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Girls Under 11 Trial Saturday, November 08
Mark Say writes:

Fifteen competitors gathered at The Abbey Junior School for the Girls Under-11 Trial and there was a fantastic competition to sort out the bragging rights.

There was a changing of the guard with many of the players that were expected to do well, having to look to their laurels, as a force of nature that was Mia Harris blew through the chess hall!

Mia from Polehampton Primary School in Twyford, is relatively young and has really benefitted from coaching at her school in the last year. She bought a really aggressive and challenging approach to the end-game and took many of her opponents (with supposedly a much higher grading) by surprise. It was a joy to see her really crafting out her ‘check mate’ positions with a relentlessness and sophistication that shows that she had a real feel for the game. She won all 5 of her matches and was rightly crowned champion. It will be very interesting to see how and if she can maintain her rate of progress and development.

Saatvika Mahesh, Arti Lenoir came joint 2nd and did well to recover from the Mia Harris whirlwind. Other experienced players such as Kateryna Heslington and Connie Say were rusty on the day and did not feel as if they really did themselves justice.

The core of the 2013 team did well and made life difficult for the more experienced players. Ciara Joliffe had a good day and was joint 2nd also – Ciara is really developing into a very useful player. Anvesha Saxena and Francesca Blackwell were solid, reliable and scored well, making life very tricky for some of the top-ranked players.

Our ‘newbies’ acquitted themselves really well. The tournament was a great experience for all and some stood out as players with real potential for the future. Mia Hadjiloucas was well worth her 2 points (no byes included) and showed some real skill and touch. Liliana Fleming, Jodie Legg, Arunima Sanjay, Kamya Jani, Shreya Rajui and Akshita Saxena all played well and learned a lot from their experience.

The Girls Under-11 squad for this season looks as strong as ever, with some good players stretching down into the lower Board numbers. If we can all our players out on the day then we will have a competitive team. Our next match is on the 17th January and I will be in touch with details in the next few weeks.

Finally, I would like to make special mention to Chris Archer-Lock and Peter Davey who ran the chess side of trial - thanks to both of you. Maggie Shepherd and The Abbey School were admirable hosts and as ever made everyone feel really welcome. Thank you Maggie.

Related links

Abbey Junior
Last Season's Results