and was unfortunate not to score more, as his insatiable winning spirit moved him to decline a draw offer in pursuit of victory in the final round. In the U12 section, Henry Wood lost his first two games, but finished like a train! He won every single one of his remaining games, including against an opponent graded 40 ECF points higher to finish on 4/6 and qualify for the Challengers! Well done Henry!

In the U11 Boys A group, Keatan Patel and Silas Bowcott-Terry both finished on a fine 4/6 to qualify for the Challengers. The same feat was achieved by Vincent Xia and Ethan Vas in U11 Boys B, a great showing for both. Manvith Sandhu finished second with 5/6 in the same section and was desperately close to winning outright, not losing a single game and showing some tremendous determination and fighting spirit. Including the games he played for school in the EPSCA and ECF finals, he scored 15/18 in a chess-filled week; a phenomenal performance! He of course qualifies for the Challengers and will be looking to gain a deserved Terafinal place from this.

Moving onto the girls, there was an excellent performance from Margarita Sanchez in the U11 Girls, finishing on 4.5/6 and qualifying for the Challengers. There were some outstanding performances in the U7 Girls from Diah Patel and Julia Kozhan. Diah scored a splendid 3/6 in her first Gigafinal, amazing herself and a very proud mum! Julia Kozhan was spirited and switched on, and was rewarded with a super score of 4/6, qualifying for the Challengers! The final word of the day goes to the one-and-only Elis Dicen. Elis completely swept the board (forgive the pun!) as she scored a perfect 6/6 to become a two-time Terafinalist like her good friend Jude Shearsby had the previous day, much to the delight of CCA Director Paul Lam who himself pulled off the trick back in 2001 and 2002 respectively. Well done Elis, what a superstar!

That wraps up an epic, exhausting, but thoroughly rewarding weekend for the CCA’s staff, parents and members! With qualification for the Terafinal being much stricter this year (now requiring you to finish in FIRST place), it was inevitable that we wouldn’t quite be able to match last year’s numbers, but the performance as a whole was no doubt stronger than last year. No CCA member finished on less than 2.5/6 over the weekend and considering that this stage represents roughly the top 10% of junior chess players in the country, this was a phenomenal achievement for our stars. Moreover, a number of our members who couldn’t join their friends today will be competing in the Northern Gigafinal next weekend and many more will also be competing in the Challengers in August which also offers an additional opportunity to qualify for the Terafinal, joining our fantastic four of Imogen, Jude, Billy and Elis. For now, let us celebrate a hugely successful weekend for our club and offer huge congratulations to each and every member who played this weekend. ‘Proud’ doesn’t do justice to how we feel!




It’s been a simply memorable day for Coventry Chess Academy members! We start off with a juicy appetiser from Friday. Once again, a large number of CCA members were in action for Hallfield School, this time in the ECF National Schools Team Tournament. There were fine results for Ethan Vas (3/5), Rohan Pal (3/5) and Zain Amir (4/5), but once again Manvith ‘Money’ Sandhu was the star performer. He scored a tremendous 4.5/5 against some very strong opponents, and had far the better of the only game he drew against the 160 ECF-graded Ethan Chung. Simply Manvithicent!

The main course arrived today with the start of the long-awaited Delancey UK Schools Chess Challenge Midlands Gigafinal! CCA Director Paul Lam and Asst. Director Andy Ward were both privileged to be in attendance helping to run the event. All the primary school boys were in action and they did not disappoint. In U10 Group A, Zain Amir was superb. He finished on 4.5/6, qualifying for the Challengers event and was even a bit unfortunate as he was winning against both highly-graded Jack Esiri and England national team member Kyal Shah in his sole loss and draw of the tournament. In U10 Group B, Felix Kuang finished on a very creditable 3/6 and Rohan Pal qualified for the Challengers with 4/6 as did Kanav Monga on 4.5/6.

In U9 Group B, the pre-tournament favourite and last year’s Terafinal winner for his age group, Jude Shearsby, suffered an unexpected reversal in round 3. With prospects of retaining his title looking grim, Jude went into fight-back mode. He won all his remaining games to finish on 5/6 and win the title again on tie-break, becoming a two-time Terafinalist. A fantastic achievement!

In U8 Group A, the ever-ebullient Gregory Kornilovich finished on a very pleasing 3/6 in his first ever Gigafinal. Fellow Gigafinal debutant Vassily Sagyaman finished on 4/6 and qualified for the Challengers! A fantastic result for Vassily, who was a little disappointed not to win his final round game in which was at point winning against a very strong opponent. Vassily, you’ve got nothing to be ashamed of, you did so well at your first Gigafinal! In U8 Group B, yet another Gigafinal debutant, Andrew Chen, demonstrated what a good player he has become by scoring 3/6. Well done Andrew, we told you already had your cake, you just needed to add some icing to it and that’s exactly what you did in the final round!

In the U7s, yet another Gigafinal debutant Benjy Rendall finished on 2.5/6. This is a tremendous achievement for Benjy who is very new to chess and one of the youngest CCA members participating in the tournament. You’ve come so far in a short time, Benjy, it only gets better from here! Two more first-time Gigafinalists, Adit Nahar and Sai Prajan Venkatesh, have already made great strides with his chess in the last year and it showed as both guys scored a 3/6 performance. Just ahead of them on 3.5/6 was Ezekiel Ho who finished the tournament on the heights of board 4. A great result for Ezekiel who has worked incredibly hard in training and shown terrific enthusiasm and commitment. The final word goes to the irreplaceable, irrepressible Billy ‘The Kid’ Fellowes. Billy, riding a wave of success on the back of yesterday’s stunning news of his impending international trip to Belarus, demonstrated just why he had qualified for such a prestigious honour. A super-focussed Billy was on top form and blitzed the rest of the field, scoring a perfect 6/6 to win the U7 Gigafinal and qualify for his first ever Terafinal, making a big impression on no less a person than UKSCC Director Sarah Longson herself!

Congratulations to our Terafinalists, Jude and Billy, Challengers and to each and every member who competed today. You did yourselves and our club credit and can be very proud of yourselves, we sure are! Can’t wait to see our older members and girls in action tomorrow, wishing them all the very best! Bring it on!




Hot off the chess press, we have some more brilliant news! The Coventry Chess Academy’s superstars have been lighting up the international chess scene of late.🔥🔥🔥 Last year Jude Shearsby became the first CCA member to be selected for his country, representing England with distinction in the European Youth Chess Championships in Latvia, while earlier this year Rohan Pal proudly made his England debut in the World Schools Chess Championships in Turkey. In August, Billy ‘The Kid’ Fellowes AKA ‘The Snitterfield Sharpshooter’, aged just seven years old, will become the third and youngest CCA member to step into the international arena as he travels to far-off Belarus 🇧🇾 for the WORLD CADETS RAPID AND BLITZ CHESS CHAMPIONSHIP to fly the flag for England! 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 You can read the full story at the following link: 

Billy, who has been coming to the CCA since he was only five years old, has grown into a club fixture and very popular member, while simultaneously rising through the ranks to become one of the very best chess players his age in the country. He is one of the stars of the Warwickshire Junior Chess Squad and the current London Junior Chess Champion and Northern Junior Chess Champion for his age group among other feats. He finished joint-third in his first ever adult chess tournament and holds the distinction of being the youngest person to play in the Leamington & District Chess League, in which he scored 3/4 for Kenilworth Chess Club this season against experienced adult opponents.

Congratulations Billy on a quite simply tremendous achievement! You’re a superstar and we’re so proud of you!




Delighted to report on more fantastic success for our members in tournament action! A large number took part in the EPSCA National Primary School Championship Finals which were held on Monday to Tuesday, representing the outstanding Hallfield School under the leadership of CCA legend FIDE Master Nick Thomas. The U9s finished fifth overall in a very strong field, with Rithvik Muthuvelu and Aaron Suthi doing the team proud, scoring 3/7 and 4/7 respectively. The U11s team comprised Manvith Sandhu, Rohan Pal, Kanav Monga, Zain Amir, Ethan Vas and Eshaan Pasha. They finished fourth overall in an extremely tough field. The star performer was Manvith who was simply outstanding on top board! He scored 5.5/7, with only a single loss against superstar CM Shreyas Royal, while enjoying a crushing win with the Black pieces over the very talented Luca Buanne and a lovely finish against Roshan Gurjar on the final day.

In other excellent news, the final results for the English Youth Chess Grand Prix are now out online at and they are spectacular! We have not just one, but TWO English Youth Champions in ‘Incredible’ Imogen Dicen (U14 girls) and Jude ‘The Juggernaut’ Shearsby (U9s). Just amazing! Huge congratulations to Imogen and Jude who, in addition to being extremely talented, are two of the most determined and hard-working individuals you could imagine.

Moreover, there were other outstanding results for our stars in the Grand Prix final rankings. For example, Billy Fellowes was fourth in the U8s, Manvith fourth in the U12s, Finlay Bowcott-Terry third in the U14s, Elis Dicen third in the U9 girls and Rohan second in the U10s. Well done to them all as well; all have helped to put our region firmly on the chess map through these excellent results.

Congratulations everyone! As a club, we couldn’t be prouder, you’re all amazing!




Good news comes in twos apparently! Hot off the chess press, we are delighted to report on a terrific triumph for our very own ‘Incredible’ Imogen Dicen! An unfortunate clash meant that Imogen had to abandon plans to defend her Midlands Ultima title next weekend and take to the capital this weekend to play in the London Gigafinal in a very strong U14 section. Battling it away from home, Imogen was quite simply outstanding! She finished on 4/6, finishing the tournament playing on top board, winning the Ultima title for best girl and once again qualifies for the Terafinal, becoming our FIRST TERAFINALIST OF 2019! Her best win came in round 4 when she defeated a 156 ECF-graded opponent in a mere 22 moves. Congratulations Imogen, we’re so proud of you!




Delighted to report on more success for Coventry Chess Academy members in tournament action close to home! A large number entered the Solihull Junior Open, the final leg of the 2018-2019 Warwickshire Junior Chess Grand Prix, with CCA Director Paul Lam and Asst. Director Andy Ward also in attendance. Once more there was plenty to celebrate!

In the U11 Group D, Sai Prajan Venkatesh, Vassily Sagyaman and Pavi Bhavanandan all won bronze medals; a wonderful moment for Pavi who medalled for the first time in a tournament! In the U11 Group C, Arnav Agarwal was taking a step up in class but made a statement as he finished on an outstanding 4/5, sharing first place with Rugved Shedbalkar who was playing in his first tournament but has already made a big impression since joining the CCA and is showing great promise.

In the U11 Group B, there were bronze medals for Olivia Chen and Rithvik Muthuvelu and in U11 Group A the same feat was achieved by Margarita Sanchez and Silas Bowcott-Terry. It was a very strong section with no fewer than three England national team members competing. One notable result in the section was Ethan Vas’ emphatic upset win in round 1 over the much higher-graded and experienced England international Zoha Ashraf. The outright winner of the section was the one-and-only Rohan Pal. He got the better of England teammate Kenneth Hobson in a time scramble in round 4 and drew his final round game against another England teammate Daniel Shek to finish on an unbeaten 4.5/5; a fantastic performance by Rohan!

There was only one CCA member competing in U18 Group B, Henry Wood, but he once again showed what a handy player he is by winning a bronze medal and drawing against the top seed. In U18 Group A, Finlay Bowcott-Terry was in a class of his own and lived up to his top seed billing by winning with a perfect 5/5. In between rounds, he even found the time for an entertaining blitz match against the CCA Director. The result was a finely balanced 3-3 draw!

A huge well done to all our members who competed today! It was a long, tiring and tough day at times, but more great experience for all concerned. Onwards and upwards!



It was another very well-attended and enjoyable session at the CCA, with blistering heat not being sufficient to deter enthusiastic members! Highlights included Vassily Sagyaman smashing the Checkmate Challenge with 100%, a masterclass on the demo-board on dealing with a speculative attack and the return of our Pacific Star, Eden Oshri! Eden, who is visiting from New Zealand, was delighted to see all his friends and the CCA coaches again as we all were too! He kindly brought in some lovely Kiwi treats to share with everyone and managed to take down CCA Director Paul Lam in handicap blitz thanks to some deft clock skills!

In other news, we are pleased to report on another fantastic milestone for Jude Shearsby! The Coventry Chess Academy’s irrepressible nine-year-old superstar entered the Open section for the first time at the CCF FIDE Rapidplay which featured the likes of FIDE Master (and former UK Schools Chess Challenge winner) Harry Grieve and at least four other former British Chess Championship Main Event competitors/qualifiers. As is almost always the case in these events, Jude was the youngest competitor by some distance and was heavily outgraded in every single game, but once again surpassed expectations by scoring an impressive 3.5/7 against some very tough opponents. Well done Jude, another great experience and performance!



Delighted to report on more tournament success for the Coventry Chess Academy’s deadly duo of Manvith ‘Money’ Sandhu and Jude ‘The Juggernaut’ Shearsby! After the success of his first appearance in an Open section at Newmarket recently, Manvith again entered the top section at the North Wales Congress, playing alongside the likes of Grandmaster Nigel Davies. Manvith once again produced a fine performance to finish on 2/5 (a point behind GM Davies), including a great win against a 173 ECF-graded opponent and gained a healthy chunk of FIDE rating points. A little further south, his good friend Jude was in action in the Major section at Bristol. Jude, who achieved an outstanding result in the Major at Hampstead last week, repeated the trick! He finished on 3.5/5 for joint-second, a 169 ECF grading performance and the Junior/Grading prize. Simply marvellous! Moreover, the conduct and quality of play from both guys left both onlookers and opponents deeply impressed, with some very kind words of praise offered.

Well done guys, terrific stuff, we’re so proud of you!




Pleased to report on more excellent news for the Coventry Chess Academy’s Jude Shearsby! Jude played in the Major (U1900 FIDE/160 ECF) section at Hampstead this weekend. Despite playing opponents who outgraded him in all bar one round, he produced a fine performance to score an unbeaten 4/5 and finish in joint-second (having led the tournament at one point) with a 159 ECF and 1830 FIDE rating performance, gaining a handy share of the prize money in the process. Nicely done! Well done Jude on a fantastic result!



Delighted to report on an amazing chess experience for two familiar faces! CCA parent and coach, Ben Graff, took time out of a very busy schedule to play in a simultaneous against Grandmaster, current English number 2 and all-time-British-chess-great, Matthew Sadler, and Women’s International Master, Natasha Regan. How strong was the simultaneous? One of the participants was IM-elect, the very talented James Jackson! Ben has previously defeated the likes of International Master Tania Sachdev in this kind of event (a game which featured on the Chessbase website!), but did not have his best showing against his formidable opponents. However, hours after Ben had gone home, one participant was still going strong, none other than our very own Jude Shearsby! His game went on till 11:15pm and although the deadly duo of Matthew and Natasha prevailed, they were left thoroughly impressed by Jude’s play. Jude also made a big impression in Matthew and Natasha’s fascinating lecture on their new book on AlphaZero’s chess strategies, as he identified the correct move in one of the positions posed to the audience! Just fantastic! Well done Jude!



Delighted to report on amazing news for CCA members representing Hallfield School in the EPSCA (English Primary School Chess Association) semi-finals at Pontins in ‘Sunny Prestatyn’, as famously coined by Coventrian poet Philip Larkin. A total of five Hallfield teams competed, led by FIDE Master and great friend of the CCA, the redoubtable Nick Thomas.

The results were, in a word, OUTSTANDING, as Hallfield demonstrated why they are quite simply one of the best chess-playing schools in the country, if not THE best. Hallfield’s U11 A team came first with outstanding performances from our fantastic four of Manvith Sandhu (6/6), Rohan Pal (5.5/6), Zain Amir (6/6) and Ethan Vas (4.5/6) playing on the top boards. The U9 A team came second, with Rithvik Muthuvelu scoring 2.5/6 against some very tough opponents on top board and Aaron Suthi scoring a fine 4.5/6 on third board. A special mention for Aaron’s big brother, Eshan, formerly a Hallfield pupil, who was a great manager and role model for the younger team members! The U11 and U9 B teams also finished fourth and sixth respectively, much to Nick’s delight. Our youngest member competing, Rhea Pal, is following in big brother Rohan’s footsteps and was greatly excited to be making her first appearance at Pontins. She showed what tremendous progress she is making by scoring a fantastic 4.5/6.

Congratulations to all the hardworking players and their inspirational coach on yet more amazing achievements, we’re so proud of you all!



Hot off the chess press, we’re delighted to report on excellent news for our very own Jude Shearsby in the popular Golders Green Rapidplay earlier today! Jude was the second-from-bottom seed and, having just turned nine years old, also the youngest competitor in a strong Major (U170 ECF) section, but made a mockery of the pre-tournament odds with a superb performance, scoring 3.5/6 for a 160 ECF grading performance – including beating and drawing with the second and top seeds – and also over 400 points above his current FIDE rating. Wow! Well done Jude, brilliant stuff!



Half-term was still in full swing as the weekend started, but it didn’t prevent another great turnout at the Coventry Chess Academy! The groups feasted on thematic checkmates, simplification and careful calculation. The irrepressible trio of Arnav Agarwal, Oscar Sturc and Sahith Nallemeni were in creative mood and were even inspired to create their own simplification puzzle! CCA superstar Rohan Pal took on Director Paul Lam in a 15+10 game and gave a great account of himself in a complex Sicilian Defence, playing more than one move which made the Director pause for thought.

In other news, we are delighted to report on more success for our Pacific Star, Eden Oshri! Eden recently played in the Auckland Chess Power tournament which featured many of the most talented NZ juniors in his age category, including some rated well above 1000 FIDE. Eden scored a fantastic 4.5/6, taking first place and was delighted to receive a handsome trophy named for the late NZ chess legend, IM Ortvin Sarapu. Well done Eden who will have some exciting news to report in due course…watch this space!

Meanwhile on home shores, there were two fine performances from members in action at the EACU Congress in Newmarket. Manvith ‘Money’ Sandhu, aged eleven years, made his first ever appearance in an Open section which featured the likes of Grandmaster Keith Arkell. He scored a win against a 181 ECF-graded/1945 FIDE-rated opponent en route to a score of 2/5, a very creditable result considering the strength of the opposition. One of the highlights was getting to face his first ever FIDE Master in a competitive game, the formidable Martin Walker. The stronger player prevailed on this occasion, but what a great experience for Manvith! In the U170 section, his good friend Jude ‘The Juggernaut’ Shearsby, recently-turned nine years old, scored 2.5/5 which included an impressive win against a 155 ECF-graded opponent in the final round. A great result for Jude who also continues to go from strength to strength. Well done guys, keep it up!





Just a gentle reminder that the Coventry Chess Academy is still on this Saturday despite half-term! We hope you’re all enjoying a nice, relaxing break and look forward to seeing you on Saturday if you can make it. If the week is moving along slowly for you, we hope that #WisecrackWednesday helps to speed it up!

In our last post, we included a puzzle which the amazing Billy ‘The Kid’ Fellowes, aged seven years, solved remarkably quickly, needing just a single-word-clue to see the winning idea in seconds(!!). That word was ‘deflection/diversion’. It wasn’t enough however to help some strong players who were all stumped! The winning continuation is 1.Qh7+ Ke6 2.f5+ Kd5 3.Qg8+!! Qxg8 4.Kd3! and mate with c4 on the next move is unstoppable.

On the 6th May, we posted a photo of two enigmatic chess superstars together, inviting you to guess who they were. A few people worked out at least one of them, but no-one identified both of them correctly! The answer is that they were none other than Grandmaster Hou Yifan, four-time Women’s World Chess Champion, and our very own Elis Dicen, double British Girl’s Chess Champion!

In other news, another of our members has been unexpectedly spotted in public! William Morris has been an outstanding member, prefect and past winner of the award for services to the CCA and continues to make a fantastic contribution to our club. Fame clearly travels fast in our city, to the extent that Will’s name now features prominently in a bustling Coventry city centre! Check it out if you don’t believe it!

On a related note, plans for the golden statue of Coach Roy Watson are currently on hold while planning permission is sought from the city council, but we hope that the bronze prototype of the great man in his prime will be enough to whet your appetite for the time being!




Half-term may have started, but it didn’t hold back another very well-attended and fun-filled Coventry Chess Academy session yesterday. Our Megafinalists received a hero’s welcome back and a warm round of applause from all present!

Members were treated to a replay of the titanic recent clash between CCA coaches Roy ‘The Boy’ Watson and Bernard ‘The Artist’ Charnley, with a special appearance from a very sporting Artist to present his side of the story, and gained fascinating insight into the psychology of blunders. Meanwhile, Groups C and D responded brilliantly to today’s theme of the weak back rank, with Philip Charlton, Vassily Sagyaman, Stephanie Melkonyan and Andrew Chen among those impressing CCA Director Paul Lam with their contributions.

As an extra treat, Bernard brought with him a fiendishly tricky puzzle which had left the likes of honorary Grandmaster and multiple British Chess Champion, Jonathan Penrose, stumped. Not Billy ‘The Kid’ Fellowes though! A single one-word clue was all that the CCA’s seven-year-old superstar needed to see the solution in seconds, leaving Bernard gobsmacked. The Director was then brave (or foolish) enough to take on Billy and good friend Jude in time handicap ‘double trouble’. He eventually prevailed against a valiant Billy, but not before having to sweat. Jude was still holding his own in a rook ending by the time the session ended, and an honourable draw was hastily agreed.

We leave you with Bernard’s brainteaser. Can you, like Billy, find the solution? White to play and win.





It has been a simply memorable day for Coventry Chess Academy members! Our very own Rohan Pal, who recently produced a superb performance in the Major section of the Golders Green Rapidplay, repeated the trick in the Crewe Rapidplay! He finished with 4/7 and a 150 ECF grading performance, drawing with and defeating some very tough opponents. Well done Rohan!

Closer to home, many of Rohan’s friends and clubmates were in action in the Warwickshire Megafinal of the Delancy U Schools’ Chess Challenge! This event is one of the biggest on the local junior chess circuit and had been eagerly awaited by all our members who had played so well to qualify for it. In attendance were CCA Director Paul Lam, Asst. Director Andy Ward and Coach Roy Watson who were all helping to run the tournament and offer members guidance and encouragement, as well as unsung CCA hero FIDE Master Nick Thomas.

The results were, in a word, OUTSTANDING!! In the U7s, Benjy Rendall scored 3.5/6! Benjy is very new to chess and joined our club just six months ago but has demonstrated superb commitment, bags of enthusiasm and tremendous improvement, resulting in qualification for his first ever Gigafinal. The same fabulous feat was achieved by Adit Nahar, also playing in his first chess tournament beyond the CCA’s doors. Sai Prajan Venkatesh and Ezekiel Ho showed that their high-placing in our qualifier was no fluke as both scored an excellent 4/6 to qualify for the Gigafinal. The last word goes to Arnav ‘A Force’ Agarwal. He shared first place with prodigious Amitesh Purushothoman on 5.5/6 and gaining the title of Supremo!

In the U8s there was joy for Andrew Chen who qualified for his first Gigafinal with 3.5/6. On 4/6 was Vassily Mikhail Sagyaman, who narrowly missed out at Worcestershire last weekend, but bounced back like a true champion to make it through to the next stage of the competition! Sharing 4.5/6 were the irrepressible Gregory Kornilovich and Aarav ‘A Force’ Agarwal who both performed brilliantly, with Aarav being very unlucky to miss out on the title of Supremo. His only loss came to clubmate Elis Dicen, who scored an imperious 6/6 to be crowned Suprema! Wow!

In the U9s, there was a very creditable performance from Isaac Pratt in his first Megafinal, scoring 3/6. Top of the group was our very own Jude Shearsby. Jude lived up to his ‘juggernaut’ moniker by taking down the section with another perfect 6/6 score! Just awesome!

In the U10s, Felix Kuang once again made the Gigafinal with a fine 4/6, with one of his only losses coming to schoolfriend, the very talented Kanav Monga who won with yet another perfect 6/6 score!

In the U11s, good friends Keatan Patel and Vincent Xia had a mid-rounds setback, but responded admirably under pressure. With both needing to win their final round games to qualify for the Gigafinal, they pulled off the feat; fantastic determination and resilience from both guys! Ziyuan Yi is a relatively newcomer to the club, but has already made a big impression in a short space of time. He also managed to score 3.5/6 and deservedly qualify for the Gigafinal. Silas Bowcott-Terry made it through too on an excellent 4.5/6 and so did Margarita Sanchez who was second with 5/6 and was crowned Suprema! An outstanding performance from Margarita! Her only loss was to clubmate and overall section winner, Manvith Sandhu who stood atop with 5.5/6, a very deserving Supremo again!

In the U12 section, we just had one entrant, but he sure made it count! Henry Wood went into the final round needing a draw to qualify. Well, he didn’t…he went one better and won his game to finish on 4/6 and qualify for his first Gigafinal! Well done Henry!

In the U13-14s, Sahith Nallemeni narrowly missed qualification for the Gigafinal, but scored a very creditable 3/6 in a section featuring the likes of our very own Imogen Dicen, Suprema with 4/6, and Finlay Bowcott-Terry, Supremo with another perfect 6/6!

The last word goes to William Morris, the CCA’s oldest entrant who has been a loyal member since he was still in primary school and now a greatly-valued prefect and a superb example to our younger members. Under the watchful eyes of CCA Director Paul Lam, who was running his section, Will scored 3.5/6 to qualify for the Gigafinal for what must be the fourth time (even we’ve lost count!).

So, to date we now have 36, yes THIRTY SIX, GIGAFINALISTS! A new CCA record and we couldn’t be prouder of all of our members who competed today. This was the first tournament beyond the CCA’s doors for many of them and they acquitted themselves outstandingly, shining in both their play and conduct. Well done everyone, bring on the Gigafinal in July!!




Some fantastic news for Manvith Sandhu who has been announced as the winner of the 2019 W. Ritson-Morry Trophy, named for the late Midlands chess legend. Manvith joins the likes of clubmate Finlay Bowcott-Terry on the trophy which is awarded every year to a junior in the Birmingham & District Chess League (BDCL) on account of outstanding achievements in chess!

Manvith has performed brilliantly for Halesowen in the BDCL this season and is the current Warwickshire Chess Champion for his age, top board for the Warwickshire EPSCA squad and a regular in the county’s junior and senior 4NCL teams. He finished second in last year’s British U11 Chess Championship, was a UK Schools Chess Challenge Terafinalist and was recently selected for the EPSCA England U11 squad, among other accolades. Congratulations to Manvith, a very worthy winner!



It’s been a glorious day for Coventry Chess Academy members in action today! The Warwickshire Megafinal is still a week away, but a number of members have already competed in other regional Megafinals and gained the title of Supremo (top boy) and Suprema (top girl)!

Today saw a number of members compete in the Worcestershire Megafinal. The results were quite simply OUTSTANDING! In the U12-13 section, Eshan Suthi was the U12 scored an excellent 4.5/6, which included defeating the top seed who was a year older. Ethan Vas was outstanding in the U11 section, only losing one game to talented England player Tashika Arora, and was crowned Supremo with the same score. Zain Amir was a man on fire in the U10 section as he won with a perfect 6/6! A terrific result for Zain who has made impressive progress over the last year and continues to grow as a player. The U9 section outright winner and Supremo was Rithvik Muthuvelu with a superb 5/6; the only game he lost was to clubmate Aaron Suthi who scored 4/6 and also qualifies for the Gigafinal. The last word went to our youngest competitors in the competition, Billy Fellowes and Julia Kozhan who were playing in the U7 section. Julia was the top-placed girl with 3/6, becoming a Suprema for the first time, a fantastic achievement. Billy ‘The Kid’ blew away the competition and was crowned a two-time Supremo with a perfect 6/6!

A wonderful day in Worcestershire was then complemented quite appropriately with delight in Derbyshire for two more of our members! Olivia Chen was crowned U8 Suprema with a splendid 5/6 despite having to play a number of children up to two age categories higher! Big brother Daniel also played in a combined age section and also delivered a terrific performance. His only loss came to the 178 ECF-graded number 1 seed, Armaan Gogia. Furthermore he scored a terrific win against 168 ECF-graded England player Anita Somton, finishing on 5/6 and taking the title of Supremo. Wow!

Congratulations to all our Supremos, Supremas, Gigafinal qualifiers and each and every member who played today, we’re so proud of you all! Bring on the Warwickshire Megafinal next weekend!