16 Players and their families made the shorter journey this time to take part in the finals of the EPSCA county Under 9 championships at Nottingham High School on Saturday 22nd April. The children had worked hard on their preparations, taking part in extra online lessons, and working hard with chesskid to help prepare themselves to play against the best players in the country. The top counties were able to field top board players with published grades of 1600 or more, meaning that these players were in the top 10 in the country for their age group.
As with the qualifiers the Leicestershire players showed excellent concentration and determination throughout, not allowing themselves to be disheartened if they had made a mistake and making good use of the time on their chess clocks. This was reflected in their improving score each round, and it was really pleasing to see at least 7 wins in the last round.
Overall Leicester finished in 11th place, which I believe is our second-best result in the past ten years! I am very hopeful that this team will continue to progress in future years to even better things both in the under 9 and under 11 sections.
Special mention to top scorer Zara with three draws on top board. It was also great to see the reserves perform so well with everyone in this section achieving at least 50% which is another positive sign for the team moving forwards.
Many thanks to all the parents for their continued support, both with the travel and the long days. It was also great that local player and established junior coach Michael Green was able to provide excellent support over the day, whether this was fetching extra chairs or giving the children some fantastic advice over the day.
The full results of the competition are available here https://www.oxfordfusion.com/epsca/TeamsOverall.cfm?EventID=169