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Under 11 Team event: Berks, Bucks, Sussex, Surrey Sunday, February 10
David Herring writes:

Click for larger photo
Click for larger photo

On Sunday 10th January the U11 team played in a four county friendly match. Two of the counties, Wey Valley and Sussex were respectively the winners and runners up in the 2007 EPSCA final - so an interesting afternoon of competitive chess was to be expected. Our U11s did not disappoint, getting off to a flying start with a 13½ to 6½ victory against Bucks. Many of our players chose to carefully record moves during this first round, they tended to have the longer games with less mistakes being made. We encourage all county players to follow this example.

In round two we played a very strong Sussex side and scored 7 versus 13. It was good to see so many players fight hard for their point against obviously stronger opposition. Matthew Wadsworth maintained active rook play for an eternity in what appeared a lost rook and pawn end game. Eventually his opponent faltered in his play and Mathew immediately pounced to take a well earned half point. The half-point is well made, when losing (as we all are at some stage) look to maintain piece activity and the longer you make it difficult the more chances you will have.

In round three we played Wey Valley and scored a very health 9 versus 11 against last year's winners. The strength in our Berkshire team runs right through the team. One player optimised the professional approach to playing county chess. At 5:30pm, when many where already on their way home he was still playing his game, writing down each move carefully as he maintained concentration to the end. Eventually even the top sides could not stay with Ben Ward's levels of concentration, and he was rewarded with wins over both Sussex and Wey Valley.

There were many other great moments from the team, players showed good character in excepting the handshake after losing with a good grace, before going back to analyse where they could improve their game.

Congratulations to William Foo on 3 out of 3. Lovely attacking chess to watch, William slowly builds pressure, using every opportunity to bring more pieces into the attack.

Thanks to all the Berkshire chess committee for organising and running the event so smoothly. Lastly, many thanks to all the parents and guardians for supporting the Berkshire U11 team.

We now look forward to the qualifying zonal on March 15th.

Related links

Results
Claires Court (The College)
Last Season's Results