Very pleased to report on the chess endeavours of one of our overseas members! After last year’s Gigafinal, we were sad to say goodbye to Eden Oshri as he and his family moved to New Zealand. We are however delighted that Eden has been able to keep up his passion for chess since making the 10,000+ mile trip to the Pacific region! With Skype lessons from CCA Director Paul Lam, regular participation in tournaments and membership of both Chess Power (a NZ-wide organization that organizes regular chess tournaments for children) and the Auckland Chess Club (ACC), Eden’s chess has gone from strength to strength!
In NZ, junior tournaments are for all children under age of 20 years, rather than division into age groups as is common i the UK. There are usually medals for ‘best U10, U12 etc’ based on tournament results but since there is no distinction between age groups, Eden has often had to play opponents who are much older and graded much higher, which is tough but a great experience for him. Lately Eden has been challenging himself to play against much stronger opponents, and started playing standardplay tournament games. Twice he received the ‘best under-10’ medal, and in his chess group he gained the best result in the end of the year exam. Wow! Just fantastic!
Well done Eden! We’re so proud of what you are achieving in NZ in CCA colours!
It was fantastic to see everyone again at the first Coventry Chess Academy session of 2019! With 40 members in attendance, it was an incredibly busy but hugely enjoyable session which saw some super worksheets produced, lots of great contributions during demo-board analysis and plenty of high quality chess being played during challenge matches despite the long Christmas break. 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!
A number of members did battle in the Leicester Junior Congress at the weekend and achieved some fine results. In the Minor section, Arnav Agarwal scored a very creditable 3/6. Arnav’s big brother, Aarav, scored 2/6 in a strong Major section, Margarita Sanchez scored 3.5/6 and Zain Amir scored 5/6 for joint-second place, winning a gold medal and ending the day as the CCA’s ‘big hitter’. Congratulations to everyone!
Meanwhile, all the way down in Bedford on Saturday there were not one but two CCA members playing for Warwickshire Select 2 against Shropshire 2 in the 4NCL, the full adult version of the British national chess league. Kanav Monga made his Warwickshire Select senior team debut on board 6 and went down to a 1900+ rated opponent, but no doubt found it a great learning experience. Sitting next to him on board 5 was Manvith Sandhu. Opposite him sat the experienced figure of Phil Bull, graded 167 ECF. In a turnaround for the books, Manvith played brilliantly and spectacularly upset Phil for his best win to date, ensuring that Warwickshire Select 2 won by the narrowest margin of 3.5-2.5. WOW! Just amazing! Phil’s sporting comments after the game: ‘You played more like an 180’
On Sunday, Manvith was very unfortunate not to repeat Saturday’s heroics as he played another fine game and was winning, but ended up falling short in the endgame. Kanav chalked up his first win in Warwickshire Select 2 colours, defeating Leamington League stalwart Steve Rumsby. Playing two divisions up, CCA superstar David Phillips scored a fine win for Warwickshire Select 1, not long-removed from drawing a local league game against his own Warwickshire Select team captain, the formidable Mark Page, concluding a very successful weekend for the CCA tournament warriors.
A friendly reminder that the Coventry Chess Academy resumes sessions THIS SATURDAY 12TH JANUARY. We are VERY excited to be back! With lots of exciting activities, events and other developments coming up, we can’t wait to see what 2019 holds for our club and members. Looking forward to seeing everyone again on Saturday!
Delighted to report on a great start to 2019 for Coventry Chess Academy members! Manvith Sandhu, Rohan Pal, Kanav Monga and Jude Shearsby all attended the latest ECF Academy training weekend. Gaining a place in the ECF Academy is a fine achievement in its own right and many of England’s other leading junior players were also in attendance. All the boys had an excellent weekend and thoroughly enjoyed the coaching on offer from some of England’s leading chess masters. The Blitz tournament held on Saturday evening proved extremely popular and, with a 2000 FIDE/179 ECF graded top seed and scores of other top-ranking English juniors, it was a talent-laden field. The CCA contingent scored very well as Kanav finished on 3/7 while Jude and Manvith both finished 4/7, defeating some notable opponents in the process. The CCA’s ‘big hitter’ was Rohan who finished on an excellent 5/7 for joint-fourth place, the youngest player in the whole event to score 5 or more points.
Great stuff, congratulations to all our members!
A very Happy Belated New Year 🎉🎆🥂 to all from the Coventry Chess Academy! We wave goodbye to a 2️⃣0️⃣1️⃣8️⃣ which brought us so many highlights, including:
-RECORD numbers selected to play for the Warwickshire Junior Chess Squad, the Warwickshire Senior Chess Squad, in the J4NCL and 4NCL
-YOUNGEST winner in Leamington & District Chess League history
-THIRTY ONE UK Schools Chess Challenge Gigafinalists
-NINE UK Schools Chess Challenge Terafinalists
-SIX winners of the Warwickshire Junior Chess Grand Prix
-FIVE members ranked in the top 10 players in England for their age
-FOUR Warwickshire Junior Chess Champions
-TWO Midlands Junior Chess Champions
-FIRST TWO competitors in the English Women’s Chess Championship
-FIRST TWO London Junior Chess Champions
-FIRST TWO British Junior Chess Champions
-FIRST UK Schools Chess Challenge Terafinal Winner
-FIRST member representing the England National Team
As you can see, it was a truly memorable year for our club and amazing members! Let us hope 2️⃣0️⃣1️⃣9️⃣ proves to be just as good! Wishing you all the best and here’s to a prosperous New Year on and off the chessboard!
Delighted to round off a fabulous 2018 for the Coventry Chess Academy with news of yet MORE amazing performances from our members! Following on from Jude Shearsby’s triumph in the U10 section of the London Junior Chess Championship and other splendid performances in the same tournament earlier this month, 28-30 December saw the U12 and U8 Championships take place at the same venue, the University of Westminister.
Zain Amir competed in the U12 Minor and scored a very creditable 4.5/9. More great experience for Zain to follow on from his very successful LJCC debut in the U10 Minor earlier this month. Kanav Monga, technically an U10, competed in the U12 Major and scored 4.5/9 which included two superb wins against much higher-graded opponents. Rohan Pal finished on 5/9, a very good result considering that he also entered as an U10 and had to play some very tough opponents indeed. The CCA’s ‘big hitter’ in the section was Manvith Sandhu who scored a fantastic 6/9 including fine draws against much higher-graded England team members and the top seed, the 166 ECF-graded James Merriman who pulled out all the stops in the final round but couldn’t break Manvith’s resistance. To add icing to the cake, Manvith was also the joint-first U11 player within the section. Brilliant stuff!
In the U8 section there was another fine performance from a CCA member as Olivia Chen scored an excellent 4.5/7. Well done Olivia, who has not been a member for long, but is already well and truly part of the CCA family, there are surely more great results to come!
The final word of the day goes to Billy Fellowes, the CCA’s youngest competitor in the LJCC this year. Billy was playing in the U8 section despite technically being an U7 and it promised to be great experience for him before playing as a full U8 next year. What transpired was nothing short of remarkable! The very BEST U8 players in the country were in action, including little superstars like Patrick Damodaran and Soham Kumar, both incredible talents in their own right. In seven rounds Billy was matched as tough as it gets. He faced the number 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 12 and 15 seeds (!). In what will go down as one of the greatest performances in CCA history (no hyperbole!), Billy scored an undefeated 6.5/7, taking outright first place (and picking up the U7 championship trophy as well for good measure)! JUST AMAZING!! 😮 Billy officially joins his good friend Jude as the second London Junior Chess Champion in CCA history! CONGRATULATIONS Billy, what a star! ⭐️
Well done to each and every member who competed over three gruelling days and gave it everything. We’re so proud of you all!
We are delighted to report on the overseas chess endeavours of one of the Coventry Chess Academy’s brightest young stars! Manvith Sandhu who is currently holidaying in India has become a local media sensation on account of his chess achievements in the UK. Manvith was invited to take part in a ‘Giraffe Chess’ tournament. This is a special form of chess invented in Proddatur, the home city of Manvith’s dad Ravi. In Giraffe Chess, both sides additionally have 2 giraffes (moving like elongated knights), stalemate is a win, ‘crowning’ is a win (if king reaches the opponent’s giraffe squares even if it’s in check) and every 50 moves a piece should be captured.
Despite having only 5 days to learn Giraffe Chess and adjust to its rules, Manvith took to the board with aplomb and was crowned the first International Giraffe Chess Championship winner! You can watch an interview with him on the following link where he talks about his achievement. Just fantastic! Congratulations Manvith, we’re so proud of you!
Elsewhere in the capital, one of the UK’s most prestigious junior tournaments was taking place. The London Junior Chess Championships has been running since 1924 and every year we get to watch the cream of the UK junior chess crop in action in a gruelling 7 round standardplay event. Among the interested attendees was CCA Director Paul Lam who came down to support the CCA members participating. Zain Amir scored 5/7 in the U10 Minor Section, an excellent result, particularly considering that this was Zain’s first time at the LJCC. The Major Section was a very strong event with 121 participants, all of whom had qualified, including some of the most talented U10 chess players in the country. Kanav Monga finished on a fantastic 5/7 and was unbeaten during the tournament, which included fighting draws with two England national team members. Rohan Pal finished on a brilliant 5.5/7 in the same section for joint second place, demonstrated his trademark fighting spirit and clinical, mature play. The final CCA member playing in the section was Jude Shearsby who started the tournament as the 23rd seed. After six rounds, Jude stood on 5.5/6 as did his good friend and fellow England team member, the very talented Denis Dupuis. Inevitably, they met in the final round. After a hard-fought game which went on for over 2 hours and right down to the wire, the result was a draw, with Jude edging the tie-break to be crowned the U10 London Junior Chess Champion, the first ever from the CCA! Simultaneously, Jude won the U9 trophy and a handsome winner’s cheque. The organisers commented that it marked the first time in recent memory that an 8 year old had won the U10 section! An AMAZING achievement!
Congratulations to all of our members who competed this weekend! What a group of stars! We’re so proud of you all!
Delighted to share some wonderful news of a fantastic experience for a Coventry Chess Academy member! Elis Dicen attended a London Chess Classic masterclass with training offered by some of the UK’s top grandmasters. Elis was in a group run by GM Peter Wells and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Additionally, some of the biggest names in chess were in attendance due to the LCC Pro Business Cup, which included GM Fabiano Caruana, fresh off his tight World Championship match with Magnus Carlsen, and the legendary former World Chess Champion, Garry Kasparov! A simply amazing and very well-deserved experience, congratulations Elis!
No sooner had the dust settled in the aftermath of an epic Coventry Chess Academy Christmas Party that splendid news reached us of more super performances from CCA members! ‘King’ Kanav Monga, playing in a higher age group, scored 4/6 in the Twickenham U12 qualifier for the London Junior Chess Championship, thus qualifying for the LJCC Minor U12 Championship. Also playing an age group up was Billy ‘The Kid’ Fellowes, who was in action in the U8 qualifier. The field was very strong with numerous talented juniors from the London area competing, but it was the odd man out who shared honours for first place! Billy played brilliantly to finish on 5.5/6 and qualify with ease for the LJCC U8 final. Wow!
Congratulations guys, fantastic stuff!
The Coventry Chess Academy rounded off a fantastic year for our club and its members today with our annual Christmas Chess Party! As always, it was an extremely well-attended and hugely enjoyable event. The food went down a treat, with plaudits going to the roast potatoes and Mrs Pal’s delicious chess-themed cakes! Father Chessmas himself was in appearance and members keenly attempted the Opening Names Quiz (who knew that the Queen Pterodactyl was such a thing!) and Paul’s Puzzle, a mate in two with the pieces arranged in the shape of a reindeer (kudos to anyone who spotted this feature!).
The Exchange Tournament proved very popular and keenly-contested and taking first place was ‘Team Devils’ (David and Aarav), followed closely by ‘RE’ (Rohan and Ethan), while there was a tie for third between ‘The JT Squad’ (William and Jatinder), ‘The Hyper Hippopotamus’ (Elis and Olivia) and ‘The Broccoli Guys’ (Sahith and Sam). David also won the prize for solving Paul’s Puzzle, while Adith was the clear winning of the Opening Names Quiz.
A MASSIVE THANK YOU to all the coaches, parents, Cheylesmore Community Centre and, above all, our amazing members, for making 2018 yet another incredible year for our club! There have been so many highlights and wonderful achievements, far too many to mention in one post, and you, our club members, can all be very proud of yourselves. We know we are!
The CCA is now on break till Saturday 12th January 2019. Some intrepid members will be in tournament action over the Christmas period and we look forward to updating you on their progress. But for now, may we wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! See you in 2019!
Ho ho ho, it’s that time of year again! The Coventry Chess Academy’s Christmas Chess Party and final session of 2018 takes place this Saturday 8th December! With plenty of food, drink, fun activities, the return of ‘Father Chessmas’, a prize-giving and, of course, plenty of chess, it promises to be a fun-filled and enjoyable event to round off another fantastic year for our club and members! We can’t wait! 🎄🎅🎖♟🎁
It was yet another fantastic day for Coventry Chess Academy members in the Four Counties Junior Chess tournament! Twenty were selected to play for Warwickshire, making up over half of the junior county chess squad. They were joined by CCA Director Paul Lam, who was delighted to be in attendance as the squad coach.
The results were simply magnificent as Warwickshire took first place ahead of Oxfordshire, Leicestershire and Northamptonshire in EVERY single section; U18s, U11s, U11 girls and U9s! WOW! The U9s performance was particularly special as Warwickshire did not field its strongest possible team, instead fielding two teams of roughly equal strength to maximise participation. Team morale was high during the day, with plenty of laughter, fun moments and some excellent chess!
Congratulations to David Phillips, Finlay Bowcott-Terry, Imogen Dicen, William Morris, Elis Dicen, Margarita Sanchez, Manvith Sandhu, Rohan Pal, Kanav Monga, Silas Bowcott-Terry, Sarthak Sanyal, Ethan Vas, Zain Amir, Keatan Patel (making his county debut), Rithvik Muthuvelu, Arnav Agarwal (making his county debut), Jude Shearsby, Billy Fellowes, Aaron Suthi and Aarav Agarwal (making his county debut) who all performed fantastically and contributed numerous points to the county cause. Well done guys and girls, we’re so proud of you all!
It was quite simply a MARVELLOUS day for Coventry Chess Academy members at the Warwickshire Junior Chess Championships! Nearly 30 of them played in the tournament, one of the most prestigious in the Warwickshire Junior Chess Calendar. CCA Paul Lam, himself a six-time Warwickshire junior chess champion, was delighted to be in attendance to watch the games and offer support. All of our members gave a terrific account of themselves and by the end of the day we had numerous medallists and winners!
The U8s was won by Elis Dicen who scored an imperious 7/7. She was followed by Billy Fellowes who scored 6/7 winning gold, Aarav Agarwal on 5/7 winning silver, and Arnav Agarwal who scored 4/7 winning bronze. Ezekiel Ho, playing in his first ever chess tournament, scored a very creditable 3/7. The U10s was a very strong and competitive section and Paul was deeply impressed by some of the quality of play he witnessed. Jude Shearsby, technically an U9 player, valiantly battled through illness to win with 7/7. He was followed by Rohan Pal who hit gold with 6/7, while Kanav Monga and Aaron Suthi both scored 5/7 for silver. Rithvik Muthuvelu scored 4.5/7, while Zain Amir and Felix Kuang scored 4/7 each, all winning bronze medals. In the U12s, Manvith Sandhu won outright with 6/7 and was unbeaten for the tournament. Silas Bowcott Terry won silver with 5/7, while Ethan Vas, Keaten Patel and Henry Wood all scored 4/7 for bronze. Finlay Bowcott-Terry was the winner of the U14s with an unbeaten 6.5/7, while Imogen Dicen scored 5/7 for silver and Nahum Bradford scored 4/7 for bronze in his first ever chess tournament. All amazing achievements!
The icing on the cake was the awards for the Warwickshire Junior Chess Grand Prix for 2017/2018. All section winners bar one were CCA members. Rohan Pal, Elis Dicen, Margarita Sanchez and Imogen Dicen were all delighted to collect their shiny new trophies courtesy of the Warwickshire Chess Assocation.
HUGE congratulations to all of our members who played today! We’re so proud of you all!
It was another very enjoyable and well-attended session on Saturday at the Coventry Chess Academy! Groups A PLUS and A had some fiendishly difficult combinations to solve and Jude Shearsby was on fire, calculating a beautiful winning line involving a knight and queen sac which had some of the coaches stumped. Group D got to grips with board vision and impressive worksheets were produced by Benjy Rendall and Joel Bradford. Meanwhile, Groups B and C enjoyed an instructive example of how to punish poor opening play courtesy of a crushing win by none other than CCA coach extraordinaire, the one-and-only Roy Watson who celebrated his birthday on Saturday! True to form, when asked if he fancied taking a break, he insisted on being in attendance at the CCA and kindly brought some birthday goodies in which were enjoyed by all. Roy, AKA ‘The World’s Most Energetic Great Grandfather’ has been a hugely popular CCA coach ever since the Academy was founded and he shows no signs of slowing down. For members who were trying to guess Roy’s age (with answers ranging from 51 to 100!), the great man turned 66 years young on Saturday. Roy has provided us with countless memorable moments and Watsonian turns of phrase over the years, with hundreds of children benefiting from his guidance, kindness and inimitable sense of humour. Long may it continue. Happy Blunderless Birthday Roy and thank you for everything!
There were more splendid tournament results for CCA members at the weekend. Rohan Pal played in the U12 section of the Brainstorm Junior Rapidplay which is also a qualifier for the London Junior Chess Championships (LJCC). Despite technically being an U10 player in a strong field topped by a 139 ECF-graded top seed, Rohan showed his class by scoring 5/6; winning the section on tie-break and qualifying to play in the LJCC U12 Major finals. Olivia Chen, who has only recently joined us but has already made a fantastic impression on all, won the U8 section in the same tournament on tie-break with an excellent 5/6 and qualified for the LJCC U8 Major Championships! Then on Sunday, Zain Amir scored 4/6 at the Wellington College rapidplay, thus qualifying for the LJCC U10 Minor Championships. A great result for Zain who has come on leaps and bounds this year! Well done to all three!
CCA members were also in action in the 4NCL, the British national chess league, at the weekend. CCA superstar David Phillips played extremely well in division 2 the previous weekend, and on Saturday it was the turn of our younger members in division 4. Elis Dicen made her 4NCL debut playing alongside her good friend Jude, surely two of the youngest players to ever do so, at seven and eight years of age respectively. Both were in deep as they had to play against very strong 1900+ rated adult opposition. The older and stronger players eventually triumphed, but what a great experience for both! Jude in particular was very unfortunate, as he outplayed and was winning against his ECF 167-graded opponent. To do so at such a young age is phenomenal and no doubt he will be taking some big scalps before too long. Imogen Dicen and Manvith Sandhu also made their 4NCL debuts, finishing on fine scores of 1.5/2 and 1/2 respectively. Finlay Bowcott-Terry also finished on 1/2, while Silas Bowcott-Terry made his debut on Sunday. Although his 1700+ rated opponent eventually prevailed, once again it was excellent experience gained. Well done to everyone who played this weekend!
It was a great day for a Coventry Chess Academy member on Saturday! Manvith Sandhu played in the Maidenhead Qualifier for the prestigious London Junior Chess Championship (LJCC). He scored 4.5/6 in a strong U12 section with other notable names, finishing equal second. Due to progressive scores, he won the trophy for third place and qualified for the LJCC U12 major finals. Congratulations Manvith!
Remembrance Sunday 11th November turned out to be an historic day for local chess with the inaugural CCA – Hallfield School chess match featuring some of the country’s best young chess players! Between them, both sides have contributed nearly the entirety of the hugely-successful Warwickshire Junior Chess Squad in the last few years and many Hallfield School pupils are also CCA members.
Hallfield School Chess Coach FIDE Master Nick Thomas and CCA Director Paul Lam, leading the respective teams, were delighted to oversee the match which, with only ONE point separating the cumulative grades of each team, turned out to be an incredibly close and competitive affair. Considering that both teams were almost exclusively of primary school age, the standard of play was very good indeed! Round 1 went to Hallfield 7-3 and round 2 went to the CCA 8-2, with the match being decided by the final game; Imogen Dicen winning against Manvith in a terrific board one slugfest which went right down to the wire and in which both gave their all and emerged with huge credit. It meant that the CCA won the match by the narrow margin of 11-9 and get to keep the magnificent Thomas Trophy for a year; a tribute to Mr Thomas’ contribution to Warwickshire chess over four decades as a player and coach. There were some fantastic games and excellent individual performances, with Elis Dicen producing an assured, mature game against a valiant Zain Amir to win the best game prize.
A big thank you to all the parents for their support and to the members for playing and giving such a good account of themselves! It was a thoroughly enjoyable and friendly match played in a wonderful spirit and we can’t wait for the next one! Well done everyone!
Great to see everyone on Saturday at a very enjoyable and well-attended first Coventry Chess Academy session back after half-term! A very warm welcome to all of our new members, we hoped you enjoyed the experience and look forward to seeing you at future sessions!
It was another great day for CCA members beyond club doors on Saturday. Finlay Bowcott-Terry, Imogen Dicen, Elis Dicen, Rohan Pal, Silas Bowcott-Terry, Vincent Xia, Eshan Suthi and Margarita Sanchez were all in action for the Warwickshire U16 and U12 teams, with CCA Director Paul Lam joining the squad following the CCA’s morning session. Warwickshire were heavily under-strength against some very strong opposition teams, but team morale remained high and our guys and girls did themselves proud, with the U12s narrowly missing out on third place. Imogen was the Warwickshire U16 player of the tournament with a fine 2/3 and Margarita was the U12 player of the tournament with a perfect 3/3! A special mention for Elis who was drafted into the U18s despite being the youngest Warwickshire player at just seven years of age (!), scored 1/3 and gave 130+ and 140+ ECF graded opponents some very good games indeed.
There were more good tournament performances from CCA members that weekend. Manvith Sandhu and Kanav Monga were both in action in the 4NCL International Congress in the U1825 FIDE-rated section. There were creditable performances from both, finishing on 5/9 and 4.5/9, with Kanav performing some 200+ points above his rating. CCA Asst. Director Andy Ward also made a rare tournament appearance in a strong U2050 section and scored 4/9, gaining a couple of rating points in the process. Jude Shearsby was also in action in the Witney Chess Congress, scoring 2/5 in a strong U145 section despite being the lowest-graded player in the competition. A good learning experience for everyone, let’s keep it up and keep going from strength to strength!
We hope you’ve had/are having a great half-term! Don’t forget that the Coventry Chess Academy resumes sessions THIS SATURDAY 3RD NOVEMBER. We are very excited to be back and to see everyone again!
A Happy Halloween 🎃 to everyone for tonight as well, we hope you enjoy the festivities! Did you know that there is a crazy chess opening known as the Halloween Gambit? It goes 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5?!! Good fun in blitz, but definitely NOT an opening we’d recommend you play in the vital final round of a tournament!
The half-term chess activities continued at the weekend just gone with 2020 chess at the University of Birmingham on Saturday! The super sister duo of Esti and Ioly Ercsei and good friend Iga Jasinska formed a CCA team, with Director Paul Lam making a rare appearance on top board. Another CCA super sister duo, Imogen and Elis Dicen, were also in action in what turned out to be a very fun event. Every single CCA member contributed points to their team and even the Director showed glimpses of his old form by scoring 4/5, apart from laying an egg in round 4! 🐔🥚😳 It was quite a sight to see all-girl/junior teams holding their own against and getting the better of older and far more experienced male opponents, with thoughts being spared for a certain anonymous university team who found themselves scoring a total of 0/6 against the CCA contingent.
On Sunday, CCA girls were back in action! Imogen and Elis Dicen, Iga Jasinska and Margarita Sanchez were all in action representing Warwickshire in the Oxford Girls Quadrangular. The U11s were heavily outgraded and had a tough time, but Elis scored a very creditable 1.5/3 on top board against older and higher-graded opponents, including a fine comeback win against England player Yashasvini Sreeram. Iga scored an excellent 2.5/3 for the title-winning U18s team which included a marathon 70 move win in the final round, and her teammate Imogen scored a brilliant 3/3, including a fantastic win against another England player, 164-graded Elizaveta Sheremetyeva.
Over the same weekend, good friends Jude ‘The Juggernaut’ Shearsby and Manvith ‘Money’ Sandhu played for the Warwickshire U140 county team against Staffordshire, contributing to to a 9.5-6.5 victory for their side. Jude continued his superb run of form with a very comfortable win. Manvith bamboozled his opponent in the opening before matters took a tricky turn, but showed impressive maturity and composure to navigate his way through the complications and convert his material advantage clinically for a deserved victory.
Meanwhile, in the prestigious Isle of Man International 🇮🇲, Rohan Pal finished on a high with a fine win and a very creditable score of 3.5/7. A fantastic experience for Rohan who, at nine years of age, is already playing like a veteran; facing battle-hardened and frequently higher-rated adult opposition and doing himself proud over the course of long, tough games.
Congratulations to all our members! Really looking forward to seeing everyone this Saturday!
Yesterday was a memorable day for Rohan Pal at the Isle of Man Chess International! At nine years of age, Rohan is the youngest player in the tournament, but has been more than holding his own against some tough opponents. After a real battle against the number one seed in round 2, only losing after a great effort and 4 hours of play, in round 3 he faced the hugely-experienced three-time British Women’s Chess Champion and Woman Candidate Master Dinah Norman. The game ended in a draw, an excellent result for Rohan and his first (of many yet to come surely) against a titled player! To top it off, he was also delighted to meet and have his photo taken with visiting chess superstar Praggnanandhaa, who at thirteen years of age is the third-youngest grandmaster in history.
Well done Rohan and keep it up, we’re so proud of you!
A little piece of chess history was made on Monday night by a Coventry Chess Academy member! Rising sharpshooter Billy ‘The Kid’ Fellowes, who recently celebrated his seventh birthday, became the youngest player in recent memory to play a match in the Leamington & District Chess League and possibly in the history of the League! Billy gave a fantastic account of himself facing a much higher-graded adult opponent, even standing better out of the opening, before the stronger player’sexperience took over, though only after an hour and a half and 50 plus moves of play. Well done Billy, a phenomenal effort and a great experience!
In other news, Rohan Pal got off to a winning start in the Isle of Man International Chess Tournament! After taking down one of the locals in the first round, he played the tournament number 1 seed from Portugal yesterday and although he lost gave a great effort, going down only after 4 hours of play. Today he plays against high-experienced WCM and former British Women’s Chess Champion Dinah Norman. Well done Rohan and best of luck for today and for the rest of tournament, we’re rooting for you all the way!
It was a fantastic day for Coventry Chess Academy members playing at the 25th Birmingham Rapidplay yesterday! It was the first adult chess tournament for some of our members, but everyone acquitted themselves well and racked up many points on board facing older and more experienced opponents. In the special Invitational section, Finlay Bowcott-Terry and Imogen Dicen, both aged only thirteen, had the privilege of locking horns with the likes of IM Ameet Ghasi and GMs Mark Hebden, Keith Arkell and Matthew Turner. Ultimately, the strength of the masters told, but what an amazing experience for both! Finlay finished the tournament with a fine draw against WFM Louise Head while Imogen Dicen defeated strong fellow Warwickshire junior Devan Patel. The Minor section attracted the most CCA entries and there were some notable performances, with Silas Bowcott-Terry finishing on 5/7 for joint-fourth place. In the Intermediate section, good friends Jude Shearsby and Manvith Sandhu were on fire throughout, only suffering defeat at the hands of the eventual tournament winner, and met in the final round. Jude came out on top to finish on 5.5/7 for outright third and a place on the prize-list. A fantastic performance by Jude, who last year finished third in the Minor section aged seven, one of the youngest ever prize-winners at the Birmingham Rapidplay. Now he’s repeated the feat in the section above!
Massive congratulations to all our members who competed yesterday! The CCA tournament warriors continue to put on a show wherever they go!
It was great to see everyone over the weekend at a very enjoyable final session before half-term! A friendly reminder that the Coventry Chess Academy is on BREAK for the next two weeks. We will resume sessions on SATURDAY 3RD NOVEMBER! In between now and then, there will be plenty of tournament action involving members, so keep your eyes peeled for news on their endeavours! Wishing you all a great break and we look forward to seeing you when sessions resume next month!
It was a marvellous day for Coventry Chess Academy members at the Coventry Junior Open yesterday, the first Warwickshire Junior Chess Grand Prix event of the season! CCA Director Paul Lam and Coach Roy Watson were delighted to be able to join nineteen CCA members taking part in the tournament. Each and every one of them did brilliantly with numerous members scoring 2.5/5 or more and finishing on the prize list! In the U18s section, 13-year-old Finlay Bowcott-Terry scored a fine 4/5 to finish second, his only loss coming in a very competitive game against the 179-graded top seed Chirag Guha. It was a CCA clean sweep in all other actions! Imogen Dicen won the U14s, Rohan Pal the U11s, Elis Dicen the U9 girls and Billy Fellowes the U9 boys; all with perfect 5/5 scores! WOW!!
Today, Rohan followed up on his brilliant 100% performance by playing in a London Junior Chess Championship U12 qualifier today at Eton College, organised by Grandmaster Nick Pert. The standard was very high indeed, with England team members and a top seed graded 154 ECF participating. Despite technically being an U10 player, Rohan scored 4/6 and finished third with an ECF 136 grading performance, ahead of droves of higher-graded competitors. Well done Rohan, another great showing!
Huge congratulation to all of our members who played this weekend! We’re so proud of you all!
It has been a fantastic weekend for Coventry Chess Academy members playing in the Junior 4NCL, the children’s wing of the British national chess league! No fewer than fifteen were selected to play for the five Warwickshire Bears teams. CCA Director Paul Lam was also delighted to be in attendance as the Bears squad coach/manager along with team mascot Curly the Bear.
It started off with fireworks in round 1. Super sub Aaron Suthi, filling in at just twelve hours notice, was the first Warwickshire Bear to win, crowning an excellent queenside attack with mate on board. In the same match, his team-mate, Jude Shearsby, made light of a big grading deficit to take down a 150 ECF-graded opponent. Kanav Monga played very well against the talented and higher-graded James Lindquist and was unlucky to only draw his game.
More fine performances came in round 2. Vincent Xia scored a good draw against a 117-graded opponent and J4NCL debutants Zain Amir and Margarita Sanchez got off the mark with fine wins, as did their more experienced team-mate, Prasanna Sivakumar. The Jude Juggernaut continued with another good win and Elis Dicen also picked up her first win of the event as did Finlay Bowcott-Terry.
In round 3, the A team stamped their authority in division 1 with a commanding win against closest rivals ‘The Five Young Oysters’. CCA top dog David Phillips dropped a pawn early against England junior player Robert Akeya-Price, but came roaring back to outplay and crush his opponent. William Morris faced adversity too against a higher-graded opponent, but hung on in there and capitalised when his opponent erred in the endgame, taking a nice upset win. Silas Bowcott-Terry found himself in a tricky endgame where he was better, but couldn’t quite find the winning plan, but still gained a creditable draw.
In round 4, Jude won a very maturely-played game that included an imaginative pawn sacrifice and later sealed the deal with a vicious tactic that forced the win of material. Astrid Gibara joined the team and was very unfortunate to lose after having obtained a winning position, but falling victim to a desperate queenside attack. Eshan Suthi got off the mark with a convincing win and Kanav annihilated his opponent with a kingside attack on the White side of the London System featuring a Greek Gift sacrifice.
The best was saved for the fifth and final round. The B team drew their final round match but this proved enough for them to claim third place out of twenty three teams and find themselves on the prize-list! The A team only needed a draw to win division 1, but won overwhelmingly 3.5-0.5 against Manchester. Imogen Dicen finished with a spectacular sacrificial attack, giving up bishop and rook to achieve mate, and capping a very successful weekend which saw her score a perfect 5/5! It meant that the A team won every single match, facing some very tough opponents, and were crowned winners of division 1! Hurrah!!!
Congratulations to each and every one of our members for being selected to play this weekend, giving their best and achieving such fantastic results! Just brilliant!
It was another day of tournament action for Coventry Chess Academy members in the NYCA (National Youth Chess Association) Championships last weekend! Finlay Bowcott-Terry, Imogen Dicen, Manvith Sandhu, Silas Bowcott-Terry, Vincent Xia, Eshwar Kolli and Eshan Suthi were in action for the Warwickshire U14s side while David Phillips, William Morris and Elis Dicen (making a guest appearance) all played for the U18s side. The standard was extremely high with Sussex in particular fielding very strong teams, but everyone gave it their best shot and there were some fine individual results. David comfortably drew with 181 and 191-graded opponents on top board for the U18s and had winning chances in both. Elis, despite being a guest player and playing in the U18s at just seven years of age, scored a very creditable draw against a much older 125-graded opponent in the first round. Big sister Imogen scored a perfect 3 points including a wonderful instructive win in the final round in which she liquidated her d-pawn in thematic style to empower bishops on the a1-h8 and a2-g8 diagonals and her rook on the d-file. Finlay was within a whisker of a draw against Candidate Master Rajat Makkar, while little brother Silas scored a wonderful attacking win with his favoured Black Lion opening which his chess hero, GM Simon Williams, would have been proud of!
At the prize-giving, Imogen won the award for the best Warwickshire U14s player. The Warwickshire team finished in third place overall; a fine result considering the strength of the opposition. A big well done to all the CCA guys and girls who were selected to play today and did the county proud!
The same day, there was ANOTHER fantastic success for a Coventry Chess Academy member! Ethan Vas played today in the Northern Challengers of the UK Schools Chess Challenge in Liverpool. He performed brilliantly to score 4/5, including a super win over a 121-graded opponent, finishing joint-second overall and fifth place on tie-break, winning a medal for his efforts. Great stuff, well done Ethan!
It was a memorable day at the UK Schools Chess Challenge Terafinal for Coventry Chess Academy members today! Zain Amir, Rohan Pal, Margarita Sanchez, Sarthak Sanyal, Imogen Dicen and Finlay Bowcott-Terry were all making their first appearances at this stage of the competition. Elis Dicen, Jude Shearsby and Manvith Sandhu were also in action as two-time Terafinalists. CCA Director Paul Lam and Coach Steve Turvey were delighted to be in attendance to offer their support and encouragement along with the tireless and ever-present CCA parents in Peterborough. The standard of competition was extremely high with plenty of long, tough games against the best junior chess players in the country, but everyone tried their very best and there were some sparkling performances. Morale and team spirit was high and there was plenty of fun and laughs throughout the day! Elis, Rohan and Finlay all finished on a fine 4/6. The star performer of the day was Jude who won the U8 section and was crowned Terafinal CHAMPION, the first in CCA history! He was delighted to collect his trophy and considerable cheque from Grandmaster David Howell and UK Schools Chess Challenge Director Sarah Longson. Congratulation Jude, a fabulous moment and achievement!
A massive well done to every single member who competed today! Just to reach the Terafinal, roughly the top 0.5% of the biggest chess tournament in the world, is a phenomenal achievement. Finally a big well done to each and every member who has been part of the CCA’s UK Schools Chess Challenge adventure! From club qualifiers to Megafinal to Gigafinal to Terafinal, it’s been quite a journey! ALL of you are champions in our eyes. We’re so incredibly proud of each and every one of you!
Charity Fundraiser Alert! Coventry Chess Academy Director Paul Lam will be taking to the boxing ring AND the chessboard this month to raise funds in support of six-year-old Ben Crowther who is undergoing treatment after recently being diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare form of childhood cancer.
Ben’s older brothers James and Harry have been CCA members and Ben himself enjoys a game or two (older members and their parents might remember him playing with the chess pieces on the floor when he was just a baby back when the CCA started in 2013 😁). Their family have been fantastic supporters of our club and one can only imagine the tough times they’re going through, but the strength and positivity they’re showing is just awe-inspiring.
You can read the full story on the fundraising page and make a donation at https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/PaulLamChessBoxing
Any support you can offer will be greatly appreciated.Wishing you all the best, Ben and keep on smiling! #PassTheSmile 😊
It was great to see everyone again on Saturday at a very well-attended and hugely enjoyable first Coventry Chess Academy session of the school year! A warm CCA welcome back to current members and a very warm welcome to our many new members who joined us. We hope you enjoyed yourselves and we look forward to seeing you at future sessions! Despite the long summer break, hardly a heartbeat had been missed, with some fantastic worksheets produced during teaching and some excellent contributions from members during the demonstration of two instructive games by Andy and Paul. Conduct was simply superb during challenge matches and you could have heard a pin drop in the room during play. A big well done to our new members who had never played chess in tournament conditions before and adapted to this with no problems whatsoever! The final half an hour of fun-time was richly deserved, which saw new members get hooked on exchange chess and a number of coaches bite the dust in blitz against their much younger opponents! Well done everyone on contributing to such a fantastic first session back, which we are sure is just the first of many this year!
That day, there was been a fine performance from the Coventry Chess Academy’s Rohan Pal in the UK Open Blitz Birmingham qualifier. Fresh off his stunning success in the Sants Open in Barcelona, Spain, where he scored 7/10 with individual games lasting as long as 4 hours, Rohan took to the board much closer to home and playing at a MUCH quicker time limit (3 minutes + 2 seconds increment). The field was incredibly strong, with the top seed being none other than Grandmaster David Howell who was the outright winner with 15/15. Rohan demonstrated that he can handle time-pressured situations as well as prolonged struggles by scoring a very creditable 5.5/15 facing players who outgraded him in almost every round. He played extremely well and in particular was unfortunate not to get the full point from winning positions against 174 and 180-graded opponents. One of the highlights was an excellent draw against the much higher-graded Ben Graff, CCA parent and coach, who makes his second appearance in a CCA update in a short space of time! Well done Rohan! Another great experience and event!
Yet another Coventry Chess Academy member was in action over the board on Sunday! Iga Jasinska travelled down to Harrow with her dad Ben Purton to play in the 1st Peter Poobalasingam Celebration Competition in memory of the late FIDE Master and very talented former England junior who sadly passed away recently. It was a fantastic event which attracted a large and very strong field including 15 titled players. Grandmasters David Howell and Stephen Gordon shared first place with 5.5/6 each. Ben scored a fine 4/6 which included a draw with Grandmaster Matthew Turner while Iga played very creditably against opponents who heavily outgraded her, finishing on 2/6. Well done to both on their performances!
As if one piece of good Coventry Chess Academy news isn’t enough, we have another! Six-year-old Billy Fellowes, the CCA’s youngest member to compete in this year’s UK Schools Chess Challenge, was on fire in the Southern Challengers in Guildford on Sunday! 🔥 It was a very tough field, but Billy rose to the occasion magnificently. He scored a fantastic 5/6 against some highly-graded and older opponents to finish in outright second place! Just brilliant! Well done Billy, you’re a star! ⭐
Pleased to report on another terrific performance from a Coventry Chess Academy member! Our very own England debutant Jude Shearsby, fresh from his memorable trip to Latvia to play in the European Youth Chess Championships, took part in the Leamington & District Chess League Jamboree on Tuesday evening. Although he and his partner did not win as a pair, Jude finished as the overall individual winner (and certainly the youngest ever at eight years of age) with an unbeaten 5.5/6 which included taking the scalps of the Warwickshire county captain and 136 and 147-graded opponents, with only local veteran Mike Johnson escaping with a draw. A delighted Jude was pleased to have his photo taken with the League chairman, who happens to be none other than CCA parent and coach Ben Graff! Well done Jude!
An excellent English Women’s Chess Championship concluded today for the Coventry Chess Academy’s super sisters Imogen and Elis Dicen. In round 4, Imogen was in big trouble out of the opening against the higher-rated Agnieszka Sapkowska. However, she showed incredible resilience to hang on in there, equalise in the middlegame and finally convert the endgame into a win after a blunder by her opponent. In round 5 she faced another very strong opponent in Zhu Yaoyao and fell victim to an overwhelming kingside attack. Still, a fine performance overall from Imogen who finished on 2/5 and performed nearly 100 points above her FIDE rating. Little sister Elis, whose appearance in the ECF women’s chess press release has gone viral on social media, also finished on 2/5. In round 4, she faced the tournament’s oldest competitor, ECF Director Julie Denning. The more experienced and stronger player triumphed, although Elis was fighting all the way to the end. In round 5, she faced fellow junior Bryony Eccleston and scored a fine win, demonstrating good technique to convert her material advantage in the endgame, and therefore also finished on 2/5.
Congratulations to Imogen and Elis for their performances! There was plenty of excellent chess, maturity, fighting spirit and determination on display over the last three days. Moreover, it was a fantastic learning experience to play against the best women players in England and, at 13 and 7 years of age, the best is yet to come! Well done girls, we’re so proud of you!
Closer to home, the CCA’s super sister duo of Imogen and Elis Dicen have been competing against some VERY STRONG opponents in the English Women’s Chess Championship. Imogen gave the very experienced 2000+ rated Woman International Master, Ingrid Lauterbach, a real scare in round 1; standing much better at one point before time trouble induced decisive errors. She bounced back with a win in round 2 and then faced England Junior player Elizaveta Sheremetyeva in round 3. Imogen once again played extremely well against her higher-graded opponent, standing equal throughout until an oversight cost her. Still, some big positives to be taken away for Imogen, having faced such strong opponents and given a great account of herself. Elis, aged seven, is the youngest competitor in the tournament, indeed in its short history! She had to face another experienced WIM, Natasha Regan, and although she was eventually mated after 52 moves, found it a great experience. She was doing well out of the opening in round 2 against Elizaveta, but lost a pawn and went down in the endgame although she was fighting all the way to the end. She bounced back in round 3 with a great win, impressing the watching ECF Directors and making it into their press release!
Well done girls and best of luck for tomorrow, you’re doing great!
After ten epic days, the 2018 European Youth Chess Championships in Riga, Latvia have come to an end for Team England and our very own chess star, Jude Shearsby, who represented his country in the U8 section. Jude finished on 4/9 in his England debut and first ever international, an excellent result facing the best players his age in Europe, and was very unfortunate not to get the full point from a winning position against his strong and experienced Spanish opponent in the final round, a game which lasted over four hours(!). Almost every game has gone the full distance and been tough and competitive, but Jude’s fighting spirit and determination has shone through at all times. Some delightful chess has been played, with a picturesque mating finish in round 6 being one of the highlights! All in all, an amazing experience for Jude who will surely bring back many fond memories from his time in Latvia with Team England. MASSIVE congratulations Jude! We’re so proud of you!
In the Sants Open in Barcelona, Spain, nine-year-old Rohan Pal produced one of the best performances by a CCA member that we are likely to ever see. After ten gruelling days of chess, he finished on 7/10, finishing joint fifth in a field of 148 players. He won a share of the prize money and also the best U10 prize. Having played against experienced FIDE-rated opponents in every single round, he has also emerged with an excellent FIDE rating performance of 1654! Almost every game was a long, tough affair, often lasting 3-4 hours, but Rohan demonstrated the staying power and determination to match his considerable skill and talent. Congratulations Rohan, what a performance!
In the European Youth Chess Championships in Riga, Latvia, Jude Shearsby, flying the flag for Team England, scored another excellent win today! It means that he has won two straight and has passed the 50% mark to stand on 3.5/6 in the U8 section. To be on this score at this stage of a competition of this calibre is just fantastic! Moreover, with three rounds to go in Riga, there is still plenty to play for. Well done Jude and keep it up, you can do it! We’re so proud of you and what you’re doing! 🏴 ♔
Delighted to provide updates on the progress of our international chess stars! Rohan Pal is on a tear at the Sants Open! He’s won three games on the trot and now stands on 5.5/8. Playing in your first international tournament overseas and facing vastly more experienced FIDE-rated adult opponents in almost every round would be daunting for any nine-year-old, but not our Rohan who has acquitted himself superbly!
In the European Youth Chess Championships, Jude Shearsby currently stands on a fine 2.5/5. Facing the very best players his age in Europe, every game has been a tough and competitive affair. Jude’s effort, tactical flair and fighting spirit have shone through and he was rewarded today with his second win in England colours. Keep it up Jude! You’re doing us and England proud!
What fantastic showings from both! Best of luck to our guys for the remaining rounds, you can do it!
Delighted to bring you some updates on our international chess stars! Rohan Pal currently stands on a fine 2.5/5 in the Sants Open at the tournament midway point, having faced experienced FIDE-rated opponents in every round, with some very long, tough games. A fantastic experience so far in his first international tournament with plenty of chess yet to come!
Jude Shearsby currently stands on 1/2 in the European Youth Chess Championships in Latvia. His first round game against a talented Greek opponent was the last to finish in his section and was extremely competitive, only going down in the endgame after having been equal for most of the game. He bounced back today in fine style against a Latvian opponent, proving that home advantage doesn’t count for as much in chess, and was delighted to score his first win wearing England colours! Hurrah!
Today Jude Shearsby will travel to the other end of Europe to play for England in the European Youth Chess Championships in Latvia for the opportunity of a lifetime! His profile is now up on the English Chess Federation website, which you can view at https://www.englishchess.org.uk/…/european-youth-chess-cha…/ Jude is the first CCA member to gain the distinction of representing his country in an international competition, a truly fantastic achievement! The very best of luck Jude, we know you’ll do us and yourself proud!
Let’s cheer on our guys for the next two weeks as they fly the flag for the CCA! #Proud
Last weekend proved another successful one for Coventry Chess Academy members! Rohan Pal made the trip down south to play in the Hampstead Chess Congress and came back roaring from a slow start to score three wins on the trot, finishing on an excellent 3.5/5 and joint-second place in the U135 section. Closer to home, his friends Jude Shearsby and Manvith Sandhu played in the Midlands Chess Championship in Telford, with CCA Director Paul Lam a keen observer. Playing in the U130 section, Jude had an excellent win against a 118-graded opponent in a three-hour long game on Saturday, demonstrating his strategic skills alongside his trademark tactical flair. Sunday proved tougher, though the games were hard-fought with the last one going right down to the wire. Manvith competed in the U160/U1900 FIDE section and scored a fine 2.5/5 facing opponents who outgraded him in every round, performing a huge 300 points above his FIDE rating.
Well done to all our guys, great stuff!
Coventry Chess Academy Director Paul Lam and Coach Roy Watson have just returned from an amazing three days in Hull for the 2018 British Chess Championship where they were supporting CCA members playing in the tournament. Hopes were high, but even they couldn’t have predicted what wonders would occur!
Imogen and Elis Dicen, Manvith Sandhu, Jude Shearsby and Rohan Pal were all in action on day 1 and produced some quite incredible results! Imogen made a fine start to the Soanes tournament with 1.5/3 against higher FIDE-rated opponents in every round. There was a stunning result for Manvith in the U11s. He finished JOINT SECOND in a very strong field with a simply brilliant 5/6. His only loss came to eventual winner Yichen Han (ECF 193) and he defeated the 166 ECF-graded James Merriman in the final round, crowning his fine play with a superb sacrificial combination! Little Elis was a star in the U9s. Despite technically being an U7, she scored a brilliant 4/6 and was crowned the JOINT BRITISH U9 GIRLS CHAMPION! A phenomenal result for Elis who appears in the new ECF grading list as the NUMBER ONE player in the whole of England for her age, regardless of gender! In the same section, Jude scored a fantastic 4.5/6 and achieved an amazing draw against the 158 ECF-graded number 1 seed Louis Khoo-Thwe, with only time trouble robbing him of a deserved win. The last word goes to Rohan. He won the tournament outright with 5.5/6 and was crowned BRITISH U9 CHESS CHAMPION!! Wooow!
Day 2 was another brilliant one for our members! Imogen finished on a very creditable 2/5 in the Soanes tournament and performed nearly 200 points above her actual FIDE rating while David Phillips got off to a winning start in the British U16 Championships. In the British U8 Championships, Jude Shearsby played brilliantly, finishing the tournament playing on top board and scoring 4.5/6. Also performing fantastically and finishing on the same score was Elis Dicen. In doing so, she was crowned as winner of the British U8 Girls Championship, meaning that she has achieved the unprecedented feat of becoming a DOUBLE BRITISH CHAMPION in the space of two days. Scarily, she will still be eligible for the U8s next year!
It seemed like things could not get better or more memorable for CCA members, but that’s what happened today! In round 1 of the British U120 Chess Championship, our very own newly-crowned British U9 Champion, Rohan, found himself facing not a fellow junior but a higher-graded and vastly more experienced adult opponent. What followed was a chess clinic! Rohan produced quite simply one of the BEST games that a CCA member has ever played, outplaying his opponent in masterful style before crowning with a lovely finish, leaving onlookers stunned. Just brilliant!
In round 2 of the British U16 Championship, David faced Borna Derakhshani who is a FIDE Master with a mighty ECF grade of 232(!), a FIDE rating of 2315 and had come close to beating Grandmaster Danny Gormally the day before. Despite the massive grade disparity, David showed zero intimidation as he battled his opponent on even terms the whole way through, even getting the better of it at one stage, before achieving a very well-deserved draw. Wow! A quite simply brilliant display from David who will surely be nipping at the CCA Director’s heels before too long!
The best of luck to Rohan and David for the rest of the tournament and well done to them and all of our guys and girls! Once again you’ve marked out a chapter for yourselves in the annals of CCA history! You are all incredible and we couldn’t be prouder of you!
Thanks to everyone who attended the Coventry Chess Academy’s Fifth Anniversary Celebrations today! With lots of chess, food, drink, fun activities and a prize-giving, there was plenty to get excited about and it proved to be an amazing day! The highlight was an outdoors simultaneous display delivered by none other than British chess legend, the one and only International Master Ameet Ghasi, one of the true class acts of chess! It was the first opportunity for many members to play against a real-life chess master and they thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Ultimately, the skill of the master prevailed in the majority of games, but there were creditable draws for Sarthak Sanyal, Vincent Xia, Iga Jasinska, William Morris, Finlay Bowcott-Terry and Mustafa Ali and a win for David Phillips. Presenting the prizes was a man who has done more for local junior chess than most, FIDE Master and CCA legend, Nick Thomas! Congratulations to all our prize-winners, Zain Ali (Chess Quiz), Nahum Bradford (Paul’s Puzzle), Sam Griffiths (Services Award), William Morris (Services Award), Siddharth Nallameni (Conduct Award), Rohan Pal (Most Improved Player Award), Billy Fellowes (Best Newcomer Award) and Jude Shearsby (Player of the Year).
A big thank you to Ameet Ghasi, Nick Thomas, Cheylesmore Community Centre and all the coaches and parents for their help and support today. Finally, a big thank you to all of our members who have made this year such an outstanding one for our club, the best yet! Thanks to you, the name ‘Coventry Chess Academy’ is associated throughout the country with the high quality chess, superb conduct, and boundless enthusiasm of its members. You should be very, very proud of yourselves, we certainly are!
Wishing everyone a great summer holiday and we look forward to seeing everyone when we resume sessions in September! Bring on 2018/2019!
PARTY ALERT!! It’s the Coventry Chess Academy’s FIFTH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS tomorrow Saturday 14th July which will also be our final session of the academic year! Where did all that time go?? It’s been yet another incredible year, the best one for us and our members to date and we have so much to celebrate! All members are invited to attend for a morning filled with food, drink, fun activities, special guests, a prize-giving and of course lots of chess! We can’t wait!
Delighted to report on more fantastic club news! The final standings for the Warwickshire Junior Chess Grand Prix have been released. There was bronze for Zain Amir, silver for Kanav Monga, Vincent Xia, Astrid Gibara and William Morris, and gold for Elis Dicen, Rohan Pal, Margarita Sanchez, Imogen Dicen, Esti Ercsei and David Phillips, meaning that CCA members finished as champions in six of the eight sections. All Warwickshire Junior Chess Grand Prix Champions will win a trophy, paid-for Gold membership of the English Chess Federation in 2018/2019 and free entry to a section of their choice at the 2019 Warwickshire Chess Championships!
Congratulations to all our members on these superb achievements, we’re proud of you all!
The Coventry Chess Academy’s young maestro Manvith Sandhu has made a name for himself again! After a chess-filled week which saw him clinch honours for school and in the UK Schools Chess Challenge Gigafinal at the weekend, no-one would have begrudged Manvith, aged ten, a welcome break. Instead he was back to the board with aplomb tonight in the Birmingham rapidplay summer league, defeating an ECF 160-graded opponent with the Black pieces. He also collected a trophy from Halesowen Chess Club for the quickest win of the season, which saw him dispatch a higher-graded opponent in a mere 11 moves. You can view the game online at https://coventrychessacademy.wordpress.com/games (number 9 in the list). Well done Manvith!
What a day 2 at the UK Schools Chess Challenge Midlands Gigafinal! After day 1, the Coventry Chess Academy had a total of FIVE members who had qualified for this year’s Terafinal, already surpassing last year’s total. Well, ladies and gentlemen, add another four onto that total, meaning we have a total of NINE members who have qualified for the 2018 Terafinal!!! INCREDIBLE!
In the U13 boys, Finlay Bowcott-Terry was in imperious form as he scored a magnificent 5.5/6 to win his section outright, impressing CCA Director Paul Lam with his ability to grind down his opponents in slow, strategic games and handle himself in tactical slugfests equally well. Scoring a fantastic 4.5/6 in the same section was Imogen Dicen who was the highest-placed girl and makes it through to her first Terafinals! Also getting through for the first time was Margarita Sanchez who scored an outstanding 5/6, a wonderful moment for her! Last but not least, little Elis Dicen became a two-time Terafinalist, winning the U7 girls again with a 100% score!
Big thanks to CCA Asst. Director Andy Ward, Coach Roy Watson and CCA parent Lana Sanchez who joined CCA Director Paul Lam for the weekend and were tireless helpers, spending most of 10 hours each day on their feet helping to the run the event. Thanks too to the UK Schools Chess Challenge and its Director Sarah Hegarty and team who organised the event and made it such a successful one!
Finally, a big WELL DONE to each and every CCA member who competed this weekend!! Just to get to the penultimate stage of the UK Schools Chess Challenge is a phenomenal achievement and you can be very proud of what you have achieved. We sure are!
Absolutely delighted to report on an incredible day for Coventry Chess Academy members at the UK Schools Chess Challenge Midlands Gigafinal! Last year, a record FOUR members reached the Terafinal, the final stage of the competition – a phenomenal achievement!
Today, the U7s to U10s boys were all in action, with all girls and U11 to U18 boys to follow tomorrow. CCA Director Paul Lam, Asst. Director Andy Ward and Coach Roy Watson were all in attendance to help run the event and support our members. We’re delighted to say that from day 1 alone, we have no fewer than FIVE members who have already made it through to the Terafinal!!! Jude Shearsby, Rohan Pal, Sarthak Sanyal, Zain Amir and Manvith Sandhu, you’re now officially part of CCA folklore and we couldn’t be prouder!
It must be said that every single CCA member competing scored good points and did themselves proud. For example, Felix Kuang, Kanav Monga, Silas Bowcott-Terry, Vincent Xia, Keatan Patel, Aarav Agarwal and Billy Fellowes all scored 4/6, with Silas and Billy being within a hair’s breadth of qualifying for the Terafinal as well.
We said goodbye to Eden Oshri who made his last appearance under the CCA banner before he and his family move to New Zealand. Eden has been a model CCA member, an asset to our club and will be greatly missed. We’re sure you’ll join us all in wishing him and his family the very best for the future, do stay in touch! He signed off with a fine 3/6 and defeating one of England’s leading junior players, graded nearly four times higher, in one of the upsets of the tournament.
Congratulations once again to each and every CCA member who competed today! We’re so incredibly proud of you all! Bring on the girls and U11 to U18 boys tomorrow! Can’t wait to report on their endeavours!
Delighted to report on more fantastic success for Coventry Chess Academy members this week! Felix Kuang, Arjun Nahal, Zain Amir, Rohan Pal, Kanav Monga, Manvith Sandhu and Eshan Suthi all represented Hallfield School in the English Primary Schools Chess Association (EPSCA) U9s and U11s finals on Tuesday and Wednesday. The U9s finished second and the U11s finished third, superb achievements for both! Then on Thursday and today, Rohan, Kanav, Manvith and Eshan were in action for Hallfield in the ECF Schools National U11 Championships. In a tour-de-force, the team performed brilliantly to finish FIRST! Quite simply amazing! The team’s top board, Manvith ‘Money’ Sandhu, in addition to scoring 4/5, won the best game prize – a mature, positional effort the White side of a Rossolimo Sicilian – which was presented to him by the ECF Director for Junior Chess, Traci Whitfield! Congratulations to the teams and all of our members who played this week, we’re so proud of you all! Big thanks to CCA honorary member and FIDE Master, the one-and-only Nick Thomas, for his inspirational leadership of the team.
All of our guys who were in action this week will be joining their club-mates this weekend at the UK Schools Chess Challenge Gigafinal, in which an unprecedented THIRTY ONE CCA members will be playing. We’re sure that you’ll join us all in wishing them the very best of luck for the event! Let’s go CCA!
Just a gentle reminder that the Coventry Chess Academy will NOT be holding a session this Saturday 7th July due to the Midlands Gigafinal of the UK Schools Chess Challenge in which many of our members are taking part. We’re sure that you will join us in wishing them the very best for the event and look forward to seeing you at our final session of the academic year on Saturday 14th July!
More news hot off the chess press! Jude Shearsby turned more than a few heads with his performance at the Hampstead U135 Congress over the weekend. In fact, the tournament organiser Adam Raoof was so impressed that he decided to post a Facebook live video which includes a play-through and analysis of Jude’s round 1 win! You can catch it from the 16:00 mark at:
Delighted to report on more excellent results for Coventry Chess Academy members! Jude Shearsby played in the U150 section of the Leek Rapidplay and, despite being by far the youngest and lowest graded entrant, scored a very creditable 2/5. In round 5, he was delighted to find himself paired against none other than CCA parent and coach, the one and only Ben Graff! The older player eventually triumphed, but had plenty of praise for Jude’s play and some top tips that will surely be useful going forward!
In other news, there was an outstanding performance from Manvith Sandhu at the North Wales Open. Playing in the Major section for players rated below FIDE 1900 and facing strong opponents in every round, he scored 3/5, finishing with a superb rating performance of 1848 (equivalent to 153 ECF), gaining a massive 79 FIDE rating points! He also won a share of the grading prize and the best junior prize! Just brilliant! This follows another magical performance from Manvith in a simultaneous held at Halesowen Chess Club against British chess legend Grandmaster Keith Arkell, for which Manvith won the best game prize! It proved a very enjoyable occasion and Keith and others present had some very kind words of praise for the quality of Manvith’s play.
Congratulations to all our guys for their performances!
Delighted to report on more superb results for Coventry Chess Academy members this weekend! Manvith Sandhu played in a London vs The Rest of England match and was on fine form, scoring 1.5/2 against 120+ ECF graded opponents. Today, his clubmates Rohan Pal and Kanav Monga were both in action in Grandmaster Nick Pert’s Train & Play event held at Eton College. Both played in a very strong under-11 section which boasted a 126 ECF-graded top seed, a member of the England national chess team and dozens more of the best players in their age group nationally. In a stunning outcome, Rohan was the outright winner with 5.5/6 and Kanav was second with 5/6. WOW! Just brilliant from both guys! A special mention too for Rohan’s little sister, Rhea, who played in the ‘Improvers section’ which was open to all players aged under-18 and scored a very creditable 1.5/6 in just her second ever chess tournament.
Congratulations to all our superstars for yet more magnificent performances!17/06/2018
Great to see everyone again at a very busy and enjoyable first session back after half-term on Saturday! It was action the whole way through! Jude Shearsby and Billy Fellowes got to grips with a fiendishly tricky endgame puzzle and with a little assistance from CCA Director Paul Lam managed to find the solution before the session ended. Group D were on fire, spotting lots of excellent captures in their worksheets, while Group A and A PLUS enjoyed an instructive attacking win on the demo-board courtesy of none other than CCA legend FIDE Master Nick Thomas!
The very same Mr Thomas led a large number of CCA members taking part in the EPSCA semi-finals at Pontins in Prestatyn over a sunny weekend! Many were selected to play for Hallfield School in the event which attracted some of the best U11 players in the country, such as the 185-graded Yichen Han. The teams however rose to the occasion brilliantly. The U11 A team finished second out of 26 school teams across the country and the U9 A team also finished second out of 23 teams, both qualifying for the finals later this year. Just fantastic! Manvith Sandhu, Eshan Suthi, Arjun Nahal, Felix Kuang and Zain Amir all scored a fine 4/6. Kanav Monga scored a brilliant 5.5/6 and Rohan Pal scored a perfect 6/6. The icing on the cake was, quite literally, Mrs Pal’s amazing chess-themed birthday cake as Rohan celebrated turning nine at the event. Happy Birthday Rohan! Well done to all our members who competed this weekend, we’re proud of you all!
P.S. Any Coventry Chess Academy followers who read the Coventry Telegraph might have spotted two familiar faces on page 10 on Friday! Check it out below!
You may all recall a stunning winning move played by our very own Finlay Bowcott-Terry in the recent MCCU Junior Chess Championships. As befitting the author of such brilliance, Finlay went on to win his section and be crowned Midlands Champion for his age. Coventry Chess Academy Director Paul Lam declared the move one of the best he had ever seen played over the board. The notable CHESS Magazine obviously agreed because the move featured in their most recent edition in the puzzles section! We include the position below along with the solution, in case you were still scratching your head over it! It was quite rightly deemed worthy of a double exclamation mark, though we’d happily add a couple extra at the end! Well done Finlay!
The Coventry Chess Academy is delighted to bring you some marvellous news concerning one of our members! In the opportunity of a lifetime, our very own Jude Shearsby has been selected to play for ENGLAND in the upcoming 2018 European Youth Chess Championships! This is a phenomenal achievement and we are absolutely thrilled for Jude! He will fly the flag for the CCA and England in Riga, Latvia over the course of eleven days in August, facing the best players his age in the whole of Europe. It marks another CCA landmark and just the latest amazing chapter for Jude, who only recently turned eight years old and only started playing tournament chess in 2016. We can’t wait to cheer him on in August! Huge congratulations Jude!! We’re so incredibly proud of you!!
Delighted to report on a superb performance by a Coventry Chess Academy member over the Bank Holiday weekend! Eight year old Rohan Pal was the youngest participant in the U125 section of the Cotswold Chess Congress. In the first round he outplayed the 124-graded number 1 seed, demonstrating skill and maturity beyond his years to record a brilliant win. An inspired Rohan went on to score 4.5/6 facing higher-graded opponents in every round, guaranteeing a share of joint second-place. Just awesome! Congratulations Rohan!
The Coventry Chess Academy is now on BREAK for half-term. We won’t be running sessions for the next fortnight and will resume on Saturday 9th June!
We’re delighted to report on more outstanding performances at the weekend from CCA members! Jude ‘Cool Dude’ Shearsby was in action for the Warwickshire U100 team in High Wycombe against Essex and scored a fine win on board 2. Meanwhile, Manvith ‘Money’ Sandhu, ‘Amazing’ Arjun Vadgama and ‘Incredible’ Imogen Dicen all played for the Warwickshire U120 team. Manvith lost on board 1, but can claim another feather in his cap as one of the youngest players to take top spot in an adult county chess side. Imogen won on board 2 and Arjun drew on board 12, contributing to a Warwickshire team win and a place in the semi-finals of the National County Championship. Great stuff! Well done to everyone on yet more fantastic performances!
The CCA’s young gun David Phillips has been making a name for himself with some recent excellent tournament results. Yesterday he found himself playing in front of a live audience online against the well-known chess Youtuber, Candidate Master Tryfon Gavriel, AKA ‘Kingscrusher’ on his weekly ‘banter blitz’! Unfortunately, for Kingscrusher, he found himself on the end of an almighty walloping from our David! You can watch the game from 1:00 on the below link. Fast-forward to around 8:15 to see Kingscrusher’s reaction upon realising that all is lost; it’s pure gold!! Well done David! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1qHsdijhc28
We hope you have a great half-term and look forward to seeing you all again on 9th June!
Wow, what a day for Coventry Chess Academy members at the Warwickshire Megafinal of the UK Schools Chess Challenge!! It was long, it was tiring, but boy was it rewarding!
Last year at the Megafinal, we had five Supremos (top boy) and two Supremas (top girl) while fifteen CCA members qualified for the Gigafinal, a then CCA record. We thought it would be hard to top that, but guess what happened? At this year’s Megafinal, we had SIX Supremos and FIVE Supremas across all age categories!! A staggering TWENTY NINE CCA members qualified for the Gigafinal!! Billy Fellowes, Aarav Agarwal, Jude Shearsby, Arjun Vadgama, Aaron Suthi, Eden Oshri, Rohan Pal, Kanav Monga, Sarthak Sanyal, Felix Kuang, Zain Amir, Arjun Nahal, Manvith Sandhu, Vincent Xia, Silas Bowcott-Terry, Keatan Patel, Shri Bhamidipati, Margarita Sanchez, Eshwar Kolli, Eshan Suthi, Jatinder Sandhu, Astrid Gibara, Yash Bahalkar, Cameron Shaw, Finlay Bowcott-Terry, Imogen Dicen, William Morris, Suwetha Bhavanandan and David Phillips you can all take a bow! Our Supremos and Supremas were Billy (U7 boys with 100%), Elis (U7 girls with 100%) Jude (U8 boys), Rohan (U9 boys with 100%), Manvith (U10 boys), Margarita (U10 girls), Astrid (U11 girls), Finlay (U13 boys), Imogen (U13 girls), Suwetha (U14 girls) and David (U15 boys). Truly astonishing!
It must be said that every single CCA member who competed scored good points and did themselves and our club proud, taking home a huge glut of certificates, medals and trophies while having a hugely enjoyable tournament experience to boot. CCA Director Paul Lam, Asst. Director Andy Ward and Coach Roy Watson were fortunate enough to be present to help run the tournament and support our members. They couldn’t be feeling prouder right now of all our brilliant members. Guys and girls, we tip our hats to you. Huge congratulations, you’re all amazing!!
It was a truly outstanding Saturday for Coventry Chess Academy members! Kanav Monga, Rohan Pal, Sarthak Sanyal, Arjun Vadgama, Jude Shearsby, Elis Dicen, Zain Amir, Eden Oshri and Aaron Suthi formed the bulk of the Warwickshire U9 team participating in the English Primary Schools Chess Association (EPSCA) final. They helped the Warwickshire team to finish SECOND out of sixteen teams, just half a point behind the mighty Kent, tying with the equally mighty Richmond and finishing ahead of the likes of Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Barnet. An amazing result, especially considering that Warwickshire did not even have a team in this event just two years ago! There were some superb individual performances. Kanav, Sarthak, Arjun, Jude and Elis won all of their games. Rohan had a tremendous battle with England team member and European Youth Championship competitor Shlok Verma in which he pushed his higher-graded opponent to the wire before narrowly going down in a valiant effort. Just brilliant. Congratulations to all of our members and to the Warwickshire team, you’re all superstars!
It was a very enjoyable and well-attended first session after Easter at the Coventry Chess Academy! A very warm welcome to all our new members, we look forward to seeing you at future sessions.
It was another amazing weekend for our members! Kanav Monga, Rohan Pal, Jude Shearsby, Eshwar Kolli, Arjun Vadgama, Elis Dicen, Vincent Xia, Margarita Sanchez and Leo Abraham were all selected for the Warwickshire under 11s side participating in the final of the English Primary Schools Chess Association (EPSCA) Championship, making up nearly half the team! The standard of the competition was very high indeed with many of England’s leading junior chess players participating. Our members contributed a mass of points and helped Warwickshire to finish sixth overall across the whole country; a superb result and a fantastic improvement from finishing tenth in the same competition last season. A special mention for Margarita who was the team’s joint-stop scorer with 3/3! While their club-mates were in action at EPSCA, CCA members William Morris and Imogen Dicen were battling it out for the Warwickshire Bears in division 1 of the Junior 4NCL, the children’s wing of the British National Chess League. Imogen scored a fine 3/5, including a draw against higher-graded England team member Joshua John, and William scored an excellent 4/5 to finish as the team’s big hitter for the weekend. They were joined on Sunday by the amazing, untiring Elis who scored 2/2 including a brilliantly-played final round win against the Barnet Knights, capping a terrific weekend for her. The weekend ended in triumph as Warwickshire Bears were the outright winners of division 1, much to the delight of the team manager/coach, CCA Director Paul Lam. They sealed victory with a round to go with a memorable 3.5-0.5 win over a higher-graded CSC team full of England junior team stars. Amazing!
Huge congratulations to all our guys and girls for their performances this weekend!
Delighted to report on some fantastic performances by Coventry Chess Academy members! Manvith Sandhu, Rohan Pal and Kanav Monga all represented Hallfield school in the IAPS National Chess Championships under the watchful eye of FIDE Master and CCA legend, Nick Thomas. There were many schools and over 120 children competing in various categories with 13 schools and 40 children fighting it out in The Championship section which is reserved for experienced county and national standard players.
The Hallfield players started the competition at a gallop in the first round and hardly slowed down in round 2 and 3, ending the first day having lost just one game out of the 15 games played. Round 4 brought some stern tests as our guys were pitted against some of England’s leading juniors. Undeterred, the team won all bar one game and coasted to victory in the final rounds. They ended the competition not only as IAPS U11 School Champions but also as IAPS U13 School Champions! In addition Kanav, the youngest member of the team at eight years of age, came equal first in The Championship individual competition, beating a string of leading county and national players, all much older than him.
Well done to all our guys who thoroughly impressed Nick and tournament organiser IM Andrew Martin with the standard of their play, brilliant stuff!
More marvellous news hot off the chess press! Coventry Chess Academy members and good friends Jude Shearsby, Elis Dicen and Imogen Dicen all competed in the National Chess Junior Squad Championships at the weekend. With a field full of England’s leading chess-playing juniors, it was a very tough competition but a great experience for our terrific three with some hard-fought games lasting up to three hours. Imogen scored 2.5/5 in the Under 14s while Elis and Jude (both aged seven) scored 3/5 in the Under 10s; all fine scores. Well done to all three, great stuff!
It was another fantastic day for Coventry Chess Academy members at the Warwick Junior Open yesterday! In Group A, Manvith Sandhu was the outright winner with 4.5/5 and Rohan Pal finished second with 4/5, both excellent scores. Margarita Sanchez was the joint-winner of Group B with 4/5. In Group C, a silver medal went to Billy Fellowes who scored 3.5/5; a superb result for the CCA’s youngest entrant in the tournament. Winning a bronze medal in the same section with a very creditable 2.5/5 was Eden Oshri. All were delighted to receive their prizes from FIDE Master (and honorary CCA member!) Nick Thomas. A big well done to all our prize-winners and members who competed!
Delighted to report on an outstanding Midlands Junior Chess Championship for Coventry Chess Academy members! Jude Shearsby, Rohan Pal, Kanav Monga, Elis Dicen, Arjun Vadgama, Manvith Sandhu, Vincent Xia, Eshwar Kolli, Margarita Sanchez, Imogen Dicen, Finlay Bowcott-Terry, Yash Bahalkar and David Phillips were all in action, facing incredibly tough competition; a generous prize fund attracted many of England’s leading juniors from outside the Midlands. Every single CCA member scored good points and did themselves proud. In the Under 9s section, Kanav finished a superb outright second, also claiming the title of Midlands Junior Chess Champion. He was followed by Jude and Rohan in joint third, with Rohan very unlucky to have lost his final round against the top seed in a game which he had been winning. Elis won a richly-deserved best Under 9s Girl prize as well as the grading prize. Manvith and Margarita were joint third in the Under 11s section, a superb result for Margarita considering she was outgraded in almost every single round. She also collected the best Under 11s Girl prize and the grading prize. David produced a tremendous performance to finish joint second in the Under 18s section which included a stunning win against the 204-graded James Moreby. The final word goes to Finlay who, inspired by his amazing round two finish (see the previous post!) stormed to 5.5/6 for joint first place in the Under 14s section and the title of Midlands Junior Chess Champion! Congratulations to all of our members who competed over the last three days and gave it their all. You can be very, very proud of yourselves, we sure are!
A friendly reminder for all that the Coventry Chess Academy is on BREAK for Easter. We will resume sessions on Saturday 21st April. Hoping that you all have a great Easter holiday and we look forward to seeing you on our return! Keep your eyes peeled for updates on our members’ over-the-board exploits over the break!
Delighted to report on more superb performances from Coventry Chess Academy members! A large number were in action yesterday at the Birmingham Rapidplay. Imogen Dicen and Manvith Sandhu played in the Intermediate section while Elis Dicen, Margarita Sanchez, Jude Shearsby, Rohan Pal and Kanav Monga all played in the Minor section. There were some excellent individual results that included Imogen and Rohan taking the scalps of the number-one-seeded players in their respective sections. Everyone finished the tournament with good points and Imogen had a particularly fine debut in the Intermediate section, scoring 4.5/7 to finish in fourth place. First place in the same section was taken by none other than proud CCA parent and coach, Ben Graff. The outstanding performance of the day came from Kanav who, at eight years of age and facing adult opponents in every round, scored an outstanding 6/7 to finish outright second in the Minor section! Amazing! Congratulations to everyone who played, we’re so proud of you all!
In other news, we enjoyed catching up with the BBC’s ‘The One Show’ on Thursday, featuring none other than Coventry Chess Academy coach and English Women’s Champion Louise Head! She played a live game against Sir Tim Rice, writer of the lyrics for the musical CHESS along with Bjorn and Benny of ABBA fame. Things started going wrong for the venerable Sir Tim when he tried to capture Louise’s pawn on c4 with his own pawn on f7! 😂😂 Thankfully for him, he had help from the audience in the form of none other than CCA member Iga Jasinska along with her stepdad Ben Purton! A great experience for our intrepid three who thoroughly enjoyed meeting Sir Tim along with The One Show’s Matt and Alex.
Delighted to report on more incredible results for Coventry Chess Academy members! After spearheading Warwickshire’s overwhelming victory in the EPSCA Under 9 Interzonal last weekend, it was the turn of the Under 11s yesterday. CCA stars Manvith Sandhu, Rohan Pal, Jude Shearsby, Eshan Suthi, Aaron Suthi, Eshwar Kolli, Elis Dicen, Vincent Xia, Margarita Sanchez and Leo Abraham were all selected to play, comprising half of the entire team! They contributed to Warwickshire finishing clear first by 5 points to their nearest rivals Nottingham and Leicestershire. An outstanding result! Congratulations to all our members who competed and to Lana, Ravi and all the other parents who did a fantastic job of board stewarding and motivating the team! We’re proud of you all!
In other news, CCA star David Phillips was in action up north in Bolton, playing for Warwickshire Select in the 4NCL. He scored an excellent win for the team with his dad Alan also making an appearance and scoring a win, capping a very successful day for the Phillips clan and Warwickshire Select who won the match 3.5-2.5 as a result. Well done guys, great stuff!
It was great to see everyone on Saturday at a very enjoyable first session back after half-term! A very warm welcome back to everyone and in particular to all our new members who joined today; we hope you enjoyed your time and look forward to seeing you at future sessions.
In other news, we are delighted to report on a stunning showing for Coventry Chess Academy members in the EPSCA (English Primary Schools Chess Association) Under 9 Interzonal! In an 11-strong team, no less than 8 came from the CCA. Jude Shearsby, Rohan Pal, Sarthak Sanyal, Arjun Vadgama, Elis Dicen, Zain Amir, Eden Oshri and Billy Fellowes were all selected for the Warwickshire county squad, with Rohan’s sister Ria also making a guest appearance. The results were outstanding. Across three rounds, our guys and girls only dropped a single point! Wow! A special mention to Eden and Billy (the youngest member of the squad at only six years of age) who were making their junior county debuts and justified their selection with 100% scores.
Well done everyone, we’re incredibly proud of you all! Bring on the EPSCA final later this year!
*IMPORTANT ALERT* – Unfortunately, due to current treacherous weather/road conditions and the weather alert extending to this weekend, the Coventry Chess Academy’s session this Saturday 3rd March is CANCELLED. We will resume sessions next SATURDAY 10TH MARCH. Please accept our sincere apologies for any inconvenience caused and thank you for your understanding. We look forward to seeing everyone next weekend. In the meantime, please take care and stay safe!
It was a good evening for the Coventry Chess Academy’s teams in the Coventry League last week. Unfortunately, the A team had to default their match due to lack of players, but the B team and C made amends with wins in their matches. In the B team there were excellent wins for CCA parent Georgeta Ercsei and CCA coach Steven Turvey, while crushing victories for Esti and Ioly Ercsei in the C team capped a triumphant return to the chessboard for the Ercsei ladies. Jude Shearsby sealed the deal with a maturely-played win on bottom board. Thank you and well done to everyone who played!
Prior to that, it was a great weekend for Coventry Chess Academy members at the MCCU Rapidplay and Blitz Chess Championship! The winner of the Open Rapidplay and Blitz was a good friend of the CCA, International Master Ameet Ghasi, who triumphed with an incredible 8.5/9 in both events. Margarita Sanchez had a tough time in the U1500 section, being out-rated in all her games, but did well to score 2 wins in the Blitz. Manvith Sandhu scored a very creditable 4/9 in the U1750 section, performing almost 200 Elo points above his rating. He had a brilliant Blitz tournament, finishing on 4.5/9, performing almost 350 Elo points above his rating and collecting the grading prize. There was a superb performance in the U1500 section from Arjun Vadgama, the youngest player in the whole event. He finished third with 5.5/9, also making the prize-list. Further down south, Jude Shearsby was in action in the West of England Junior Chess Championships. Although an U8 player, he played in the U9 section and scored a creditable 3/6, gaining useful standardplay experience in the process. Well done to all on their performances, great stuff!
The CCA is now on BREAK for half-term. We won’t be running sessions for the next two weekends and will resume on Saturday 3rd March. Plenty of chess involving our members will be taking place beyond our doors during this period and we look forward to reporting on their endeavours!
A large number of CCA members were in action last weekend in the Midlands Junior Team Chess Championships. Jude Shearsby, Arjun Vadgama, Zain Amir, Aaron Suthi, Manvith Sandhu, Eshan Suthi, Eshwar Kolli and Margarita Sanchez were all selected to play for Warwickshire and did county and club proud, contributing to silver medals for the U11s and U11s girls teams and gold for the U9s. Jude, Arjun, Zain, Eshan and Margarita all scored 100%, while Manvith scored 2.5/3 on top board for the U11s which included a win against a 151-rated opponent.
Elsewhere that weekend, David Phillips won his game for Warwickshire Select in the 4NCL, the British National Chess League, finishing the weekend with 1/2. Finlay Bowcott-Terry, making his seasonal debut for the same squad, gave an excellent effort against a higher-graded and more experienced opponent, only going down in a rook ending after a tough struggle. Further down south, there was a tremendous effort from Rohan Pal in the Essex U18 FIDE-rated Open. He scored 2/5 with fine wins against the talented Pert siblings and gave the 161-rated top seed a real fright, only going down after a terrific fight in which he held the advantage at one point.
Coventry Chess Academy teams were once more in action in the Coventry Chess League on Tuesday night. An under-strength A team went down 1.5-2.5 to Kenilworth and the B team suffered a heavy 0-4 loss to a strong Coventry University that outgraded them by 37 points on average. The C team, with an average age of eight years, made amends however with a fine 3-1 win against Nuneaton D which included wins for Sarthak Sanyal and Jude Shearsby.
Well done to all our members for their performances! We hope you have a great half-term and look forward to seeing you all when we resume sessions next month!
It was an action-packed weekend for the Coventry Chess Academy’s weekend tournament warriors with some tremendous performances! In the Liverpool EPSCA rapidplay, Rohan Pal scored a fine 3/5, gaining a second England Junior Squad half-norm. Closer to home in Coventry, his good friend Manvith Sandhu was in action at the inaugural University of Warwick rapidplay. He scored a very creditable 4/7 in the U135 section and was also the highest-placed junior. Margarita Sanchez and Iga Jasinska were heavily outgraded in the same section, but gave a great effort against the odds, coming away with well-earned points and a useful learning experience. There was an outstanding performance by CCA star David Phillips in the Open section. He finished joint third with 4.5/7 ahead of some very strong players, ending his tournament with a final round draw against Iga’s stepdad, the redoubtable Ben Purton, who finished in joint third.
Margarita was in action again on Sunday in the Leicester Junior Chess Congress, finishing on a good 4/6 in the Major section as did fellow CCA member Sri Bhamidipati, a superb result for Sri considering his lack of tournament experience that included taking the scalp of an opponent who outgraded him twice over. The pair finished as the leading U11 girl and boy in the tournament. The winner of their section was the amazing Elis Dicen who, despite being an U7 player, took first with a fabulous 5/6. Elis’ sister Imogen was also in action in a strong Open Section and finished joint-second with 4.5/6, an excellent result as well. There was a magnificent showing from Billy Fellowes, the youngest of the CCA’s members playing in Leicester. Having only just turned six years of age and in his first ever tournament outside the CCA, he scored 4/6 in the Minor, finishing in joint third overall and the leading U7 competitor by some distance.
Also in action at the weekend were Jude Shearsby and CCA Coach Roy Watson, in a very strong and well-attended Kidlington Chess Congress. It proved a tough tournament, but still a very enjoyable weekend for both, with Roy very glad to be back at the chessboard in the UK after a stateside sojourn!
Well done to all our members who competed at the weekend, we’re proud of you all!
It was an action-packed weekend for Coventry Chess Academy members in the Junior 4NCL, the children’s wing of the British national chess league at the weekend! Finlay Bowcott-Terry, Silas Bowcott-Terry, William Morris, James Tipton, Eshan Suthi, Rohan Pal, Arjun Vadgama and Jude Shearsby were all selected for the Warwickshire Bears junior chess squad. They were joined by CCA Director Paul Lam who acted as squad manager and coach. There were hard-fought games, good wins, near-misses and tough losses, but team spirit and conduct remained consistent and superb throughout. The highlight came in division 2, where the Warwickshire Bears C team finished joint-third and only just missed out on silverware because of game points. There were some excellent individual performances, in particular James and Silas’ crushing victories over higher-graded opponents, including a member of the Welsh national team, in round 4. Well done to all our members for their selection and participation!
Only one CCA team was in action in the Coventry Chess League on Tuesday evening. The CCA A team were the recipient of a forfeit from University B while the CCA B team unfortunately had to forfeit themselves against University C. It was left to the C team to uphold the club’s honour and they did so with a 3-1 win against Coventry F that included snappy wins for Sarthak Sanyal and Vincent Xia against adult opponents.
In other news, the ECF January 2018 grades have been published! You can find out yours online at http://www.ecfgrading.org.uk/new/menu.php. A huge number of CCA members saw their grades rise, dramatically in some cases, while many others gained their first grades. Congratulations to them all!
It was an eventful night in the Coventry Chess League for the Coventry Chess Academy’s teams on Tuesday! The C team scored a good 2-2 draw against Rugby C in a match which could have easily been a win for us. There were excellent wins for CCA coach ‘Big Dave’ Burnett (who filled in at one and a half hour’s notice!) and seven year CCA star Arjun Vadgama who, not for the first time this season, defeated a much higher-graded adult opponent. The B team lost narrowly 1.5-2.5 to Coventry C, although there were good draws for James Tipton and Jude Shearsby. The A team’s good run of form continued with a win against Nuneaton A, taking them to top of division 1 for the moment. David Phillips scored a fine draw on board 2 against the 179-rated former British Chess Championship competitor Maurice Staples in a struggle which could well have gone his way. CCA Director Paul Lam and Assistant Director Andy Ward also drew on boards 1 and 3 respectively, albeit in less exciting circumstances, while super sub Tom ‘Move Over’ Darling won on bottom board to seal the win for the team. Thank you and well done to everyone who played for us, yet more terrific performances from our members!
Pleased to report on the CCA’s endeavours in the first Coventry Chess League matches of 2018! All three teams were in action last night. The C team lost narrowly 1.5-2.5 to the University of Warwick D team, although there was an excellent win for Vincent Xia. The B team went down 0.5-3.5 to a very strong Nuneaton C team in a match that was far more competitive than the outcome suggests, with all four games being hard-fought affairs. There was a superb draw for James Tipton on top board against the much higher-graded Charles van der Westhuizen. The A team continued their good run in division 1 with a crushing 3.5-0.5 win against rock-bottom Coventry A. David Phillips scored a fine draw on board 2 against a higher-graded opponent, none other than venerable CCA life-coach Bernard Charnley! There were wins for CCA Director Paul Lam on board 1 and CCA coach Steve Turvey on board 4, while David’s dad, Alan, provided the fireworks on board 3 by smoking the normally solid Ed Goodwin in less than 15 moves. Thank you and well done to everyone who played tonight for our teams, some more fantastic performances from CCA members against vastly older and more experienced opponents!
Don’t forget that the Coventry Chess Academy resumes sessions this SATURDAY 13TH JANUARY! We are very excited to be back and looking forward to seeing everyone again. We hope you’ve all had a great Christmas break and are geared up for the challenges that 2018 will bring. With lots of events already scheduled for January and the coming months, it promises to be a very exciting year for the CCA and its members!
In other news, CCA members were in action at a very well-attended Shropshire Chess Congress this weekend. CCA coach Roy Watson couldn’t resist the urge to put recently-acquired wisdom into practice and scored a very creditable 3/5 in the Intermediate Section. CCA star Manvith Sandhu took a step up by entering the same section and found the opposition to be a tough nut to crack, but still came away with a good win against a higher-graded opponent in round 4 and a useful learning experience. Rohan Pal entered the Minor section and scored an excellent 3/5, performing a massive 44 ECF points(!) above his current grade. Well done to all!
The Coventry Chess Academy is now on break, but there is still plenty of chess taking place this month beyond our doors involving our members! We recently received brilliant news from Suffolk where Rohan Pal, competed in a London Junior Chess Championships under 12 qualifier despite being only eight years old. He finished on 4/6 which included big wins against much higher graded opponents, former Terafinalist Rowan Kent and England Junior Squad member Daniel Shek, qualifying for the LJCC under 12 (Minor) Section. Wow!! Congratulations Rohan on an amazing performance!
It was a great weekend just gone for the intrepid CCA members who braved snowy weather to make the trip down to the capital for the London Chess Classic! It was an amazing experience for all our members who got to meet their chess heroes, including World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen, get photos taken with them and autographs signed, and also played some high quality chess themselves! Jude Shearsby and Arjun Vadgama both scored 2.5/6 in the U1600 rapidplay while David Phillips scored 3/6 in the U2050 rapidplay and 8/15 in the Super Blitz, all highly creditable results. The CCA big hitter for the weekend was Manvith Sandhu who scored a fine 4.5/6 in the U1600 rapidplay. Well done to all our guys!
In other news, the CCA is absolutely delighted that Coventry has been named UK City of Culture 2021! The CCA has backed the Coventry UK City of Culture bid 2021 from the start. We are immensely proud to be part of the rich cultural mosaic of Coventry and of our young people who are outstanding ambassadors for their city on and off the chessboard. Laura McMillan, manager of the Coventry City of Culture Trust, could not have put it better when she described the successful bid as ‘a win for Coventry, a win for young people and a win for diversity’, all of which define who we are. We look forward to seeing our city and its people reap the rewards of this deserved achievement! #ThisisCoventry#CityofCulture2021
It was a very well-attended and hugely enjoyable Coventry Chess Academy Christmas Chess Party today! With plenty of food and drink, brainteasers, a special appearance from Father Chessmas, prizes and of course lots of chess, it was a festive and fun-filled occasion for all present! Many congratulations to the winners of ‘Paul’s Puzzle’ and the Chess Openings Quiz and to the prize-winners of the Exchange Chess Tournament. It proved to be a keenly contested and competitive affair with outright first place going to team ‘Dude’ AKA David and Jude!
Thank you to all members, parents and coaches who attended and for your continuous support. It’s been a fantastic 2017 for the CCA with so many amazing highlights. Record number of UKSCC Gigafinalists and Terafinalists, the British Junior Chess Championships, winning every section of the Warwickshire Junior Chess Championships and taking on battle-hardened adult opponents in the Coventry Chess League, the list goes on! Members continue to go from strength to strength on and off the chessboard, grow in confidence and make friends, all while having great fun. Let’s hope that 2018 proves just as good! Wishing everyone a very Happy Christmas and New Year, we look forward to seeing you when we resume sessions on 13th January 2018!
Hohoho, it’s that time of year again! The Coventry Chess Academy is celebrating a fantastic 2017 with our annual CHRISTMAS CHESS PARTY this Saturday 2nd December, our final session of the year. Featuring lots of food and drink, brainteasers, fun activities, prizes and of course lots of chess alongside Christmas festivities! Expect an appearance from Father Chessmas himself! We look forward to seeing you there, it promises to be a lot of fun!
There were some very creditable performances by Coventry Chess Academy members in the KES under-18 invitational tournament in Birmingham on Saturday. Massively outgraded in almost every single game against older and more experienced opponents, our members Manvith Sandhu, Eshaan Suthi and Rohan Pal gave it a great effort. The highlight came when Eshaan scored the shock of the tournament with a win against the 143-graded Armaan Gogia in round 2, a tremendous result for him. Well done guys!
It was another excellent day for Coventry Chess Academy members at the Four Counties Invitational Tournament in Rugby on Sunday! David Phillips, Finlay Bowcott-Terry, Esti Ercsei, Ioly Ercsei, Margarita Sanchez, Manvith Sandhu, Eshwar Kolli, Eshan Suthi, Silas Bowcott-Terry, Sarthak Sanyal, Jude Shearsby, Arjun Vadgama and Rohan Pal were all selected to represent Warwickshire, making up nearly 50% of the squad! They were joined by CCA Director Paul Lam who acted as squad manager and coach. Our members contributed to a sterling set of results for the county, as Warwickshire won the under 18s, under 11s and under 9s sections, while coming second in the under 11 girls section. Simply tremendous! Finlay Bowcott-Terry was the star of the under 18s team with a perfect 3/3 including a lovely rook sacrifice in his final game to force mate. Margarita Sanchez was also on top form for the under 11 girls as she too scored 3/3. Perfect scores were also achieved by Jude Shearsby and Rohan Pal for the under 9s team. An outstanding effort by all, well done!
More excellent news for Coventry Chess Academy members, this time from the British Rapidplay Chess Championships where Finlay and Silas Bowcott-Terry were both in action. Finlay scored 4/10 in the Major section, a very creditable result in a tough field in which he rebounded superbly on the Sunday after a tough start on Saturday. Silas scored a super 6/10 in the Minor section, gaining half an England Junior Squad norm and a share of the grading prize in the process. Awesome stuff! Well done guys!
It was another eventful night in the Coventry Chess League for the Coventry Chess Academy’s teams on Tuesday evening! The C team went down 1-3 to Coventry E, although there were good draws for Manvith Sandhu and Jude Shearsby against higher-rated adult opponents. A notable surprise came on bottom board as the fast-improving Margarita Sanchez won against Arjun Vadgama. The B team also lost 1-3 with the consolation point provided by CCA coach Roy Watson in a welcome return to form. The story of the night came in the CCA A team match against University A, the strongest team in the League. Even with the welcome addition of CCA Director Paul Lam’s old coach, FM Nick Thomas, to the team, they were still outgraded heavily on average. In a result for the books, the CCA A team triumphed 2.5-1.5, with draws for Paul, Nick and David Phillips on boards 1-3 and a win for CCA Assistant Director Andy Ward on board 4! A memorable result for the CCA! Well done to everyone who played for us tonight, the last League matches of 2017. Looking forward to the second half of the season in 2018! It’s been quite a journey for the CCA teams so far!
There was an outstanding tournament performance on Saturday from a Coventry Chess Academy member! Rohan Pal made the trip all the way up to Ilkley, Yorkshire to compete in the Under 11 English Trials Qualifier at the British Rapidplay Chess Championships. Despite facing opponents who were all one to two years older and massively outgraded him in every single game, he scored 3/5 including a superb win against a 108-graded opponent and one of England’s leading juniors in his age group.
There then followed an incredible day for the CCA at the 2017 Warwickshire Junior Chess Championships! CCA members swept the boards, winning EVERY section of the tournament! In the under 8s, ‘Awesome’ Arjun Vadgama played superbly to finish joint-first and retain his title from last year, with Jude Shearsby finishing as a very deserving silver medallist in the same section. In the under 10s, first place was shared by the amazing Rohan, fresh off his Saturday triumph up north, and fellow CCA star Manvith Sandhu. In the under 12s, there was a big tie for first place, which included CCA members Eshwar Kolli and Eshaan Suthi, both of whom can proudly proclaim themselves county champions. In the under 14s, Ioly Ercsei also tied for first to be crowned Warwickshire Champion and in the joint under-16s/under-18s section Esti Ercsei successfully defended her title from last year, sharing first place with fellow CCA standout David Phillips. They get to share the same shield which CCA Director Paul Lam won all the way back in 2001. On top of this, many other members from the CCA also competed and did themselves proud, with numerous bronze and silver medals being won. A terrific performance from all our members! Well done to everyone, we’re so proud of you all!
It was a tough night for all the Coventry Chess Academy teams in the Coventry Chess League. The A team lost 1-3 to Kenilworth with just CCA Director Paul Lam and David Phillips drawing on boards 1 and 2. The B team lost narrowly 1.5-2.5 to Coventry University, though there was a good win for Ioly Ercsei against one of the CCA’s regular coaches, the much higher-rated Dragomir Zarev, on board 2. The C team lost 1-3 to a very strong Nuneaton D team who were able to field former England International Peter Gibbs on top board. The highlight came again on board 2 as Jude Shearsby produced another superb performance to crush the much higher-rated Oliver Cosham, a stalwart of Coventry and Warwickshire chess for half a century. Many thanks to all the team members who played and hopefully we can bounce back next week!
It was another busy and fun-filled Academy session on Saturday with new faces in attendance, some superb worksheets and more high quality training games! It was also a busy weekend for the CCA’s tournament warriors. On Saturday, David Phillips played his first game of the season in division 2 of the 4NCL, the British National Chess League, for Warwickshire Select. On this occasion, he found his 190-graded opponent too tough a nut to crack, but to even be selected to play at such a high level is a great honour and achievement. On the same day, Manvith Sandhu and Jude Shearsby both represented the Warwickshire U120 county side, having recently caused a sensation by winning their adult county chess debuts. There was a good win for Manvith while Jude went down only after a gruelling two and a half hours of play against a higher-rated and vastly more experienced opponent. The same weekend, their good friend Rohan Pal took to the board at a Play and Train event. He scored 2/3, helping his team to achieve first place. More great performances all-round from our members, well done everyone!
There were some good results for the Coventry Chess Academy in last night’s Coventry Chess League matches! The A team had a bit of a scare against a University of Warwick B team which was heavily-outgraded but put up a valiant fight. CCA Director Paul Lam secured the match with a win on top board, with all games on boards 2 to 4 being drawn. The B team drew 2-2 with the University’s C team that included a crushing win for Ioly Ercsei on bottom board. The C team produced a terrific performance to win their first match of the season 2.5-1.5 against Coventry F. The highlight came on top board as James Tipton outplayed and defeated the much higher rated Coventry veteran Dave Filer, a superb win for him. Many thanks and well done to everyone who played for our teams!
There was also a quite astounding result coming from Birmingham. On the same night that his CCA friends played in the Coventry Chess League, ten year old CCA star Manvith Sandhu was in action in the Birmingham Chess League for Halesowen. Playing an opponent graded 27 points higher, he won in a mere 11 moves, setting a club record! Wow!
In other news, don’t forget that the Warwickshire Junior Chess Championship is fast-approaching! It takes place in Kenilworth on Sunday 19th November. Full details and online entry available at http://juniorchampionships.warwickshirechess.org/
The Coventry Chess Academy resumes sessions this Saturday 11th November. We’re looking forward to seeing everyone there!
Although we were on break this weekend, it was still packed full of chess action! On Saturday, numerous members were selected to play for Warwickshire in an NYCA event. Finlay Bowcott-Terry, Esti Ercsei and Ioly Ercsei were selected for the U16 team while Eshwar Kolli, Silas Bowcott-Terry, Arjun Vadgama and Vincent Xia were selected for the U12 team. All made an important contribution to the team, with Eshwar being the star performer on 2.5/3.
From Friday to today, the 16th 4NCL congress took place in Coventry. CCA Director Paul Lam finished on a respectable 2.5/5 in a very strong Open section, although he rued wasting a much better position against number 2 seed IM James Adair in round 1 and a completely level position against GM Ketevan Arakhamia-Grant in round 4. The CCA’s young gun, David Phillips took the bold step of also entering the Open section, and although he found it tough against opponents who massively outgraded him in every game, he still managed to score two draws, including one against a 200 ECF-graded opponent! The highlight came when he was paired against GM Mark Hebden in round 2, the first time he had faced a grandmaster over the board in a tournament game, and acquitted himself extremely well in defeat. In the Minor section, CCA Coach Roy Watson scored 2.5/5, recovering well from a disastrous start. He was joined on the same score by young Manvith Sandhu, an excellent result for Manvith including a fine victory against a much higher-rated opponent with the Black pieces in round 4. Last but not least, Jude Shearsby, the youngest competitor in the whole tournament, scored 1.5 points, which does not reflect how well he played as he was completely winning in all bar one of his games. He finished on a high with a crushing attacking win against a higher-rated adult opponent in the final round.
Well done to all our members (and coaches!) who played in both events! Another enjoyable and eventful weekend for the CCA’s tournament warriors!
Just a reminder that there will be NO Coventry Chess Academy session taking place this Saturday 4th November. CCA Director Paul Lam will be taking to the board in the Open Section of the 16th 4NCL Congress, a qualifier for the prestigious British Knockout Championship. It takes place locally, at the Holiday Inn, Coventry. With nine GM and IM entries so far, it promises to be a very exciting event! A number of CCA coaches and members will also compete in the tournament. Let’s hope that playing on home turf gives us a boost! Spectators are welcome, so feel free to stop by to cheer us on! The same weekend, more CCA members will be in action locally, representing Warwickshire in a National Youth Chess Association event. The best of luck to all of them too!
There were some superb performances by CCA members in last night’s Coventry Chess League matches! The A team went down against Rugby A for their first loss of the season although there were draws for CCA Director Paul Lam and rising CCA star David Phillips. The B team gained revenge by beating Rugby B 3-1 that included excellent wins for Esti Ercsei, Ioly Ercsei and CCA coach Roy Watson, the latter two in crushing attacking fashion! The C team were unfortunate to only draw 2-2 against Nuneaton E as we were winning on all four boards at various points. Arjun Vadgama played like a veteran on board 4 against an opponent some sixty years older, outplaying his opponent, winning material and then demonstrating patience, composure and technique to convert his advantages into the full point. Facing a similar age deficit on board 3, Jude Shearsby produced a sparkling combination resulting in a finish for the ages! See if you can find his beautiful winning continuation which he had calculated a move before the given position! Who knew seven year olds were capable of such things!
Looking forward to seeing everyone when we resume sessions the following weekend, Saturday 11th November!
Another CCA milestone was passed on Saturday as our members Manvith ‘Money’ Sandhu, Jude ‘Cool Dude’ Shearsby and ‘Amazing’ Arjun Vadgama made their debuts for the Warwickshire U120 adult side in a county match against Derbyshire. With an average age of eight(!) years, the CCA’s terrific trio were utterly undaunted and all emerged as the earliest winners in the match, securing victory for Warwickshire. Quite simply fantastic!
On the same day, their friend and fellow CCA star, Rohan Pal, was in action at a London Junior Chess Championships qualifier. Despite being one of the youngest competitors in a very strong U10s field, he scored 4/6 including a big win against the 91-rated number 2 seed, qualifying for the LJCC (minor) tournament. A superb showing!
More CCA members were in action today, this time in the Oxford Girls Quadrangular! Esti Ercsei, Ioly Ercsei and Iga Jasinska were selected for the Warwickshire U18 team while Margarita Sanchez was selected for the U11 team. The competition was evenly matched on paper, though the Oxfordshire U18 team was notably strong. Iga, making her junior county chess debut, was her team’s joint-top scorer with a fine 2/3. Margarita had an excellent day as she won both of her games for the U11 team, helping Warwickshire to secure victory in the final standings.
Well done to all of our guys and girls, we’re so proud of you all!
It was another very well-attended and enjoyable Coventry Chess Academy session on Saturday despite the start of half-term! It was worksheets day and some superb work was produced. Group A PLUS absolutely ploughed their way through some difficult combinations which required calculation 6-7 moves ahead. The outstanding worksheet of the day came in Group C from Billy Fellows, our youngest member in attendance. He scored 9/9 and even managed to spot a tactical point that was initially lost upon his group’s coach, the venerable Roy Watson!
There were also some impressive performances in training games. David Phillips, gave CCA coach and Candidate Master, Peter Williams Jnr, a tough game before the stronger player asserted himself to secure a hard-fought win. Another CCA coach, Steve Turvey was not so fortunate. Despite a playing experience advantage of 25 years and a grading advantage of over 40 ECF points, he was outplayed and defeated by ten year old CCA star Manvith Sandhu who displayed impressive maturity and accuracy.
In other news, there was another excellent showing for seven year old CCA ace Jude Shearsby this weekend. A week after sensationally making the prize-list in the Birmingham Rapidplay ahead of numerous higher-graded adult players, he was back in action, this time in a standardplay tournament held in Witney. He scored 2.5/5 in the U120 section, which included two crushing wins against 100+ graded adult opponents. Well done Jude!
It was another eventful evening for the Coventry Chess Academy’s teams in the Coventry League last night. The A team scored a good win against Nuneaton A, taking them to the top of division 1 for the moment. For the second week in a row, the B team lost by the narrowest margin of 1.5-2.5, this time against Coventry C, although there was another excellent win for James Tipton who is quickly turning into the CCA points machine! The C team unfortunately suffered another heavy defeat, losing 0-4 to Rugby C, despite having a winning position at one point on board 4 and CCA ace Jude Shearsby coming within a whisker of a draw on board 2. Thanks to everyone who played this week, let’s hope that the A team can keep up their good form and that the B and C teams can bounce back next week!
It was a great day for Coventry Chess Academy members at the 23rd Birmingham Rapidplay on Sunday! CCA Director Paul Lam couldn’t resist the urge to make a rare tournament appearance in a strong Open Section and finished on a balanced 3.5/7. He was one of the many victims of a very deserving tournament winner in International Master Ameet Ghasi, a good friend of the CCA who our members may remember from two simultaneous displays he has given us in the past. Also finishing on 3.5/7 in the Intermediate Section was CCA coach Drago Zarev. In the Major Section, CCA dad and son Dustin and Finlay Bowcott-Terry both finished on a good 3.5/7, having to play each in the final round which resulted in a competitive draw! One of Finlay’s victims was none other than CCA parent Ben Graff, who recovered from a slow start to finish on 3/7. The Minor Section had the largest number of CCA members playing. Silas Bowcott-Terry scored 3.5/7 and Rohan Pal and Manvith Sandhu both scored 4/7; excellent scores considering that they all had to play opponents who were vastly older and often higher-graded. Last but not least, the CCA’s youngest member playing in the event, Jude Shearsby, scored an outstanding 5/7, finishing in joint-third place! At the age of only seven he became the youngest CCA player to ever finish on the prize-list in an adult chess tournament! Well done to him and all our members who played. Another successful weekend for the CCA’s tournament warriors!
It was a tough evening for the Coventry Chess Academy’s teams in the Coventry League last night! The A team drew 2-2 against Nuneaton B, with Academy Director Paul Lam delivering the team’s sole win on top board. There was an excellent draw for David Phillips on board 2 against the much higher-rated Warwickshire county chess veteran Tony Green. The B team lost narrowly 1.5-2.5 to Coventry D, the highlight for the team being Esti Ercsei’s crushing win against a higher-rated player on board 2. The new-look C team were unable to repeat last week’s heroics and went down heavily 0-4 to Warwick University E, but showed plenty of fighting spirit and enthusiasm. On top board, William Morris gave an excellent account of himself against CCA coach Jaspar Goodall, going down in the endgame after well over 2 hours of play. Bad luck guys, fingers crossed we can bounce back next week!
The Coventry Chess Academy had a great day at the Warwick Volunteering Fair on Friday! We met lots of awesome new people and many of them expressed an interest in what we do and working with us, signing up and taking away flyers. Many thanks to our friends and partners in Warwick Volunteers for organising a great event!
It was a great day too for Coventry Chess Academy members at the Coventry Junior Chess Open on Saturday! Well over a dozen were in action in age sections ranging from under 9 to under 18 at the event which was held at King Henry VIII School. CCA Director Paul Lam and Assistant Director Andy Ward (making a return to his old school) were delighted to be present in support. Our members rose to the occasion on home turf, many coming straight to the tournament from the CCA session held in the morning. This was the first chess tournament for some of our members and they performed really creditably; everyone scored plenty of points and many emerged as prize-winners! In the U9s, Jude Shearsby followed up on a fine Junior 4NCL debut last weekend by finishing outright second with an excellent 4.5/5. In the U18s, David Phillips won outright with a perfect 5/5, continuing his amazing unbeaten run in tournaments. Well done to them and all our members who competed, doing themselves and our club proud once again!
3rd October 2017 will go down as a famous night for the Coventry Chess Academy! We made our debut in the Coventry Chess League with three teams, one in each division. There were winning starts for the A and B teams against Coventry Chess Club A and Nuneaton Chess Club C respectively. The team heroes were our boards 4 in both matches, Mrs Ercsei and James Tipton, the latter triumphing at 10:30pm after an absolutely epic struggle. The most amazing team result though came in the C team’s (average age nine years, average ECF grade 44) match. Facing an incredibly strong University of Warwick D team (average age twenty one years, average ECF grade 117), the team achieved an amazing 2-2 draw which could have easily been a win for them as we were better or winning at various points on all four boards! Sarthak Sanyal and Iga Jasinska achieved fantastic draws against vastly higher-rated opponents. The highlight of the match came on board 2 as seven year old CCA star Arjun Vadgama overturned the odds to defeat none other than a very sporting CCA coach and former president of the University Chess Club, Hok Chiu. Well done to all our teams and everyone who played, what a start to our Coventry League season!!
It was a great weekend for Coventry Chess Academy members at the Junior 4NCL, the children’s wing of the British national chess league, in Wokefield Park, Reading! Of 21 players who were selected to play for the Warwickshire Bears squad, 12 came from our club. CCA Director Paul Lam was also on hand as the Bears’ squad coach and was delighted with how the teams performed. In division 1, the U16s team came 2nd out of 20 teams. Board 2 Finlay Bowcott-Terry scored a fine 3/5 and Board 1 David Phillips continued his red-hot streak with an unbeaten 4/5. The B team finished 5th out of 23 teams in division 3. Willliam Morris (4/5), James Tipton (2.5/3), Rohan Pal (3.5/5) and Sarthak Sanyal (1.5/2) all scored heavily for the team. In the same division, the U10s team was comprised almost exclusively of CCA members. Manvith Sandhu (4/5), Silas Bowcott-Terry (2/5), Jude Shearsby (4/5) and Arjun Vadgama (2/5) proved a closely-knit unit and gave a great account of themselves against frequently older opponents. The girls team had a tougher time of it, but board 1 Esti Ercsei scored a creditable 3/5 and board 2 Ioly Ercsei followed up an outstanding performance at last week’s NYCA event with yet another one; she scored 4.5/5 to finish the weekend as the Bears’ Big Hitter. Congratulations to all our members for being selected to play and delivering some excellent performances!
There were some fantastic performances by Coventry Chess Academy members in two different competitions at the weekend! David Phillips, Esti Ercsei, Finlay Bowcott-Terry, Silas Bowcott-Terry, Ioly Ercsei, James Tipton and William Morris were all selected to represent Warwickshire U18s and U14s at the National Youth Chess Association Championships in Telford. All played brilliantly, racking up many points for the county side. The star performer was Ioly Ercsei who scored a perfect 3/3, while her sister Esti scored the biggest upset of the day, defeating a 167-rated opponent with the Black pieces in round 2. Marvellous stuff, congratulations to all the CCA’s guys and girls! On the other side of the country, seven year old CCA sensation Jude Shearsby was in action at the Witney Junior Major. Facing children up to twice his age, he finished joint third with 4/6, winning a medal for his efforts. Well done Jude on another superb result!
CCA star Manvith Sandhu, our club’s highest-scoring member at last week’s Leamington Rapidplay, has done it again! He produced an outstanding performance at the Horris Hill LJCC qualifier this weekend by scoring 5.5/6 against opponents who included some of the leading players in his national age group, finishing equal first and qualifying for the prestigious London Junior Chess Championships. The icing on the cake was receiving his prize from British chess superstar and Grandmaster Nick Pert. Congratulations Manvith on a fantastic result!
Delighted to report on a fantastic day for Coventry Chess Academy members at the Leamington Junior Open and Rapidplay! In the former, Eden Oshri and Margarita Sanchez scored 2.5/5 in the under 9 and under 11 age sections respectively, winning bronze medals. Super stuff!
David Phillips took the bold step of entering the Open Section. Despite being massively outgraded in every game, he finished with 3/6 and an amazing grading performance of 173. In the U170 section, Finlay Bowcott-Terry was also on form, defeating highly-respected Warwickshire county veteran Keith Ingram en route to a fine score of 4/6.
The U110 section was packed full of CCA members and they did amazingly well. Iga Jasinska scored 2/6 including an awesome win against an opponent graded nearly three times higher! Jude Shearsby finished on 2.5/6, the highlight being his crushing attacking victory against the higher-rated and vastly more experienced (by over half a century!) doyen of Solihull chess, John Green. Sarthak Sanyal was one of the stars of round 1 as he demonstrated exemplary technique with his rooks to dismantle his adult opponent en route to a score of 3/6. Finishing on the same score was fast-rising Rohan Pal, who defeated the 109-graded joint top seed in round 5. Just ahead of them was Silas Bowcott-Terry on an excellent 3.5/6, one of his only two losses coming against fellow CCA star Manvith Sandhu. Manvith achieved a superb 5/6, finishing the tournament in second place!
A special mention to CCA life-coach and legend, Bernard Charnley, who scored 4.5/6 in the U170 section. To complete a real success story for the CCA family, Iga’s proud stepdad Ben Purton also had an extra reason to be pleased. He decided to play himself and wound up winning the Open Section impressively with 5/6! Great stuff! Huge congratulations to all our guys and girls who played today, the 2017/2018 chess season couldn’t have got off to a better start!
It was a very enjoyable first Coventry Chess Academy session of 2017/2018 at the weekend! It was great to see everyone again and to extend a warm welcome to all our new members. In spite of the break, it seemed like hardly a heartbeat had been missed over the board. We mastered the bishop and knight mate, found solutions to some fiendishly difficult combinations and enjoyed some competitive and high-quality training games. CCA coaches Steve Turvey and Roy Watson were pushed hard by Vincent Xia and William Morris, while Arya Kale overcame a massive age and grade deficit to win with a lovely mating attack against Adam Trailor.
Don’t forget that it’s the Leamington Rapidplay and Junior Open this Sunday! Entry for the rapidplay is available via http://www.leamingtonchessleague.org.uk/3_52_congress.html. For members who are ungraded or below 50 ECF, the Junior Open which is being held at the same venue would be more appropriate. Information and online entry is available via http://leamingtonjunioropen.warwickshirechess.org/.
In other news, there was an outstanding result for one of the CCA’s coaches over the weekend. Louise Head, who balances her chess activities with studies at the University of Warwick, won the 2017 English Women’s Chess Championship with a perfect 5/5 score against some tough opposition and qualifies for a place in the England women’s team for the 2018 Women’s Olympiad. Congratulations Louise on an amazing performance!
Don’t forget that the Coventry Chess Academy resumes sessions on SATURDAY 2ND SEPTEMBER! Just one week to go! We’re very excited to be back and are looking forward to seeing everyone again! With lots of activities and events planned for the Autumn Term, it promises to be an exciting time for our club and its members.
In other news, another CCA figure has recently been put on the spot and subject to questioning! This time it is the Director himself, Paul Lam. He features on the University of Warwick’s Insite, talking about his role at the CCA, the achievements of its members, his hopes for the future and more. You can read the whole interview with Paul at http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/in…/uni_awards/winners2017/paullam
There was an amazing result for a CCA member at the weekend. Manvith Sandhu won the best junior award in the Worcester Closed Congress. He scored 2.5/5 which included a win against a 141-graded opponent and draws against opponents graded 161 and 160 respectively. A phenomenal performance considering the rating deficit and that Manvith was the youngest player in the whole tournament at nine years of age! Well done Manvith, we’re all proud of you!
It was an awesome weekend for the Coventry Chess Academy and its members at the UK Schools Chess Challenge Terafinal! As has become the norm at these tournaments, our members were in fine spirits and no doubt this contributed to the quality of chess we witnessed. In the Challengers section, Ioly Ercsei, Manvith Sandhu and Jude Shearsby each scored 3/6; a very impressive showing considering the strength of the field which constituted the top 0.5% of the original 50,000 entrants! Computerised pairings which are blind to club allegiance meant that Jude and Manvith were paired against each other in round 5! The outcome was, quite appropriately, a draw after a topsy-turvy struggle! Playing in the Terafinal itself, the final 47 contestants, was Estie Ercsei, the first CCA representative to make it this far since CCA Director Paul Lam all the way back in 2002. Facing higher-rated opponents in every round but the last, she performed outstandingly, scoring 2.5/6 and won the CCA game of the tournament in round 2; a tour de force which anyone would have been proud to play (available to view at https://coventrychessacademy.wordpress.com/games/). Many congratulations to all our members who competed this weekend, once again you did us and yourselves proud! It’s been another great UKSCC for our club and members, here’s to next year’s edition!
It gives us great pleasure to report on the Coventry Chess Academy’s endeavours at the 2017 British Chess Championships held in Llandudno, Wales. It was a truly epic week for us all!
Academy Director Paul Lam scored 4.5/9 in the Main Event. His best performance was probably in round 1 against International Master Craig Hanley, a game in which he stood better and was even winning at various points before he committed errors under time pressure. Hanley went on to achieve a share of first place, losing his playoff to the eventual tournament winner, Grandmaster Gawain Jones. Talk about fine margins! Paul’s play ranged from precise, controlled efforts to emulating a Viking berserker over the chessboard, which gave the commentators a field day. The only thing that can be said with any certainty is that the brand of chess he displayed was not nearly as dubious as his fashion sense during the event! CCA coach Peter Batchelor played (and dressed) sensibly in comparison and was rewarded with a fine Championship score of 5.5/9. Some CCA parents were also in action in the various Championship side events. Dustin Bowcott scored 2.5/5 in the U160 graded section and Ben Purton made a successful raid on the Championships on the penultimate day, winning the Rapidplay event with an impressive 7.5/9. Congratulations to them all!
The real stars of the event were the CCA’s members playing in the junior sections of the Championships. An unprecedented nine members competed: Finlay and Silas Bowcott-Terry, Estie and Ioly Ercsei, David Phillips, Manvith Sandhu, Sarthak Sanyal, Arjun Vadgama and Jude Shearsby. All of them showcased skill, resilience, determination and effort throughout the event. Some were challenging for medal positions right up to the final rounds and, to my knowledge, more than one England junior squad norm was scored (bringing the recipient closer to selection for the national team). The chess on display was at times awe-inspiring. Highlights included Ioly’s round 5 masterclass, David taking a 171-rated opponent to school; Manvith defeating last year’s British Champion in his age group, Silas scoring 4/7 despite being seeded second from bottom in a field of 41 and Jude finishing the tournament playing on the heights of 2nd board. Simply brilliant. Moreover, alongside the serious stuff, everyone had a lot of fun and we will all be taking away some very fond memories of our time in Wales.
A big thank you and congratulations to all of our members who competed. You all helped to make it a memorable Championship and let’s hope that next year will be just as good!
The 2017 British Chess Championships kicked off today in Llandudno, Wales! In addition to the Main Event, there will be twenty separate sections including junior sections ranging from under 8 to under 16. Nine intrepid Coventry Chess Academy members are making the trip down to Wales to compete in the junior championships and will be joined by Academy Director Paul Lam who will play in the Main Event. You can follow their progress via the Championships website at http://www.britishchesschampionships.co.uk/. Wishing all our members the very best of luck for the event, we can’t wait!
It was a great day for Coventry Chess Academy members at the Midland Counties Junior Chess Championships on Saturday! The mood was nice and relaxed in the CCA camp, but our members were all business at the board. Nine of them competed across six different age sections and between them scored a splendid total of 37.5 points from 45 games. Jude Shearsby (5/5 in the U8s), Finlay Bowcott-Terry (5/5 in the U12s) and Estie Ercsei (4.5/5 in the U16s) were all in top form and finished the day atop their sections as Midland Champions. Sarthak Sanyal (4/5 in the U8s), Silas Bowcott-Terry (4/5 in the U10s), Manvith Sandhu (4/5 in the U10s) and Ioly Ercsei (4/5 in the U12s) also performed excellently and won silver medals for their efforts. Well done to all our guys and girls, more great stuff!
It was an incredibly successful weekend for the Coventry Chess Academy and its members at the UK Schools Chess Challenge Northern Gigafinal, held over the weekend in Manchester. A record-breaking 15 CCA members qualified for the Gigafinal this year and were joined by CCA Director Paul Lam and CCA coach Roy Watson who were on hand to provide support and encouragement.
Day 1 saw our primary school qualifiers in action and the results were nothing short of stunning. An amazing seven of them scored 3.5/6 or more and finished on the prize-list. Special mention must be given to two outstanding results. Manvith Sandhu finished second in the under 9s section and qualified for the Terafinal Challengers; a tremendous performance. Manvith complements his talent by putting a great deal of effort into his chess and this result was richly deserved. In the under 7s section, Jude Shearsby finished joint first in a brilliant display. In a nailbiting play-off which could have gone either way, he was narrowly edged, but also goes through to the Terafinal Challengers. Considering that Jude made his chess tournament debut less than one year ago, this is an absolutely fabulous result, showing exactly why he was a deserving winner of the 2017 CCA Most Improved Player Award. To add icing on top of the cake, a little slice of CCA history was also made as Manvith and Jude became our first members ever to reach the Terafinal Challengers from day 1 of the Gigafinal.
It was going to be hard for our secondary school qualifiers on day 2 to match the exploits of the previous day, but little did we know that more magical moments awaited us. Every single one of our secondary school qualifiers scored at least 3.5/6 to finish on the prize list. This was fantastic in its own right, but there were two special individual performances in particular from the CCA’s very own Polgar sisters, Ioly and Estie Ercsei. Ioly battled like a lioness in the under 12s, demonstrating terrific motivation and will to win. Although she was edged in the final round, just missing out on top spot, her 4.5/6 performance was still good enough for second place and a richly deserved place in the Terafinal Challengers where she will join Manvith and Jude. Finally, another footnote in CCA history was written by Estie. Playing in a very strong U15 section, she had a whirlwind start, some tough rounds 4-5 and then showed great character to bounce back with a great final round win, finishing on 4/6 as the highest-placed girl in her national age group. She goes through to the Terafinal GRAND FINAL – the final 64 players of the original 50,000 entrants in the world’s largest chess tournament – the first CCA member ever to do so.
Well done to Estie, Ioly, Manvith and Jude and we cannot wait to see them in action at the Terafinal and Challengers taking place next month. Finally, massive congratulations to each and every member who competed this weekend. Every year, the standard of competition at this event gets better and better, and you continue to rise to the occasion, surpassing expectations each time. We are very, very proud of all of you and what you have achieved.
The Coventry Chess Academy’s Fourth Anniversary Celebrations take place this Saturday 8th July! Time really does fly, where did four years go?? We have so much to celebrate from another outstanding year for our club and its members. It will also be our final session of the 16/17 academic year and we plan to finish in style with a good old-fashioned chess party! Expect plenty of food and drink, fun games and puzzles, crazy variants, prizes and of course lots of chess! We look forward to seeing you there! #AintNoPartyLikeAChessClubParty
It’s been a busy past few weeks for the Coventry Chess Academy and its members! At the end of last month, yet another milestone was passed today by a CCA member. Warwickshire’s U100 county team was in the unenviable position of being a player short for an away match in Wycombe. Into the breach at the last minute stepped none other than our very own Jude Shearsby, fresh off his 6/6 triumph in the prior weekend’s Megafinal. Having just celebrated his 7th birthday, he became quite possibly the youngest ever person to play for an adult county chess team, certainly within Warwickshire circles. It also happened to be his standard-play debut. After an hour and a half of play, our little star secured victory in his game; a famous win for him and Warwickshire! Amazing! Congratulations Jude, we’re all proud of you!
We’ve recently been organising regular training games at sessions to help members prepare for upcoming tournaments and there has been some excellent chess on display in these. Unfortunately for our coaches, some of them have ended up on the receiving end of this! Three weeks ago, there were two notable results as William Morris and David Phillips scored upset wins against CCA coaches Steve Luland and Bernard Charnley respectively. This weekend, there was more woe in store for the coaches! Roy Watson was taken down by Estie Ercsei while Steve Turvey was dismantled by David. Adam Trailor looked like he might be able to gain a spot of redemption for the coaches against Ioly Ercsei, as he was a pawn up in a better position. She had however put up enough resistance to make him chew up minutes on the clock and he ended up losing on time! A comprehensive thrashing for the coaches! How long before they end up taking lessons from our members?
In other news, it was a fantastic day for the Coventry Chess Academy and its members at a very sunny Kenilworth Junior Open on Sunday! We had excellent representation at this tournament across under-11, 9 and 7 age categories and every member competing did themselves proud. In the top section, Manvith Sandhu won a silver medal with an excellent 4/5 and Jude Shearsby won a bronze medal with a fine 3/5 including a great win against a 115-rated opponent. In the under 9s section, Arya Thakur and Aubrey Song scored 3/5 and also won bronze medals. Well done to them all and every single member who competed, particularly those who were playing in their first ever chess tournament. No doubt it was a great learning experience that they will benefit from going forward.
It was a marvellous day for the Coventry Chess Academy at the Warwickshire Megafinal of the UK Schools Chess Challenge on the Sunday just gone! We had some fantastic representation at this event and by the end of the day no fewer than TWELVE members had qualified for the Gigafinal, the penultimate stage of the competition – a fantastic achievement! Across NINE age sections, we had FIVE Supremos (top boy) in Jude Shearsby (Under 7), Sarthak Sanyal (Under 8), Eshwar Kolli (Under 10), William Morris (under 13) and David Phillips (under 14) and TWO Supremas (top girl) in Yollie (under 12) and Estie Ercsei (under 15). Simply superb! Congratulations to all our Supremos, Supremas, Gigafinalists and every member who competed and gave their best effort. We’re proud of you all!