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Under 11 EPSCA Zone Saturday, March 21
Mark Vandersluis writes:

Click for larger photo
Click for larger photo

It was a sunny day in Basingstoke, and a pretty much full-strength team arrived in good time ready for some challenging games of chess. With 9 teams in total, we needed a top 5 finish to qualify for the National Finals.

Round 1 started shakily with Berkshire scoring 11/20 for 5th place. 8 of those 11 points were scored by the top 10 boards, and on the lower boards a number of players were seen rushing their moves. It was time for some serious team talking, and whatever the manager said seems to have had the desired effect as only 2 of the 20 players failed to score in Round 2! A couple of those games were seemingly lost, but our players fought back with such tenacity that they both ended up winning, and we catapulted into 2nd position behind Sussex.

Everything now depended on a solid final round performance, and after the team photo we headed back to the hall where the team delivered just that with 11½ points, to consolidate our 2nd place.

The Reserves also played well, placed 4th after Rounds 1 and 2 and then scoring 4/4 in the final round to match the main team with 2nd place behind Sussex.

Well done to Matthew Wadsworth, Alfred Wong, Nabeel Hussain and Joshua Hankins, who all scored a perfect 3/3, and also to William Foo, George Wilks, Peter Robinson and Matty Kemp, who finished the day unbeaten with 2½/3.

All in all, a great achievement for the team, with every single person scoring points on the day and contributing to the overall result. We now look forward to the National Finals in Buckinghamshire on May 9th, which will be a much tougher event...

Thanks to all the players for their excellent results, and also a big thank you to the parents for giving up your time and delivering all the players in great form on the day.

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