EPSCA Under-9 Report

Tough Day At the Office

Saturday 10th March, and we are at Oldham Hulme Grammar School for the EPSCA Under-9 Northern Regional .  Ten teams were originally scheduled for the day,  however, Staffordshire pulled out leaving 9 teams to battle for the qualification spots in the final.

For the majority of the team, this was their first experience of County Chess and you never know how the day will go.  Experience indicates that your opponents are usually in the same spot,  and it sometimes comes down to a bit of luck.

The majority of the team were Lancashire Pawns or Tiny Pawns level,  so today was going to be about getting experience of this level under their belt and come back stronger in the future.

The message given to the players by Steve Lamb, was to just go out and enjoy the day.  In between the matches, the team were treated to some coaching and tips on how to write down their moves.

Lancashire-Under-9-Team
Lancashire Under 9 Team proudly wearing the Lancashire colours.

Round One – the team all eager and keen to play, then quickly the realisation that the level of chess is a step up from what they might have experienced at the Junior Chess Congresses.   The team came back with 4 wins and 8 losses, still a good effort for a first effort.  Can the team come back with an improvement in the next two rounds?

Round Two – the team came back with 4 wins, 1 draw and 7 losses.  The main improvement being an improvement in time management and some players taking their time to play.

Round Three – this is the round where you are deflated or you capitalise on your opponent’s tiredness.  For Lancashire,  the occasion meant a number of the players were tired and we finished with 5 wins and 7 losses.

Improvement over the day, with some players really excelling.  For some players, the day was a shattering experience losing all three games.  The good news is that they will all come back stronger next year,  and with that experience under their belts will I am sure bring home more points the next time they play.

For the future,  five of the team qualify for the Under 9’s next year, so will come back a lot stronger.  The rest of the team will no doubt get their chance again for the Under 11’s over the next two years.

Special thanks for Alastair Hill (Team Manager), Ian Hughes (Board Steward) and Steve Lamb (Coach) as well as all the parents and guardians for travel duties.

Last but not least, a shout out to the team for being well behaved on the day, giving it their best shot for Lancashire and hopefully we shall see them all again next year stronger and keen to play for Lancashire.