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Best EPSCA result for Under 11s as well! Saturday, May 12
Chris Archer-Lock writes:

Click for larger photo
Click for larger photo

The Berkshire Under 11 team achieved sixth place in the EPSCA final in Nottingham, and so continued the recent run of good Berkshire results established by the Under 13 and Under 9 teams. Sixth place was the highest finish by a Berkshire Under 11 team at a national final, and was the just reward for a hard day's battle.

The event was opened by the Sherriff of Nottingham, and in the early skirmishes we felt lost in the forest with nine defeats in the first fifteen decisive results. However the longer games saw us forage successfully for a total of 10½ points, a highlight being Isaac Herring's powerful win in the final game to finish.

By round 2, early nerves had been outlawed and the merry Berkshire band was stalking its prey with a combination of determination and fireworks. The intrepid Felix Ynojosa's combinational assault on Nottingham's castled king was inspirational, and an improved total of 11 and seventh place in the rankings was the least reward our efforts deserved.

So to round three, when on a tiring day some misfiring arrows might have been anticipated. Instead the campaign reached its height garnering 12 points, Matthew Wadsworth and Roy Zhang coolly picking off the final two points with unerring technique.

Thus the final harvest was 33½ points, returning to base with sixth place secure, behind worthy champions Wey Valley and other strong counties. A few statistics emphasise that this was a fine achievement. In individual games versus Wey Valley, Berkshire scored 3½ out of 4, with Aidan McCormack, William Foo and Sam Goodwin each defeating the champions. Of the teams from the South West zone, Berkshire again achieved the second highest placing, only behind Wey Valley. We also should note that the four counties placed immediately behind Berkshire were Kent, Richmond, Yorkshire and Oxfordshire, so well played to the team for getting the better of that list!

It has been a team effort all season, but addditional mention should be made of the seven players achieving a maximum 3/3 at a national final: Felix Jose Ynojosa, Ryan Chen, Matthew Wadsworth, Isaac Herring, William Foo, Danny Rafique and George Wilks.

Like the main team, the reserves improved on a slow start, scoring 2 points in round 2 and 3 in round 3, and played with application while gaining good experience.

Finally as this is the final match of the U11 season, may I thank the players and parents for their enthusiasm and support. Everyone has contributed to the team and it has been fun - with great effort, enjoyment of the chess and good results to boot. Keep enjoying your chess!

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Results
Last Season's Results