Staffordshire Megafinal 2010
Played 23 May, at
St Edward’s Junior High School, Westwood Rd, Leek.
By Traci Whifield
The 2010 Staffordshire Megafinal was once again held at St Edward’s Junior High School. Qualifiers from the first round of the UK Chess Challenge met to do battle on Sunday 23rd May, each one hoping to qualify for the next round, the Gigafinal, to be held in Dunkin Field town hall, Manchester on 11th and 12th July.
With over 130 entrants expected to play on the day, most sections were hotly contested . Competitors were mainly from schools and clubs in Staffordshire but a few came from outside the county, including the excellent player Leo Tsoi, who has played for Staffordshire on many occasions but moved to Bishop Vesey school in Birmingham this year, and so had to play "Hor Concours" on this occasion. For the UK Chess Challenge, playing ""Hor Concours" means they can compete and qualify for the Gigafinal, but because they do not live or go to school in Staffordshire, cannot win the Supremo or Suprema titles.
Commendation cards for promising players
During the Megafinal, board stewards were armed with "yellow cards" to hand out — no, not for bad behaviour — but as commendation for part of their games. The yellow card system is used to identify players who may not play for the county already, but have the potential. Board Stewards therefore tried to give cards to players they did not know.
U14, U15, U16, U17 and U18s
The top section included the U14, U15, U16, U17 and U18 players. It was won jointly by friends (and rivals) Craig Whitfield (U15 Supremo) and Andrew Smith (U18 Supremo). Matthew Greenwood (U15) and Joe Jackson (U17 Supremo) played well throughout and their games were commended by several board stewards.
The U13 section was won by Newcastle under Lyme Junior Chess (NJCC) member, John He. John gave a stirling performance and achieved 5½ points. He is a credit to Woodhouse Middle School. The Girls’ title was taken by Roma Sandhi from Wolverhampton Girls school with 3 points. Strong performances were put in by Liam Dimmick, Alex Cartlidge and Danny Graham, all from Cheddleton Chess Club. Aroosh Tausif (NULS) and Laura Smith (Cheddleton CC) showed good form in several games.
In the U12 section, the clear winner was Leo Tsoi with 6 points. His chess skills as an England player soon put him ahead of the field. A lead which he maintained to the end. His closes rivals gained 4½ points, losing only to Leo and took the titles of Supremo — Siddharth Singh (King Edward VI school) and Suprema Candice Griffiths (Cheddleton CC). Rory Knipe also achieved 4½ points but lost the title to Siddharth on a tie break. As well as the above players, yellow cards were awarded to David Kaye, Rory Knipe and Luke Gibson (all from Cheddleton CC), Sam Bearmore (from Clayton Hall) and Dominic Taylor (from Mooreside High). Daniel Washington (Haywood College), Mark Cooper (Cheddleton) and George Hamilton (Cheddleton) played well to gain the good scores expected of those who have represented their county previously.
The large U11 section was won by 3 excellent players, all gaining 5 points. Richard Franklin (Mayfield prep) lost out on the Supremo title on a tie break to Jacob Cartlidge (Cheddleton CC & St Wulstan’s) and the Suprema title was won by Amber Mir (Tettenhall). There were a great many good players in this section but commendations for play were won by Jack Healings (St Wulstan’s), Mason Hawkins (Tettenhall), Emma Crick (Hassell), Marihah Mir (Tettenhall), James Meia (Mayfield prep) and Paramveer Singh Bhachu (Mayfield).
The U10 section was also a large section. It was won outright by Staffordshire player Alex Jarvis (Mayfield Prep), with a perfect 6 / 6 and took the Supremo title. The Suprema title was won by Ashmithaa Sandiralingham (Tividale primary), who achieved 5 points against tough opposition. Commendations were gained not only by the above players but also Andrei Mihai (Cheddleton CC), Keiran Smith (Cheddleton CC), Narayon Sondhi (Codsall Middle), Nathan Treacy (Cheddleton CC), Anna O’Leary (St Wulstan’s), Matthew Griffiths (Cheddleton CC), Daniel Holland (Hassell CP), Daniel Lomax (Cheddleton CC), Jasvir Hayer (Tettenhall), Keval Nathwani (Mayfield Prep), Ben Turner (Cheddleton CC) and Molly Hancock (Leighswood).
In the U9 section, Aum Choudhary (NULS) showed his potential by taking the Supremo title with an excellent score of 5½. He was followed closely by Rhys Owens (Orme House), who gained 5 points. 4½ points saw up and coming national girl player Skye Wiggins (St Wulstan’s) take the Suprema title. Good performances were put in by Amir Mohammed (Ash Green) and Joshua Carrol (St Wulstan’s). Commendations were awarded to Tadhg Elliott (Leighswood), Rohan Mall (Mayfield), David Hollins (Keele St John’s) and Rohit Chander (Mayfield). Atlanta Knapper (St Wulstan’s) was noted for a particularly good attack in one game and Isaac Syred (St Wulstan’s) for a clever defence.
Under 8s, under 7s and under 6s
the Under 8s, 7s and 6s were played together. The Under 8 section was won by up and coming county player Jacob Boswell (St Thomas Aquinas) who achieved 6 points. The Suprema title went to Edina Hassell (St Wulstan’s), who achieved 4 points. Leo Plummer (St Wulstan’s) and Jacob Preston (Seabridge primary) were awarded commendations. William McGrath was noted as making a good attack in one of his games. Pratyush Mishra (NULS) played a solid game and was given a merit for it.
The Under 7 section was won by Ted Murray (St Wulstan’s) who scored 4 / 6. The Suprema title was won by U6 player Victoria Holland (Hassell CP) with 3 / 6. Nathan Edwards was given special recognition as U6 boy. The other children in this section, Shreya Sridharon (Orme House) and Rosie Gough (St Wulstan’s) show great promise.
Well done to everyone who took part. We look forward to some good results at the Gigafinal, and hope to see all the Megafinal competitors at the Staffordshire Junior Chess Congress in October.
ROLL OF HONOUR