The 20-board Suffolk Under 11 team will be playing on Saturday in the East Zone of the English Primary Schools Chess Association (EPSCA) Inter-Association Championship, taking place in Chingford, Essex.
As last year, when Suffolk ‘borrowed’ players from Norfolk, this will be repeated with four Norfolk players amongst the top ten boards. The remaining 16 places will be filled equally from the Bury Knights and the Abbey Prep (Woodbridge). It’s a sad reflection on Suffolk Junior Chess that a) we are having to use players from Norfolk, and b) that there are no representatives from schools in Ipswich, the county’s largest town (by far).
The rules allow Norfolk children to play for Suffolk, because Norfolk is not affiliated to EPSCA; they are allowed to play for an adjacent county.
The top three boards will be filled by members of the Bury Knights Junior Chess Club, with 9-year old Anita Somton (ECF 123) on top board, Mario Saenz de Villaverde (100 RP) on Board 2, and Alan John (89 RP) on Board 3. Between them, these three scored 17 points out of 18 in the recent Suffolk Junior Championships.
Alan John’s father, Boby Sebastian, is the Under 11 Team Manager and has co-ordinated travel arrangements and maintained contact with the parents, many of whom will also be travelling to Chingford on Saturday.
Ten new polo shirts, emblazened ‘Suffolk Junior Chess’ have been purchased to supplement dwindling stocks and each child will proudly wear their shirt, which can either be purchased for £10.00, or hired for the day for £3.00.
Suffolk will be competing against seven other junior chess associations: Barnet, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent, Northamptonshire and Richmond It is likely that the top six will qualify for the Final, to be held in Northampton on Saturday 10 May.
Last year, Suffolk were seventh out of nine, so only a small improvement is needed!