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Under 14 Team event: Berks, Sussex, Kent, Barnet Sunday, September 16
Keith Tunstall writes:

On what might be the last day of summer this year, four county teams got together at The Dolphin School, Hurst to kick off the U14 county chess season.

There was a hasty relocation within the school since the main hall was not available because it was hosting an orchestra practice! With a quick re-shuffle and very little fuss, everything was set for some tough games of chess.

The first round draw pitted Barnet against Berkshire and Kent against Sussex. After a couple of quick wins for Sussex there was a huge wait for the next result - 50 minutes into the match! With a couple of defaults, the first real Berkshire match didn't finish for 55 minutes and that was a draw by perpetual check on board 1. A fantastic example of focused chess playing and exactly what was asked for.

Although Berkshire lead 4½-½ after an hour, Barnet fought back well. The score stood at 6-4 to Berkshire with two games left. Ben and Adrian took the points and Berkshire won the round 8-4.

In the other half of the match, the results were going mostly for Sussex. Although a late surge from Kent brought the first round result to 9-3 in favour of Sussex. The last game taking 2 hours and 16 minutes - nearly the whole of the alloted time.

Both matches in the first round had incredible average game lengths:
Barnet/Berkshire: 70 minutes
Kent/Sussex: 73 minutes

Even with these average game lengths, the good weather allowed plenty of cricket playing out on the tennis courts. It's a pity England didn't benefit in their match against South Africa!

The two final matches saw each team needing the same colour sequence as their opposition. So a toss of a coin decided colours for the final round and off we went.

The intensity of the first round was certainly in the playing room, although the average game lengths dwindled a little:
Berkshire/Sussex: 58 minutes
Kent/Barnet 63 minutes

After the initial default, Barnet came back strongly against Kent with the score 4-2 to Barnet at the half way stage. Kent never recovered the ground and Barnet ran out 8½-3½ winners of the playoff for third and fourth place.

Meanwhile in the playoff for first and second place, Berkshire took an early 3-1 lead after half an hour of playing time. At the midway stage Sussex had pulled the match back to a 1 point gap - 3½-2½ to Berkshire. The final half of the match was dominated by the Berkshire team who took 5½ of the 6 points available to clinch a fantastic victory over Sussex, 9-3.

Everyone in the Berkshire team contributed points with 7 players finishing unbeaten on the day, of which five of these were part of the 100% club:
James Holland
Zach Salvini
Aaron George
Daniel Noel
Ryan Chen

A great start to the season, with the NYCA U18 and U14 competitions just around the corner. Well done everyone.

Related links

Last Season's Results