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NYCA Under 14 Sunday, September 27
Tanya Beckinsale and Chris Archer-Lock writes:

Click for larger photo
Click for larger photo

Our U14 team travelled to Northampton to compete in the NYCA County Championships in Northampton on 27th September. Along with our seasoned players, we were delighted to include new squad members Aditya & Viktor, and Gurveen all competing at this tough event for the first time.

Kicking off our season with a wonderful start, the team came home with 3rd place trophies, equalling the best U14 performance by Berkshire for 7 years!


After some words of welcome which reminded those of an English persuasion of the previous evening's Welsh rugby triumph, we tackled the challenge of the first round of this strong event. All games were decisive, and our impressive eight wins included Ethan Bains-Gillespie, Oliver Thornley and Viktor Stoyanov scoring wins against South Wales which gained valuable territory for our final placing. Gurveen Kapoor had started the ball rolling with a quick score, which Peter Isaksen followed up with a powerful game. Nicholas Vallis was involved in an exciting battle, managing to neutralise his opponent's wing attack to secure a winning endgame. Aditya Singh and Jake Bains-Gillespie each won long games, breaking out after enduring pressure in the Scotch and French games respectively, emphasising that many results would be hard earned in the closing minutes.

The tough second round saw us facing waves of Sussex pressure, although we battled well with James Beckinsale containing kingside pressure skilfully before settling for a draw as full time approached. Six wins were notched up. Luke Vallis broke out strongly from a solid King's Indian structure; Jake Bains-Gillespie and Oliver Thornley each won a piece tactically; Helen Archer-Lock's French Defence saw a central breakthrough; Akshay Velraj won an exchange which was carried forward to a decisive endgame; Viktor Stoyanov successfully trapped his opponent's queen mid board.

The final round showed the team determined to prop up the third place result within our grasp, keeping the pursuing Welsh pack at bay. Eight and a half was the excellent points haul which resulted. Ethan Bains-Gillespie played a forward role, with a convincing win on top board. Peter Isaksen continued his Tal-style enterprising play, where giving up a centre pawn led to a devastating attack using the open lines created. Luke Vallis showed how to win with the English, establishing a knight outpost in the heart of his opponent's defence. Jake Bains-Gillespie again deployed the French Defence, disarming his opponent's Milner Barry gambit. Oliver Thornley won a long game against his Sussex opponent, first restricting the Sicilian queenside play, then breaking through on the kingside, and converting in the endgame. Gurveen Kapoor broke out of his opponent's Maroczy Bind; Viktor Stoyanov outplayed his opponent from the symmetry of a French Exchange; Aditya Singh's point came through a default, with a friendly won instead; Akshay Velraj completed the scoring with a draw in an open game.

Congratulations to all on a fine team effort to secure third place, behind Kent and Sussex but ahead of both South & North Wales & Cheshire, Leicestershire and Richmond. Three players scored the maximum three points, Jake Bains-Gillespie, Oliver Thornley and Viktor Stoyanov, each playing consistently throughout. Viktor was awarded the individual medal for a very convincing performance on his NYCA debut.'

Very many thanks to all our supportive parents, for their help, good company, and cakes! Particularly to Paul and Chris for representing us in the playing room, and Johnny in the team room. We are looking forward to an exciting 2015-2016 season for this squad.

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Results
Last Season's Results