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All stories for 2019-20
Team matches v. Wiltshire Sunday, January 20

Jim Wadsworth writes:
Despite awful weather (and a spectacular traffic jam), Berkshire's under 9 team all safely made it to Cricklade near Swindon in time to complete an excellent 26½ - 9½ victory against hosts Wiltshire. Many congratulations to the team - and many thanks to all the parents and supporters for braving the unpleasant conditions to trek down the M4.

The result is even more impressive when one considers that none of those who played on the top 4 boards at our most recent county match were available this weekend, either due to other commitments or because they were playing in an older age group at the same event. Also since the Wiltshire team had five players returning from the corresponding fixture in 2007 (including two of last year's top four boards), whereas only one Berkshire player (Thomas Robinson) also competed last year.

The whole team rose magnificently to the challenge. Whilst those on boards 1 - 3 found it quite tough against more experienced opponents, the rest of the team more than made up for it. Just 3½ points were dropped over three rounds by the Berkshire players on boards 4 to 12 inclusive - a fantastic effort! Joshua Hankins, Kieran Grey, Alexis Gritsanchouk, Clare Pearson and Olivia Lockyear all scored a perfect 3 out of 3; and William Pearson remained unbeaten on 2½. Particularly well done to all of them.

As we continue to build towards the EPSCA competition in March, we now look forward to our next team training session on 26 January, and then this year's final friendly match on 9 February.

David Herring adds:
The Berkshire U11 team had a good start to 2008 with a 39½ to 13½ win against Wiltshire. Equally important as this excellent result, was the manner in which all our players played - a spirit of good fun prevailed the day! All 17 players used scored points and a good number scored the maximum of three out of three. Well done to Luke Orechoff, Tom Vandersluis, Louise Head, Harvey Jensen and William Foo on their perfect scores. As the match was against a single county we rotated board numbers, I really wanted to 'promote' some of our middle order players out of their comfort zone. Adam Pearson completely outplayed Wiltshires board 4, only to lose in the queen pawn ending, through lack of technique. William had a good win against Wiltshire's board 1, playing in a controlled aggressive manner.

We now look forward to our next match on the 10th Feb, where our sense of 'fun' will ensure another positive result for Berkshire U11's.

Thank you to all parents/guardians for your support of Berkshire Chess. Well done to all our 17 players, you played good chess.

Chris Archer-Lock adds:
The Under 14 team too enjoyed a successful day, emerging from the roadworks to speed to an early lead in their match. The Berkshire team showed the greater strength in depth, with a run of success on the lower boards escorted by James Holland's convincing first round win on board 1. As time went on, a number of close encounters proved kind and Berkshire had achieved a 10½ - ½ lead at the half way point. A training interval involved discussion of Fischer-Spassky game 6 from the Reykjavik 1972 World Championship match, out of respect to the legendary former World Champion who very sadly passed away two days before. Probably still overawed by Fischer's breathtaking positional play (Spassky is recorded as having joined the applause of 1,500 spectators at the end of this game), the players returned to today's battle. The strong Wiltshire top boards gained some revenge for their sufferings in the first round, but by the end of a stop start round, Berkshire overtook the opposition! in the second round too, this time with a narrower 7-4 margin. Thus the overall match result stood at 17½ - 4½ to Berkshire Under 14's. A good result, and to keep improving, why not play through that Fischer game again, or for the first time, this week?
Related links

Under 9s:
Last Season's Results

Under 14s:

Under 11s:
Last Season's Results