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Berkshire Under 9s runaway winners of the South West EPSCA Zonal Saturday, March 10
Jim Wadsworth and Mark Vandersluis writes:

Click for larger photo
Click for larger photo

What a fantastic result! For the second year running Berkshire’s Under 9 team won both the Main and Reserve events at the Under 9 South West EPSCA Zonal.

It was a dry, sunny day in Churchill, North Somerset, and the team arrived in good time (all bar one of the team managers, that is!) ready for some great games of chess.

We drew team letter A, maybe a good omen for the day ahead, and the team set off for the first of their three rounds against the 5 opposition teams (Bucks, Hants, Oxfordshire, Somerset and Wilts).

Round 1 was a brilliant start to the day for us, with Berkshire scoring 10/12 to lead the competition by two clear points. The Reserve team also topped the scoreboard by a slender half point margin.

After the team photo, we headed back to the hall for Round 2 where we went one better than the first round, scoring a massive 11/12 to go into the last round leading by 6 points. The Reserves also did well and extended their lead to 2 points.

In Round 3, the familiar “Last Round Jinx” hit us again, although we still managed 8/12 in the main event and 2/4 in the Reserves. This gave us a grand total of 29 points (7 more than our winning total last year) to put us in first place by a huge margin of 6 points. The Reserves also finished the day in first place with 7 points.

Matthew Wadsworth, William Foo, George Wilks, Tom Vandersluis, Alfred Wong and Jonathan Smith all scored a perfect 3/3, and Ben Ward also finished the day unbeaten with 2.5/3

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 Wiltshire on April 28th, which will be a much tougher event. We will need to find ways of beating our last round jinx, as every point will be critical to us at the Finals - suggestions please on a postcard, to the team managers ;-)

Well done and thanks to all the players for their excellent results, and also a big thank you to the parents for trekking down to Somerset and delivering all the players in great form on the day.

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