EPSCA U11 Northern Zone

A young Lancashire U11 team had some mixed results on Saturday in the EPSCA U11 Northern Zonal, held at the Flowery Field Academy in Hyde. An excellent venue, and well organised on the day.

Tension builds as the team prepares for Round 1

Team Manager, Malcolm Birks, gave his rousing speech to the team. As is the case with the majority of juniors, the plea to take their time and play slowly fell on stony ground!

Within 30 minutes of the start of Round One, 15 players had returned to the team room! The age-old conundrum, how do we get the juniors to slow down when they arrived at the EPSCA zonal!

A return of 5.5 points in Round One, gave us an early indication that this was not going to be our year! All we could hope for was an improvement in the next two rounds. Round Two the team returned with 7 points, and in the final round they returned with 8 points. An excellent last round, which is the round you normally expect the results to tail off due to tiredness.

A total of 20.5, was a good return for a team that contained 6 players from the U9 squad, and with many players playing their first team tournament they discovered that there is a big difference to the junior congresses they have played in previously.

Lancashire U11 Team – raring to go!

Aughton Junior Congress

Results from the Junior Congress held on the 3rd March at Aughton.

Photo’s in order of placing as below, do not have a photo for Bomi Shodipo.

2Joshua Woodbridge


World Cadets Chess Championship

The World Cadets Chess Championship has recently finished, and Lancashire’s own Niamh Bridgeman of Morecambe Chess Club was representing England in the Girls’ U12 section.

Report from Matt Bridgeman

Niamh Bridgeman at the World Cadets U12 Championship

Niamh’s had an excellent World Cadets Chess Championship in Santiago  De Compostela. The England team consisted of 14 of the best boys and girls from around the country and 4 coaches. There was plenty of drama in the first week as storms hit the area and one of the competition days had to be postponed and moved to the Saturday rest day.

Niamh finished very strongly over the second half of the competition to come equal 50th out of a field of 107 of the best Under 12 Girl players in the world, with 5.5/11.  Her best result came in the final round, where, as a big underdog she held European Union Under 12 Champion and Woman’s FIDE Master, Lucia Sevcikova of Slovakia to draw, in a position Niamh was actually winning but where she was also low on time.

She played 11 games in total, including playing the world number 8 (Niamh nearly won that one) and two European Champions (the aforementioned draw and the other again a real back and forth battle – Niamh did not get easy pairings from round one!) Other players Niamh encountered were from Russia, Croatia, Azerbaijan, Spain, Moldova, Greece, South Africa and Jamaica.

In total across all events, there were 827 players competing from 86 different countries. The picture is from Niamh’s 7th round game, which was a draw against Petra Kovacs of Croatia.

A full report from the English team manager is available on the ECF website.

All games are available from the World Cadets Chess Championship page,  the game that Niamh and Matt are proud of, was a loss.  In this game, Niamh pushed her opponent, rated 400 ELO points above Niamh.

The game evaluation shows Niamh getting the edge in the middlegame, before eventually running into time pressure and her stronger opponent ran out victorious.


A Tale of Two Knights

An horse my kingdom for an horse….

Or in Chess terms, a Knight.  Anand is well known for his preference for Knights rather than bishops.  This is unusual, most players prefer the bishops.  The beauty of the knights can be found in the following positions.  Both with White to move, one  is a draw the other is a loss.  Which one is which!  Can you work it out!


Steve Under the Cosh!

Who is winning?

This position is an adjourned position from the simul at the recent training day at Lytham AKS.  Steve is playing Black, and was getting very worried.  Not sure who called the adjournment 🙂

Ben despite being two pawns down has a major initative.  The engines favour White, but Black has to find the right moves.  What do you think?  It is Black’s move, if it was White’s move in this position then it would be game over after Qd3!

Battle of the Royals

Training Event at Lytham AKS

Not the best schedule, the latest training day clashing with the Royal Wedding.  Who wanted to watch two people getting married, when you could play chess instead!

Around 20 juniors attended the latest event held at Lytham AKS, thank you again to our hosts for a great venue.  Mixed in amongst the coaching sessions, were some serious games of chess.  Starting off with a Simul against the Coaches, with all moves being written down.

The games were interesting, and let’s say judging by the handwriting, we will have a few doctor’s in the future who can play chess!  I will post games as and when I can decipher the moves.

Continue reading “Battle of the Royals”

Lancashire Training Day at AKS Lytham

Steve Lamb Analysis

A great day out for 35 Lancashire Junior Chess players at the latest Lancashire Chess training day.  These events are invite only, and are set up to provide a day of coaching and simultaneous games against the Lancashire Coaches.

Firstly, a special thank you for the staff and the AKS School in Lytham for hosting the event,  with 35 children turning up on the day, it proved to be a popular event.  The turnout was a lot better than expected so soon after the Easter Holidays! Continue reading “Lancashire Training Day at AKS Lytham”

Checkmate Exercises

Each month, a set of mating positions will be published for you to solve.  This month, we will start with some easy one’s, they are all checkmate in one.  How hard can that be?

All the following are check mate in one, these should be easy to spot.  The key is to look at each pattern, and understand what elements make up the checkmate.

Continue reading “Checkmate Exercises”