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SCCU U/14 and U/130 Final Sunday, March 10
Paul Moody writes:

For the first time in a long while, as host county, we returned to the Piggott School at Wargrave for this event.

While Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire turned up in full strength (12 players), Hampshire was only able to produce a team of six players instead of the required complement of twelve.

Although our players were the strongest available, it was not strong enough in the first round to produce a win against Oxford – only 2 of their players had grades below 100 ECF (R)! For our side, at Board 2 Jeff Abraham managed a draw and at, Boards 8 and 9, Azeem Omar-Mufti and Siddarth Ramaraju managed to achieve wins. Oxford won this round by 9½ points to 2½.

The second round was winners –v- winners and losers –v- losers. Our second round was against Hampshire and, because they had only produced 6 players, we needed only a draw to win – we got 6 points by default. In the event, we gained a further 2½ points thanks to James Kinsler-Lubienski and Ethan Bains-Gillespie both of whom secured wins and Jeff Abraham secured a second draw.

The final placings were as follows:

  1. Oxford – 20 / 24
  2. Bucks – 12 / 24
  3. Berkshire – 11 / 24
  4. Hampshire – 5 / 24

The Oxford team was by far and away the strongest with many of their players being drawn from Magdalen College School where chess is actually taught and they clearly deserved their win.

Both Bucks and Berks played Hampshire and so both teams got their first 6 points by default. There was much more of a balance between these two teams and we were beaten into third place by just the one point.

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