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The bishop and knight mate is a difficult mating combination. How difficult? Grandmaster Sergei Movsesian of Armenia had a peak FIDE rating of 2751 and was once ranked number 10 in the world. With a current FIDE rating of 2637 he remains a very strong grandmaster. Just two days ago, he found himself with bishop and knight against Indian super GM Vidit, but failed to demonstrate impeccable technique and ended up drawing the game by the 50 move rule.

CCA Director Paul Lam is a big advocate of teaching this highly instructive mating combination and at our club we love to practice it and test ourselves against the clock! Enter our very own Manvith Sandhu, who was in action in a very strong U2050 section at Stevenage the weekend just gone. In his round 4 game, Manvith faced a 165 ECF-graded opponent and found himself holding bishop and knight versus bare king with Black as below. He demonstrated very efficient mating technique as it took him only 24 moves to finish the game from this position! Well done Manvith!

Jacob-Sandhu

22/04/2019

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Delighted to report on the progress of Rohan Pal in his endeavours for Team England at the World Schools Chess Championship in Turkey! After being very unfortunate to lose against his strong Kazakh opponent yesterday – a marathon 4.5 hour game in which he was winning and had outplayed his opponent – he bounced back in fine style today to win his first game in England colours, playing Black against a Moldovan opponent, the son of notable grandmaster Viktor Bologan who was once one of the world’s best chess players. Fantastic stuff!! Well done Rohan and keep it up, we’re rooting for you all the way!

Rohanandteam

21/04/2019

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Delighted to report on some excellent results for Coventry Chess Academy members in the Midlands Junior Chess Championships! This prestigious tournament took place over the last three days in Leicester and featured a very strong field. CCA Director Paul Lam and Coach Roy Watson were present midway during the tournament as keen observers, providing analysis and coaching in between rounds.

It was the first time using standardplay time limits for some of our members, aged as young as five years old, but they rose to the occasion and gave an excellent account of themselves, with many long, hard-fought games. Paul and Roy were hugely impressed by the attitude and insight of members during analysis and when people weren’t having fun in the sun in between rounds, there were plenty of enjoyable discussions over topics ranging from equity in chess to ‘why knights before bishops?’, prophylaxis and a tricky combination that stumped a GM!

In the U9 section, the double A-force of Aarav and Arnav Agarwal finished on 2/6 while Billy Fellowes scored 3/6, all very creditable scores in their first multi-day standardplay tournament. The star scorer was Elis Dicen who finished on a perfect 6/6 to be crowned Midlands U9 Chess Champion. Wow!! The combined U11s, U14s and U18s section was headed by the very talented Kishan Modi, graded 192 ECF who won the tournament with 6/6 but faced some tough tests including in round 4 against our very own Manvith Sandhu who gave a great effort against his monstrously strong opponent. Manvith finished on 3/6 as did Margarita Sanchez who showed great determination and character to finish strong, winning both of her games today. Just ahead on a fine 3.5/6 was Imogen Dicen and finishing on a superb, unbeaten 4/6 in joint-second place was none other than Jude Shearsby! Jude played some excellent chess and deserved to finish on an even higher score as he very much had the better of some drawn games facing older and higher-graded opponents. At the age of only eight years, he becomes Midlands U11 Chess Champion, a fantastic achievement!

In other news, Rohan Pal found himself facing a Russian opponent in the first round of the World School Chess Championships in Turkey. Given Russia’s reputation as a chess powerhouse, this was always going to be a tricky assignment, but Rohan emerged with a draw for Team England, making a fine start to his international chess career! Well done Rohan and good luck for the next round!

Congratulations to everyone for their performances today, we’re so proud of you all!

18/04/2019

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Those of you who read the Solihull Observer might have recently spotted our very own chess superstar, Rohan Pal, hitting the newspaper headlines on account of his tremendous achievement of being selected to play for ENGLAND in the World School Chess Championship (https://solihullobserver.co.uk/news/solihull-boy-to-compete-at-world-school-chess-championship/). We’re delighted to say that the time has arrived! Rohan makes his England debut TODAY as the tournament kicks off in Antalya, Turkey.

As one would expect of an international tournament of this calibre, the standard of competition will be very high – featuring some of the best young chess players from across the globe – but we have full confidence in Rohan who has worked so hard in preparation and is incredibly excited and motivated for this momentous occasion. We are looking forward to following Rohan’s progress and are sure that you will join us in wishing him the very best as he proudly takes to the chessboard to represent his country for the first time.

Good luck Rohan, you can do it! We’ll be there with you every move of the way!

WTYD4612

18/04/2019

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We are delighted to report on some superb results for a number of our members in the IAPS (Independent Association of Prep Schools) Chess Championships! Many of them were in action representing Hallfield School, whose chess club has developed under the expert tutelage of a Coventry Chess Academy legend, FIDE Master Nick Thomas, into one of the best nationally. The squad proved as much as they took FIRST place in both the U11 and U13 categories, despite facing some very tough competition which included numerous England national team members!

There were some outstanding individual performances. In a very strong Championship section, Manvith Sandhu, Rohan Pal and Kanav Monga all scored a brilliant 5.5/7, with Manvith picking up the best game prize awarded personally by International Master Andrew Martin. The fast-improving Zain Amir showed what a fine player he has become by finishing just behind with a fantastic 5/7. The Hallfield ‘big hitter’ and player of the tournament was Aaron Suthi who took equal first place in the U9 non-championship event on day 1 and then equal first place in the A section on day 2, for a magnificent total of 8/9! Wow! Across the board, the standard of play was extremely high and everyone was a credit to the team.

Congratulations to players, team and coach on a fantastic job!

12/04/2019

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We are delighted to officially announce some absolutely fantastic news for one of our members! In a week from now, our very own Rohan Pal will be sitting down at a chessboard in Antalya, Turkey to play for ENGLAND in the 2019 WORLD SCHOOL CHESS CHAMPIONSHIPS! He adds his name to the history books as the second Coventry Chess Academy member to achieve the distinction of being selected to play for his country. You can now find Rohan listed alongside his teammates for the event on the England Juniors website at https://www.englishchess.org.uk/Juniors/world-schools-2019/.

Rohan, aged nine years, is the reigning British U9 Chess Champion, a UK Schools Chess Challenge Terafinalist and one of the stars of the Warwickshire Junior County Chess Squad. He has produced phenomenal performances in junior and adult tournaments alike, with highlights including scoring 7/10 at the Sants Open in Barcelona and recently finishing outright second in the Major Section of the Warwickshire Chess Congress. His ECF and FIDE rating place him among the very best players in his national age group.

CCA Director Paul Lam, a former England international himself, said ‘Rohan is one of our shining stars. His chess progress in the time that I have known him has been absolutely phenomenal. The consistency and completeness of his play is a joy to watch. His maturity is remarkable for a child of nine years and his conduct sets a fine example to others his age. As well as being very talented, his enthusiasm, determination and work ethic are second to none. He richly deserves this opportunity and I know that all these qualities will be on display when he fulfils one of his dreams to play chess for England.’

We look forward to keeping you updated on Rohan’s progress and are sure that you’ll be joining us in cheering him every step of the way! Huge congratulations Rohan, we’re so proud of you!!

RohanCCAcolours2

11/04/2019

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Our very own Billy ‘The Kid’ Fellowes made history earlier this season by becoming the youngest ever person to play a match in the Leamington & District Chess League (LDCL), shortly after celebrating his seventh birthday. Well, he can now add the title of ‘youngest person to score 3/4 in the LDCL’ to that! Our little star scored a crushing victory last night for a fantastic 75% score against experienced adult club players this season, exactly the same percentage incidentally as his proud teammate, the one and only Coach Roy ‘The Most Energetic Great Grandfather in History’ Watson!

Roy recently won an extremely instructive game in the League which will surely find its way onto the CCA demo board in due course. However, en route to victory, he and his opponent, also an experienced adult club player, overlooked a resource which eagle-eyed Billy spotted in about two seconds!

Black continued with …Rc8 in the below position, but he had a much better move available! Can you find it?

Dullenty-Watson

10/04/2019

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Delighted to report on more success for Coventry Chess Academy members in tournament action this weekend! Manvith Sandhu, Rohan Pal and Jude Shearsby were all in action at the popular St Albans Chess Congress. Once again, our terrific trio, with a combined age of just 28 years, did us proud! Jude and Rohan played in a very strong U161 section and scored a very creditable 2/5 and 2.5/5 respectively, playing well above their respective grades. Manvith played in the U181 section and, despite being the bottom seed, finished on an unbeaten 3/5, holding the 180 ECF-graded top seed to a draw and winning the ‘near miss’ prize. Closer to home in neighbouring Northamptonshire, there were also fine performances from Finlay Bowcott-Terry and Elis Dicen who finished joint-third and joint-second respectively within their age sections at a strong National England Junior Squad Championships.

Well done to everyone on more fantastic performances!

XILA0119

07/04/2019

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The Delancey UK Schools Chess Challenge (UKSCC) got off to a fabulous start at the Coventry Chess Academy today! Every year, dozens of our members join tens of thousands of schoolchildren across the UK in taking part in what is the world’s biggest chess tournament, and every year it just gets better and better for them! Last year over THIRTY CCA members reached the Gigafinal, the penultimate stage which is roughly the top 5% of all entrants, NINE made it all the way to theTerafinal which is roughly the top 0.5%, and Jude Shearsby became our first ever TERAFINAL WINNER; truly outstanding achievements!

This year, we held our UKSCC Club Qualifier as a one-day ECF graded event for the first time. It was the first ever chess tournament for many of our members and they all acquitted themselves superbly, contributed to the tournament running extremely smoothly under the auspices of CCA Director Paul Lam and International Arbiter Alex Holowczak. It proved to be a most enjoyable day for all, with some superb chess played and some outstanding results.

We said farewell to Nahum and Joel Bradford who made their last appearance before moving to Scotland. Both finished on a high by qualifying for their first ever Megafinal. Thank you Nahum and Joel for your outstanding contributions to the CCA, we wish you all the best with your future chess endeavours!

Seven-year-old Sai Prajan Venkatesh was playing in his first ever chess tournament, but finished on a magnificent 4.5/6. The same score was achieved by Billy Fellowes, also aged seven, who finished the tournament playing on top board, was a hair’s breadth from winning outright, and demonstrated real maturity of play alongside his trademark tactical brilliance. Eight-year-old Olivia Chen was the top-placed girl, also on 4.5/6 and was unlucky not to be rewarded for some excellent play with an even higher score. Outright second went to Ethan Vas on 5/6, courtesy of brilliant, consistent chess throughout. The outright winner was Vincent Xia on a splendid 5.5/6. Vincent had to navigate some difficult moments against his much younger but inspired clubmate Billy in a thrilling final game to emerge victorious and a very deserving winner of the 2019 CCA UKSCC Qualifier!

Big thanks to all the parents for their support, Alex Holowczak and the sterling tournament team consisting of coaches Roy Watson, Drago Zarev, Steve Turvey and James Grute, and CCA prefects William Morris and Iga Jasinska for helping to make it such a successful event. Congratulations to each and every member who took part today, we’re so proud of you all! Bring on the Megafinal next month!

06/04/2019

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A gentle reminder that the Coventry Chess Academy is now on BREAK for Easter. We are scheduled to resume sessions on Saturday 27th April. Many of our members will still be in tournament action over the break and we can’t wait to bring you exciting updates and to report on their endeavours. Wishing you all a great Easter and we look forward to seeing you when sessions resume at the end of the month!

01/04/2019

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Delighted to report on some fantastic performances from Coventry Chess Academy members in the Birmingham Rapidplay today! This popular tournament which is open to both adults and juniors attracts many of our members every year. They always give a fantastic account of themselves and today proved no exception.

In the Open section, Finlay Bowcott-Terry finished on a very creditable 3.5/7 which included a draw against 206-ECF graded Halesowen clubmate Stewart Fishburne. He finished on the same number of points as names such as Stewart, multiple Warwickshire Chess Champion Don Mason and FIDE Master Jonah Willow.

In the Major section, Manvith Sandhu and Jude Shearsby finished on 2.5/7 and Daniel Chen finished on 3/7; all creditable scores considering the strength of their opponents and that all three were by far the youngest participants, aged eleven, eight and twelve years respectively. Manvith took down the amiable Phil Bull for the third time this season, while Jude and Daniel both scalped 162-graded Leamington League veteran Andy Price. One of the highlights for Jude was facing none other than Finlay and Silas’ dad, Dustin (who himself finished on 5/7 in joint second place!) in round 1. The CCA big hitter in the section was Imogen Dicen who scored a fantastic 4/7, defeating some strong opponents on the way.

In the Intermediate section, Silas Bowcott-Terry acquitted himself admirably by finishing on 3/7, facing higher-graded opponents in every round. Eight-year-old Elis Dicen finished on an excellent 3.5/7, inflicting a rare loss on fellow Warwickshire junior, the much higher-graded and older Chinmay Monga.

The Minor section attracted the largest number of entries from members. Henry Wood was playing in his first adult chess tournament and was one of the lowest graded entries, but still scored a creditable 2.5/7 and defeated the highly experienced captain of Crewe Chess Club. Eight-year-old Olivia Chen was outgraded in almost every round but still scored a super 3/7. School friends and clubmates Zain Amir and Ethan Vas were in fine form following an excellent ESPCA on Saturday and both scored 4/7.

The final word of the day goes to the youngest entrant in the entire tournament, aged only seven years old, the amazing, irrepressible Billy ‘The Kid’ Fellowes. Billy has taken down a number of adult players in standardplay league matches this season, but this was his first ever adult chess tournament. By the final round’s end, a swathe of grown men with multi-decade chess experience had bitten the dust and Billy had finished on a quite magnificent 5/7 to finish joint-third in the Minor section and the honour of being the CCA’s big hitter of the day. WOW! What a player, what a star!

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

TQFA1433

31/03/2019

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Delighted to report on excellent news from the EPSCA (English Primary Schools Chess Association) U11 finals! Manvith Sandhu, Rohan Pal, Jude Shearsby, Kanav Monga, Elis Dicen, Silas Bowcott-Terry, Sarthak Sanyal, Vincent Xia, Zain Amir, Billy Fellowes, Ethan Vas, Margarita Sanchez, Felix Kuang and Aaron Suthi comprised the majority of the Warwickshire U11 squad and were joined by CCA Director Paul Lam who acted as squad coach.

The standard of the competition was very high, as evidenced by the presence of superstar CM Shreyas Royal on top board for Kent and numerous other England internationals. All our members did us proud as they contributed to Warwickshire finishing joint-fourth out of sixteen counties and narrowly missing out on the prize list, with only Oxfordshire, Richmond and the mighty Kent finishing ahead. Nevertheless, this was a terrific result for Warwickshire who finished tenth in the same competition two years ago and sixth last year. In particular, Margarita, Ethan and top board Manvith all excelled by scoring 100%, while Sarthak and Jude were also on fine form with 2.5/3 each.

Congratulations to everyone who played today on a great team effort!

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30/03/2019

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Delighted to report on more success over the board for our members! On Friday, Manvith Sandhu, Rohan Pal, Kanav Monga, Zain Amir and Ethan Vas all played for Hallfield School in the King Edward’s School (KES) Birmingham Blitz under the leadership of FIDE Master Nick Thomas. Despite being a primary school team whose secondary school opponents literally towered over them, the team clinched the top U14 spot and second in the U18s overall, narrowly missing out on defeating the hosts themselves in the final round.

In other news, Elis Dicen and Margarita Sanchez were in action for the Warwickshire girls chess team yesterday in the U11 English Primary Schools Chess Association (EPSCA) Girls Final. It was a tough event for the county overall, but our deadly duo did us proud as they finished on 2/3 and 2.5/3 on boards 1 and 2 respectively!

Finally, in more brilliant news, our terrific trio of Manvith ‘Money’ Sandhu (aged 11), Rohan ‘The Man’ Pal (aged 9) and Jude ‘The Juggernaut’ Shearsby (aged 8) were all in action in a strong Major section of the Nottingham Chess Congress this weekend. There were 53 entries, including 8 players graded 160 ECF or higher, so the standard was very high. A daunting prospect for such young competitors it would seem, but far from it! The multi-talented Manvith finished on a very creditable 2/5, having to contend with a martial arts assessment the same weekend. Jude, the youngest player in the section, finished on an excellent 2.5/5, and Rohan scored a brilliant 3/5, winning the grading prize. Wow! A slew of battle-hardened 150 and 160+ adult players fell victim to or had to concede draws to our stars, leaving opponents and onlookers alike stunned by play that was quite simply of exceptional quality for their age.

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

24/03/2019

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Another marvellous milestone was passed by a Coventry Chess Academy member this weekend! The only-and-only Manvith Sandhu made his debut for the Warwickshire Select 1st team playing in division 2 of the 4NCL, the British National Chess League. With Manvith still being in year 6 at primary school, this made him the youngest person to ever do so in Warwickshire Select history. It was a proud moment for Manvith as he took to the board on the same team as his mentor, school coach and CCA legend, FIDE Master Nick Thomas who was making a rare playing appearance! On this occasion, the time away from the board proved too much for Nick to overcome, but he could still finish the match a proud man due to the exploits of Manvith. After a close loss against a 172 ECF-graded opponent on Saturday in which he was a whisker away from a draw, Manvith found himself facing an even stronger opponent in the form of the 181 ECF-graded Nadia Jaufarally. Undaunted, Manvith pulled off the upset, defeating Nadia and helping to secure victory for Warwickshire Select! Wow! Congratulations Manvith on a famous victory!

18/03/2019

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Delighted to report on more fantastic performances from Coventry Chess Academy members playing in the EPSCA U9 Northern Zonal for Warwickshire! Jude Shearsby, Elis Dicen, Rithvik Muthuvelu, Aarav Agarwal and Arnav Agarwal were all selected to play and did club and county proud. Between them, they scored 12.5/15, with 100% scores for Jude (board 1), Elis (board 2) and Arnav. The team was considerably under-strength, but the heroics of our fantastic five and the rest of the team ensured that Warwickshire finished top ahead of Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Cheshire & North Wales, Oldham, Manchester, Wirral, Lancashire, Tameside and Merseyside. Wow! Well done everyone, we’re so proud of you all!

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16/03/2019

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Delighted to report on more success for our very own Manvith ‘Money’ Sandhu! The day after taking outright first place in Group A of the Warwick Junior Open, Manvith played in a Chess 960 tournament held at Solihull School. Chess 960, also known as Fischer Random, was advocated by legendary former world chess champion, Bobby Fischer, and involves randomising the positions of the pieces on the home ranks. Opening theory goes out of the window and pure skill and ingenuity take over! In a highly-impressive performance, Manvith finished on 3.5/5 for joint-third, ahead of entrants graded as high as 199 ECF, taking down a handy £87.50 prize, and all despite never having played Chess 960 before. Wow! Congratulations Manvith!

SDDA4553

11/03/2019

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Delighted to report on more success for Coventry Chess Academy members! A large number of them were in action in the Warwick Junior Open, an under 11s tournament with 4 graded sections for players of all abilities.

Group D saw a very large number of entries, including a number of CCA members who were playing in their first ever chess tournament beyond our doors. Rhea Pal, the sister of CCA superstar Rohan, scored a very creditable 2.5/5 for a bronze medal as did Gregory Kornilovich and Julia Kozhan. Andrew Chen also won a bronze with 3/5 in his first ever tournament; an outstanding achievement. In outright third place was Isaac Pratt, also making his tournament debut. Isaac scored a superb 3.5/5 for a silver medal. The CCA big hitter in Group D was Arnav Agarwal who won a silver medal with a brilliant 4/5 and led the section right up till the final round.

Group C was the smallest section with only 16 entrants, but the sole CCA member Sam Edge did us proud, scoring 3/5 and winning a bronze medal. There were two excellent performances in Group B from Rithvik Muthuvelu and Olivia Chen who both won silver medals with 4/5, finishing in joint second place. Aarav Agarwal produced yet another creditable performance with 2.5/5 to win bronze in the same section.

Group A was a very strong section, but CCA members continued to shine with bronze medals for Margarita Sanchez, Ethan Vas, Silas Bowcott-Terry and Rohan Pal. Elis Dicen and Kanav Monga won silver medals with 3.5/5 and Manvith Sandhu won gold with 4.5/5 which saw him finish as the outright winner, having defeated the 141 ECF-graded top seed in the fourth round. Well done Manvith!

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

09/03/2019

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It’s been a fantastic final weekend of the J4NCL, the children’s wing of the British national chess league, for Coventry Chess Academy members! An impressive 18 of them comprised the vast majority of the five-team strong Warwickshire Bears squad. They were joined once again by CCA Director Paul Lam, the Bears squad coach.

An action-packed day 1 set the tone for the weekend. Some outstanding individual and team results were achieved. Jude Shearsby had the better of most of his game against the much older 159 ECF-graded England Junior Squad member, Devan Patel, achieving a deserved draw. William Morris took the scalp of fellow Junior Squad member and British girls’ champion, Polina Shchepinova. Olivia Chen marked her J4NCL debut with victory against a higher-graded opponent and older brother Daniel won a fine game the White side of a Closed Sicilian in the A team’s 4-0 whitewash of Manchester. Rounds 2 and 3 were challenging for the Bears’ division 2 teams, although there was a fine draw for Keatan Patel against a much higher-graded opponent and Ethan Vas got off the mark with a good win. There was more success in division 1 though, with Kanav Monga finishing off his opponent with a classic Greek Gift sacrifice and Manvith Sandhu also scoring his first win of the event.

Day 2 brought more success for the teams. There was a commanding round 4 win for Margarita Sanchez and a good comeback victory in the same round for the squad’s youngest member, Billy Fellowes. Astrid Gibara joined the squad and scored a perfect 2/2. Eshan Suthi caused a surprise by beating the very talented England national team member Max Bird. Rohan Pal was imperious as he dismantled a normally tough opponent with ease, crushing him with a kingside attack that echoed his recent superb performance at the Warwickshire Congress. Finlay Bowcott-Terry demolished the event’s 186 ECF-graded top seed with ease. The Dicen sisters, Imogen and Elis, had a tough day 1, but showed their character by bouncing back in style on day 2, both scoring 100% and contributing to the B team’s crushing 4-0 victory over the unfortunate Manchester side.

Once the smoke had cleared, the A team had scored 8 points in division 1, exactly the same as friendly rivals the amusingly-named ‘Five Young Oysters’. However, the A team’s total game points surpassed the Oysters, securing the division 1 title for the Bears! Just AWESOME! A special mention for the A team’s oldest member and board 1, Finlay, who led by example by scoring an unbeaten 4/5 and proved extremely helpful to the squad’s younger members during the enthusiastically-attended analysis sessions led by Paul. Team morale was high throughout the event and there were plenty of laughs and light-hearted moments along the way.

Congratulations to all of our members who were once more outstanding ambassadors for club and county on and off the chessboard!

03/03/2019

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Delighted to report on more stunning results for Coventry Chess Academy members! Up in Liverpool, the Double A-Force of Arnav and Aarav Agarwal took on the best that the North had to offer in the U8s section of the Northern Junior Chess Championship! Both scored 3.5/5, finishing in joint-second and taking away more trophies to the Midlands! Moreover, our terrific two had more great fun and were simply superb ambassadors for our club! Well done guys, marvellous stuff!

Day 3 of the Warwickshire Congress being held in Coventry saw more fireworks from members participating! A special mention for Olivia Chen who was the youngest and lowest-graded CCA member playing in the U110 (Minor) section, but finished on 2.5/5! A tremendous result for Olivia who can be very proud of her performance and showed what a fast-improving player she is!

The CCA ‘big hitter’ for the weekend was the one-and-only Rohan Pal. This was the first playing experience for Rohan, who is still in year 5 at primary school, in a Major section of a chess congress and he did so in a somewhat jetlagged state having returned from holiday on the day that the tournament started! Undeterred, he got off to a fantastic start in the first 3 rounds and in round 4 today he faced the 162 ECF-graded Patrick Reid of Rugby Chess Club, who regularly turns out for their side in the top divisions of the Leamington and Coventry Chess Leagues. In a turnaround for the books, Rohan utterly outplayed Patrick to register an emphatic win in one of the best games played by a CCA member that you are likely to see! His final score was an unbeaten 4/5 for outright second place, a 166 ECF grading performance and a huge chunk of FIDE rating points also gained. WOW! What a star!

Congratulations to every single member who competed this weekend, we’re so proud of you all!

24/02/2019

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It’s been a fantastic day for Coventry Chess Academy members in tournament action! Numerous members are playing in the Warwickshire Congress being held in our home city this weekend. CCA Director Paul Lam has been a very interested spectator, while Coach Roy Watson has chanced his arm in the U140 (Intermediate) section and saw the first two rounds get away from him due to missed tactical opportunities, but rebounded with a win in the third round. Can you find the clever trick for Roy in the position below from his first round game? Black to play and win!

Our members have all given a great account of themselves and there have already been some notable results and superb demonstrations of skill and determination over the chessboard. Rohan Pal currently stands on an excellent unbeaten 2.5/3 in the FIDE-rated U1975 (Major) section and Manvith Sandhu stands on an unbeaten 2/3 in the same section, producing a brilliant, controlled display to win his third round game. There was a standout result in round 2 as Jude Shearsby overcame a big grading deficit to win his game against club and good friend Imogen Dicen. There was an amazing result for Olivia Chen in the same round playing in the U110 (Minor) section. Having only turned eight years old a few months ago, Olivia is one of the youngest CCA entrants, but showed poise beyond her age in scoring her best standardplay win to date against a 102 ECF-graded adult opponent. Fantastic stuff! Wishing all of our guys and girls the very best of luck for tomorrow!

Meanwhile up north in Liverpool, good friends Arnav Agarwal and Billy Fellowes were flying the CCA flag in the Northern Junior Chess Championships! Arnav finished on 2/5 and Billy scored 5/5 to win outright and gain the title of Northern Junior Chess Champion in addition to his London Junior Chess Champion title! Wow! Moreover both of them had a really fun time, as we’re sure you can tell! Well done guys, terrific stuff once again!

23/02/2019

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Hot off the chess press, news of a fantastic result for one of our members! The amazing Billy Fellowes, who only celebrated his seventh birthday a few months ago, recently became the youngest player to ever win a league game in the history of the Leamington & District Chess League. Tonight he became the youngest player in the League’s history to win TWO games in a season! He faced the 108 ECF-graded Barry Knee of Shirley, a mere 65 years older(!!). Despite getting into trouble against his vastly more experienced opponent, Billy never gave up and demonstrated brilliant resourcefulness to create chances before spotting a peach of an opportunity that the unfortunate Mr Knee completely overlooked. A few accurate moves later, and Billy had achieved a most picturesque discovered checkmate delivered by a pawn and another famous victory! Well done Billy, what a little fighter, what a star!

Fellowes-Knee

18/02/2019

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It’s been a simply tremendous day for Coventry Chess Academy members! The final session before the half-term break was a very well-attended and enjoyable affair. Congratulations to Frank Lin who won the best game prize from last week’s Group D recorded games, a very worthy winner out of an excellent group. We had a special guest in attendance: a legend of Coventry chess, Mark Page, the 4NCL Warwickshire Select captain. Groups A PLUS and A were treated to Mark’s recent masterclass on home soil against Grandmaster Hebden in which he outplayed and demolished his esteemed opponent. Mark is an ‘Old Wheatleyan’ and was delighted to see a current Bablake pupil and CCA member, Keatan Patel, provide some superb and incisive responses to questions asked during the demonstration. Can you find Mark’s move which sealed the GM’s fate at the bottom?

In the West of England, a ginger bear was on the rampage! It turned out to be none other than CCA Assistant Director, Andy Ward, playing in the Open Section of the Bristol Congress! Unfortunately for his 171-graded opponent in round 1, Andy turned out to be less the avuncular Paddington version and more the man-eating Kodiak variety. He reduced his foe to dust in a mere 21 moves.

More locally, a number of CCA members were in action in the University of Warwick Rapidplay and there were some fine showings! Finlay Bowcott-Terry finished on 4.5/7 in the Open section, only losing to the 219 ECF-graded tournament winner and holding a 201-graded opponent to a very creditable draw in the final round; a superb performance from him. A remarkable performance was also produced by his clubmate Manvith Sandhu, the youngest competitor in the section. Manvith, who is still in primary school, finished with 4/7 and a 170 ECF grading performance. He defeated opponents graded 162, 164, 151 and 159, all battle-hardened veterans of top flight local league chess. Wow! A tremendous showing!

Congratulations to all our members (and coach) for their performances today, we’re so proud of you all!

Page-Hebden

17/02/2019

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Hot off the chess press, we are delighted to report on SPECTACULAR results for CCA members representing Warwickshire in the Midlands Junior Chess Team Championships today in Nottingham! The ‘Bears’ were somewhat under-strength due to tournament clashes, but nevertheless won every section: U9s, U11s and U11 girls!! Warwickshire literally swept the board! Manvith Sandhu, Jude Shearsby, Elis Dicen, Zain Amir, Billy Fellowes, Keatan Patel, Ethan Vas, Felix Kuang, Margarita Sanchez, Rithvik Muthuvelu, Aaron Suthi and Aarav Agarwal were simply outstanding for the county. Across 36 games, the CCA contingent only dropped 4.5 points. Just brilliant!

Other positive news emerged from the 4NCL, the British national chess league, on Saturday. Finlay Bowcott-Terry was in action and found himself facing Warwickshire stalwart, Ed Goodwin, who scraped by our very own Jude Shearsby recently in a local league game. The veteran had no such luck today, as Finlay hit back for the CCA with a good win. Rohan Pal was also in action and had to face an even stronger opponent in the 180 ECF-graded(!) Peter Tart. Rohan delivered a simply phenomenal effort; the stronger player prevailed, but only after 4 hard-fought hours. A fantastic experience for Rohan who acquitted himself very well on his 4NCL debut, another milestone for him. 

On Sunday, Manvith, fresh off his 100% score in the Midlands Junior Team Championship, joined his friends Imogen Dicen and Rohan in the Warwickshire Select 2nd team, the first time ever that juniors/CCA members have comprised 50% of the team. Imogen had to face a higher-graded and far more experienced opponent and although she wasn’t able to overcome him on this occasion, it was still a great experience for her playing as high as board 4. Manvith scored a good draw on board 5 against a higher-graded opponent in which he had the better of proceedings for most of the game. Rohan playing on board 6 was in trouble at one point, but retained his composure, fought back and managed to also hold his higher-graded opponent to a draw. Finlay drew to finish on 1.5/2 for the weekend and little brother Silas provided the fireworks with a good win, ensuring that the CCA contingent finished on 50% for the day.

Congratulations to all our members who did themselves proud once again!

09/02/2019

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If one spectacular result in local league chess wasn’t enough, we nearly had another this week! Jude Shearsby, at just 8 years of age, became by far the youngest ever person to make his debut for Kenilworth Chess Club A team. He faced a stalwart of Warwickshire Chess, the 157 ECF-graded Ed Goodwin. Jude proceeded to give Ed hell for over 40 moves, more than holding his own, having the advantage at one point, and showing great courage to decline a draw offer from his vastly more experienced and higher-graded opponent in pursuit of a victory for the team. Although he fell short in the endgame, it was an outstanding showing from Jude who once again demonstrated qualities beyond his years. Well done Jude on a fantastic effort!
08/02/2018
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Delighted to report on a fabulous individual result for a CCA member! Finlay Bowcott-Terry, his brother Silas and Manvith Sandhu have all been active members for the excellent Halesowen Chess Club which plays in the Birmingham & District Chess League. The fast-rising Finlay is already a fully-fledged member of the A team playing in division 1 of the League and last night it was Manvith’s turn to join him in a match against South Birmingham A team. With five games concluded, the match score stood at 2.5-2.5, including draws for Finlay and dad Dustin. The last man standing was Manvith. He had to face the very experienced and strong David Dunn (graded 171 ECF). It would be a formidable proposition for most 11 year olds, but not our Manvith! Showcasing qualities beyond his years, he overcame horrendous time trouble (at one point falling under 20 seconds on his clock) to heroically hold the draw, saving the match for Halesowen in a grandstand finish. Even the South Birmingham players had to applaud along with Manvith’s delighted teammates!

Congratulations Manvith, what a fantastic effort and result!

05/02/2019

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Delighted to report on more overseas chess success for the Coventry Chess Academy’s ‘Pacific Star’, Eden Oshri! Eden recently took part in the U1200 section of the Auckland Chess Club (ACC) Junior Chess Series. This was Eden’s first time competing in this calibre of tournament, but any apprehension he might have had beforehand was quickly dispelled once he sat down to play. Eden stormed to first place with a perfect 6/6, also winning the handsome sum of NZ$60. Congratulations Eden on a superb achievement!

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30/01/2019

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Delighted to report on more excellent news for Coventry Chess Academy members! Our terrific trio of Manvith Sandhu, Rohan Pal and Jude Shearsby are all currently NUMBER 1 in the English Youth Chess Grand Prix standings for their respective age groups. https://www.englishchess.org.uk/…/english-youth-grand-pri…/… This is a superb reflection on the three, all of whom are outstanding ambassadors for our club!

In other news, readers of the Coventry Observer might have spotted within its pages rising CCA superstar, our very own Billy Fellowes! You can check the story out online at https://coventryobserver.co.uk/…/young-chess-champion-bil…/… No doubt the first of many press appearances to come from Billy!

It also turned out to be an excellent weekend for Coventry Chess Academy members in tournament action! In the local Kenilworth Junior Open, there was an excellent CCA turnout and all members competing performed very well indeed. In the U18 A section, Finlay Bowcott-Terry won with a perfect 5/5, while younger brother Silas came outright second in the U11 A section with 4/5. Olivia Chen came joint-third in the U11 B section and Arnav Agarwal showed what a fast-improving player he is by coming joint-third in the U11 D section with 4/5. A special mention for Gregory Kornilovich, the youngest CCA member competing, who scored a fine 3/5 and won a bronze medal in the same section. Amazingly, Gregory was born in the same year that the CCA was founded and is new to tournament chess!

Down south in Yateley Manor, CCA members were also in action in the elite-level South of England Junior Chess Championships. Each section, from U7 to U15 was laden with talent but our members acquitted themselves very well indeed. Imogen finished on a fine 3/5 and was the only person to beat the tournament winner in the U15 section. In a massively strong U11 section, Manvith Sandhu and Kanav Monga also finished on 3/5 while Jude Shearsby and Rohan Pal both finished on 4/5 for joint-third; really good showings from all. Elis Dicen scored 4.5/6 for joint-third in the U9 section for another excellent result and Billy Fellowes was outright second in the U7 section with an outstanding 5/6, only losing to the number 1 in his age group (who he recently drew with at the London Junior Chess Championships).

Congratulations to all our members who competed this weekend and once again excelled, we’re proud of you all!

28/01/2019

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Hot off the chess press, the ECF grades for January 2019 are now out! There has been SPECTACULAR improvement for CCA members across the board and we are delighted for all our members! You can check out your new grade online at http://www.ecfgrading.org.uk/new/menu.php

 

In total, we have:

-THREE girls ranked in the top 10 nationally for their age.

-THREE boys ranked in the top 10 nationally for their age.

-NINE members ranked in the top 20 nationally for their age/gender

Well done everyone, we’re so proud of you all!

 

23/01/2019

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It was a rollercoaster weekend 2 of the Junior 4NCL, the children’s wing of the British national chess league, for Coventry Chess Academy members! An impressive 19 of them made up the majority of the Warwickshire Bears squad consisting of 5 teams, all managed and coached by CCA Director Paul Lam. Round 1 was a tough one as it seemed that many of the Bears were still charging up; in division 2 we only managed one draw out of 4 matches. Elis Dicen however won comfortably, while Joel Bradford proved a last minute hero. A withdrawal due to illness resulted in a call-up at a mere 1 hour 30 minutes notice! Joel battled hard but went down to his vastly more experienced opponent. There was however an excellent comeback win for Joel’s older brother and fellow J4NCL debutant, Nahum. In division 1, the A team brought some cheer with a great 3-1 win against a Sleepless Knights team which heavily out-rated them on average, with Manvith Sandhu producing a brilliant, mature display to outplay and break down his strong opponent. Big wins were also enjoyed by Imogen Dicen and Rohan Pal.

Round 2 proved much better for our division 2 teams with 2 draws and 2 wins. J4NCL debutant Keatan Patel dropped a piece early, but fought back with a vicious attack to rout Oxfordshire wonderkid Jan Murawski. His good friend Vincent Xia joined the team and also claimed a good win, as did Zain Amir after narrowly missing out on victory in the first round. The A team drew, with Finlay Bowcott-Terry proving the sole winner.

Round 3 brought more success for the Bears in division 2 with 3 wins from 4. Elis gained revenge against the talented Kavin Thooran who had previously beaten her at the Midlands Junior Chess Championships, ruthlessly exploiting her material advantage after a blunder from Kavin in the opening. Margarita Sanchez, Silas Bowcott-Terry and Sarthak Sanyal also claimed good first wins. The A team suffered their first reversal, a narrow 1.5-2.5 to the amusingly named ‘5 Young Oysters’, but still made it through to the Championship Pool. The highlight of the match was Finlay’s brilliant sacrificial win the White side of a Ruy Lopez against England Junior Squad member Devan Patel.

In round 4, Astrid Gibara was warmly welcomed to the team and played well to gain a clear advantage out of the opening, before errors cost her in the middlegame. Kanav Monga also joined the team and crushed his Barnet Knights opponent in brutal fashion by catching the White king in the centre and forcing huge and decisive material gains. Eshan Suthi played perhaps the best chess of anyone in the round; expertly exploiting a weak e5-pawn before catching the enemy king in a thematic mating net. The A team got back to winning ways in the first Championship pool game by defeating Welsh Dragons Red. Jude Shearsby recovered from a difficult opening with a sacrificial attack that bamboozled his higher-graded opponent and ended up mating him.

In round 5, William Morris, the oldest member of his team, set a fine example with a convincing win on top board, leading the B team to 4th place out of 23 teams; the highest placed Warwickshire team in division 2. Nahum finished with 3/5 for the weekend with another good win and Eshan won again for 4/5; an excellent weekend for him! Ethan Vas triumphed in less than 20 moves while J4NCL debutant, Billy Fellowes, the youngest member in the entire squad, scored a great win with the Black pieces, demonstrating great maturity and composure. The A team match went right down to the wire against Cheddleton. Finlay suffered his first reversal of the tournament, but this was counter-balanced with a draw for Manvith and a tour-de-force from Rohan who demonstrated poise, technique and determination to turn an endgame edge into a seemingly effortless victory. The outcome would be decided by the last game of the weekend to finish. Imogen played fantastically and was winning her game, but the pressure was huge and an oversight allowed her opponent to infiltrate the back rank with his queen and scrape a draw. The team consequently finished in third place and on the prize-list; a great achievement with three of the team still being in primary school.

Congratulations to all of our members who played this weekend and did Warwickshire and the CCA proud!

21/01/2019

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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!

18/01/2019

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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.

16/01/2019

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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!

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07/01/2019

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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!

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06/01/2019

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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!

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05/01/2019

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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!

04/01/2019

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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!

https://www.facebook.com/giraffe.chess/posts/2127469790915812

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21/12/2018

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Another piece of chess history was made last night by a Coventry Chess Academy member! Our very own little superstar, Billy ‘The Kid’ Fellowes, recently made his Leamington & District Chess League debut having only just turned seven years old, almost certainly the youngest player in the League’s history to do so. Last night, he was in action again playing alongside none other than CCA legend Coach Roy Watson. Unfortunately, Roy was having an uncharacteristic off-night and went down to defeat. It was left to Billy to save the match for his team. In a superb display, Billy completely mastered, outplayed and defeated his adult opponent! Not only did he ensure that the team got a vital draw, he set a record for the youngest person to ever win an LDCL game. Just amazing, well done Billy!
19/12/2018
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It’s been a simply INCREDIBLE weekend for Coventry Chess Academy members! The eyes of the chess world were fixed on London, with a series of important tournaments taking place, including the London Chess Classic, arguably the UK’s premier chess event. David Phillips scored a creditable 2.5/5 in a strong U2050 section while Silas Bowcott-Terry scored a fine 3/5 in the U1600 section. Silas’ dad, Dustin, finished on the same score in the U1825 section but ended up being upstagedby older son Finlay! Finlay scored a perfect 5/5 to win the U1825 section outright! Brilliant stuff!

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!

16/12/2018

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Readers of ‘CHESS’ might have seen a familiar name within the pages of the most recent edition! Our very own Jude Shearsby, still only eight years old, made his second appearance within the well-regarded monthly and the UK’s most popular chess magazine! His achievement in winning the recent UK Schools Chess Challenge Terafinal for his age group featured, along with a sample from one of his games. Amazing stuff, well done Jude! No doubt there will be many more to come!
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14/12/2018
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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!

11/12/2018

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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!

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09/12/2018

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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!

08/12/2018

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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! 🎄🎅🎖🎁

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06/12/2018

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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!

02/12/2018

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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!

25/11/2018

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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!

20/11/2018

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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!

12/11/2018

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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!

07/11/2018

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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!

31/10/2018

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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!

25/10/2018

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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!

24/10/2018

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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!

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22/10/2018

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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!

15/10/2018

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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!

07/10/2018

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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!

30/09/2018

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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!

29/09/2018

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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!

17/09/2018

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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 😊

 

12/09/2018

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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! 

 

 10/09/2018

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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!

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06/09/2018

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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!

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02/09/2018

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It’s another chess-filled weekend on for Coventry Chess Academy members as we count down the days back to school! Kanav Monga played in the Darnall & Handsworth Congress U120 section and shook off the board-rust with a fine 3.5/6 in his first tournament back after the summer holidays, including an excellent final round win. Well done Kanav!

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!

01/09/2018

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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! 

30/08/2018
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It’s been an absolutely MARVELLOUS day for the Coventry Chess Academy’s international chess stars! 👏

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! 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 ♔

 

26/08/2018

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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!

 

24/08/2018

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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!

Best of luck to both our guys for the rounds to come and to team England!

 

21/08/2018

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Something light-hearted to brighten up a dreary Monday! Coventry Chess Academy Director Paul Lam features on Grandmaster Jon Speelman’s latest ‘Agony’ column on chessbase.com with two of his games; one with a happy ending, the other emphatically not. Curious? Read on for the full story! https://en.chessbase.com/post/speelman-agony-82
20/08/2018
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Following on from incredible success on the national stage at the recent British Chess Championships, Coventry Chess Academy members are making waves on the international stage! Rohan Pal is currently in action in the Sants Open in Spain and has made a brilliant 2/2 start. Well done Rohan and good luck for the rest of the tournament!

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!

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Let’s cheer on our guys for the next two weeks as they fly the flag for the CCA! #Proud

19/08/2019

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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!

 

17/08/2018

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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!

 

 

30/07/2018

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The Coventry Chess Academy is now on break for summer, but members are continuing to make a name for themselves in tournaments across the country! Jude Shearsby, Kanav Monga, Imogen Dicen and Manvith Sandhu were all in action in the U135 section of the 19th 4NCL Congress held in Telford at the weekend. Jude and Kanav, both aged eight, were the youngest competitors and had to face higher-graded adult opponents in every round. They both scored a very creditable 2/5 with highlights including Kanav taking down the 123-graded Nigel Morris and Jude’s crushing defeat of 114-graded John Harris. Imogen Dicen scored a fine 3/5, with her only loss coming to her in-form clubmate Manvith Sandhu. Manvith played superb, mature chess en route to a score of 3.5/5 and a share of the prize money! Great stuff! Well done to all our members who played this weekend!
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17/07/2018
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Some more marvellous news, this time from up north in Manchester! Last weekend, a record NINE Coventry Chess Academy members qualified for the UK Schools Chess Challenge Terafinals. Well, you can now make that TEN! Our very own ‘Amazing’ Arjun Vadgama competed at the weekend just gone in the Northern Gigafinal. Against some very good opponents, he swept the board (forgive the pun) to score a perfect 6/6 and qualify for the Terafinal GRAND FINAL. Wow, just awesome! Well done Arjun, we’re so proud of you!
16/07/2018
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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!

 

 

15/07/2018

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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!

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13/07/2018

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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!

WarksJuniorGrandPrix2

 

11/07/2018

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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!

 

 

 

10/07/2018

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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!

 

 

 

08/07/2018

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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!

 

 

 

07/07/2018

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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!

 

 

 

06/07/2018

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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!

03/07/2018

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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:

Enjoy!
01/07/2018
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Hot off the chess press, news reached us from Hampstead of a fantastic game played by our very own Jude Shearsby! Facing a much higher-graded adult player in the first round, Jude, who only recently celebrated his eighth birthday, completely outplayed his opponent, crowning a kingside attack with a glorious finish that anyone would have been proud to play! Well done Jude, who knew that someone so young would be capable of such amazing things! White to move, over to you!
Shearsby-Lever
30/06/2018
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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!

 

 

 

26/06/2018

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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!RIBP851417/06/2018

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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!

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11/06/2018

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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!

 

 

 

02/06/2018

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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!!

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30/05/2018

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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!

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29/05/2018
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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!

LGMW1991

21/05/2018

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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!!

 

 

 

14/05/2018
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It was an action-packed Bank Holiday weekend for the Coventry Chess Academy’s members! On Saturday, Imogen Dicen, Manvith Sandhu and Jude Shearsby were all in action for the Warwickshire U120 senior side against Essex in the national county championships. Despite facing vastly older and more experienced opponents, our terrific trio were undeterred. Imogen and Jude drew while Manvith defeated the Essex team captain, contributing to a 7-5 team victory and progression onto the quarter-finals. Well done to all three!
The 2017-2018 4NCL (the British National Chess League) season came to a close over the Bank Holiday weekend and CCA members were in the thick of the action! Finlay Bowcott-Terry and David Phillips were both in action representing Warwickshire Select. Finlay won his Saturday game for the 1st team and then played superbly to achieve draw against a higher-graded opponent on Sunday for the 2nd team. David scored a fine win against exotic former Chess Olympian and FIDE Master Rupert Jones on Sunday and won convincingly on Monday too. Iga Jasinska found herself playing in the heights of division 1, facing Woman FIDE Master Kanwal Bhatia on one of the live boards on Saturday (Hands up if you were cheering her on from home!). Ultimately, the higher-graded player triumphed, but still a great experience for her! Meanwhile, in division 4, Jude Shearsby became the youngest CCA member to play in the 4NCL at only seven years of age. On this occasion, his higher-graded adult opponents got the better of him, but a great experience for Jude. Well done to all our members who competed, you can be proud of your efforts!
08/05/2018
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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!

 

 

 

30/04/2018

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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!

 

 

 

23/04/2018

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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!

 

 

 

15/04/2018

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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!

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09/04/2018
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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!

 

 

 

08/04/2018

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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!

 

 

 

06/04/2018

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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!

02/04/2018

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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.

 

 

 

26/03/2018

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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!

 

 

 

18/03/2018

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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!

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13/03/2018

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*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!

 

 

 

01/03/2018

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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!

 

 

 

16/02/2018

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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!

 

 

 

05/02/2018

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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!

 

 

 

25/01/2018

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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!

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18/01/2018

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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!

10/01/2018

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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!

 

 

 

08/01/2018

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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

 

 

 

11/12/2017

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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!

 

 

 

02/12/2017

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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!

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27/11/2017

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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!

 

 

 

27/11/2017

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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!

22/11/2017

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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!