The Suffolk Under 11 team (pictured above) travelled to Twickenham (Middlesex) on Saturday to play in the EPSCA East Zone Finals. This was an extremely strong event, with teams such as Barnet, Richmond and Kent competing for honours. Nine teams entered, with the top six due to qualify for the National Finals.
Suffolk's team reflected the parlous state of junior chess in the county: only one player had a grade of 100+ and two team members were as young as six and seven (perhaps that's a promising sign for the future!) Despite 'borrowing' four players from Norfolk, Suffolk finished in last place, scoring only 10½ points out of a possible 60. The winners were the usual suspects Barnet, who scored 50 points.
Unfortunately, traffic problems meant that only 18 players turned up, making a difficult situation even worse.
Most of the team came from either Woodbridge School (eight) or Bury Knights JCC (seven). The top three boards were Bury Knights' members, and between them they scored 4½ points, with Board 2 Jaden Jermy unbeaten on two points. They faced very tough opposition, with Board 1 Adam John losing to a grade 143. Probably the best results were Jaden's draw against a 144 and Board 3 Tom Roy's draw against a 136. Three Woodbridge School players chalked up excellent wins: six-year old Rowan Kent beat a 111 grade in the first round; Marina Pommier beat a grade 72; and Juliet Porter scored 2/3 including a win against an 88-graded player - from Barnet!
Our thanks goes to Team Manager Boby Sebastian (Adam John's Dad) for organising the team and transport. Also to Paula Allen who stepped in at the last moment to act as a board steward.