The Suffolk Under 11 team travelled to Chingford in Essex today to compete in the Midland and East Zone Final of the English Primary Schools Chess Association Championship. Despite some excellent individual performances, the team just missed out on qualifying for the National Finals. The top six teams qualified automatically and Suffolk finished in seventh place:
1 Barnet (48½)
2 Kent (44)
3 Richmond (37)
4 Hertfordshire (33)
5 Essex (30)
6 Cambridgeshire (27)
7 Suffolk (24)
8 Northamptonshire (19½)
9 Newham (7)
Going into the third and final round, Suffolk were just half a point behind Cambridgeshire. Both teams pulled out all the stops in Round 3; Suffolk scored 9½, but Cambridgeshire scored 12 (having only scored 7½ in each of the first two rounds).
So, just as last year, Suffolk finished in seventh place, despite scoring 1½ points more than last year’s total of 22½.
The best individual performance was by William Bradley, one of four Norfolk players ‘borrowed’ for the occasion; he won all three games on Board 4. On top board, nine-year old Anita Somton scored 2½ points against some tough opposition. She drew in Round 1 with Essex Board 1 Aditya Verma (ECF 154 / Elo 1639) and in Round 3 beat Barnet’s Dominic Klingher (ECF 144 / Elo 1786). Other scores of note were Jessica Stone from Norwich, unbeaten on two points, with Woodbridge’s Giles Kelleway and Harry Rennell each scoring 1½ points.
Some of the games on Boards 1 and 2 were of exceptional quality. The only ‘weak’ team in the competition was the newly-formed Newham, a breakaway association from South-East Essex.