Wednesday, 10 January 2018

"Player of the Week"

Great first week back with the younger half. Thank you to Theo Flower for coming along to help out. He did a great job coaching and supporting the younger children. Welcome to Joshua, Rishi and Khrisha who came along for the first time.

It was the first week of the UK Chess Challenge so all the children got their badges and those who scored a win got their first gold spot. There were some nice checkmates - Nikita caught Hriday with a sneaky back rank mate and George got a very tidy queen and king mate against Kaan.

Each week I hand out a trophy to "Player of the Week". Runner-up was Cody who showed a great attitude in pushing Adam all the way in their match. The winner however was Wolfie - pictured below with his brother Freddie lurking behind - who won his first ever tournament match with his checkmate against Theo Scola.

Thank you to his mum for the photo - I was too busy with the tournament to take any this week.

Best Wishes

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Essex Junior Chess Association

The Essex Junior Chess Association ( organise much of the junior chess that takes place in Essex - Grand Prix tournaments, coaching days and county matches at U9, U11 and U14 level. They also loan their equipment to Richard Pert and me for the events we organise (

On Sunday 14th January is the next EJCA Grand Prix tournament - in Southend this time. On 4th February is the last of 3 invitational coaching days for the stronger Essex juniors.

Below is a photo taken from the last coaching day of a challenge blitz match between myself and fellow coach Tom Villiers. It was fun to play and the juniors enjoyed watching and adding their opinions from the sidelines. Congratulations to Tom on his well-deserved victory.

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At the next coaching day Tom and I will put htis rivalry to one side and team up for a simultaneous challenge match.

Best Wishes

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Friday, 29 December 2017

New Year and photo boards

I hope you've all had a pleasant Christmas. CJCC will meet back on Tuesday 9th January with the younger players when we will kick off the first round of the UK Chess Challenge. The older players will kick off the following week (16th).

Below are a couple of photo boards I've put together ready for the New Year with photos from last term. The one on the left from our club and the one on the right from the British Chess events I help former CJCC parent and International Master Richard Pert organise.

The next British Chess event is a two-day, junior long play tournament on 10th/11th February with the top section FIDE-rated. There will be analysis of games as they finish and coaching as part of the weekend. Full details of the event can be found at or email me for a flyer.

Ahead of this on Sunday 14th January is the next Essex Junior Chess Association Grand Prix tournament at Southend. Details at

Good luck to our players currently competing at the London Junior Chess Championships.

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

CJCC Christmas Buffet

Today was our last meeting before Christmas so all the club were invited to a special Christmas Buffet meeting. Thank you to all the parents who arrived with food. I was impressed - not a bag of haribo in sight. James had even baked some special Christmas cheese stars for the occasion. They were delicious.

Thank you as well to all of you who helped clear up. Tom displayed unexpected enthusiasm for vacuuming which did impress his mum.

Congratulations to Bertie who was my player of the day for his willingness to challenge stronger opponents.

We will meet back on 9th January with the younger half and kick off the UK Chess Challenge (a 7-round tournament for everyone which will run to Easter).

I hope you all have a lovely Christmas and good luck to our players going to the London Junior Chess Championships between Christmas and New Year.

Francesca playing Amelie (plus dog).

Bertie (standing) taking on Eddie in the foreground.

Best Wishes

Sunday, 10 December 2017

H+H Fire Train and Play 10th December

Bad timing for us today with the snow which meant about half the players who entered couldn't take part. Impressive effort by Dagne battling down from Suffolk to be our Guest Coach.

We had a friendly match and coaching by IM Richard Pert and WGM Dagne Ciuksyte in the morning then split into 4 teams (parents and children) for a team competition in the afternoon.

Findlay's Noisy Knights team (with CJCC players Alexander and Maheep) were the winners with the other 3 teams separated by half a point. CJCC parents Jag and Dee were two of 5 players to score 3/3.

A report and photos will appear on the blog at

 Dominique and Charlotte's chess sculpture created at home when they couldn't make the day.

 IM Richard Pert with his coaching group. Anna with her hand up at the front.

 WGM Dagne Ciuksyte's more sedate approach in the classroom.

 Daniel vs Dee in the foreground.

Maheep vs Hugo with Dagne watching at the back.

Best Wishes

Saturday, 9 December 2017

H+H Fire FunMaster Mike evening 8th December

Yesterday saw something of a coup for British Chess with an evening of chess with US FIDE Master Mike Klein alongside IM Richard Pert and me at Moulsham School.

Mike is better known as FunMaster Mike from the excellent ChessKid website. ChessKid's one million users worldwide make Mike arguably the world's best known junior chess coach. The juniors who know Mike so well as their online chess mentor had the weird experience of seeing a virtual figure become flesh and blood.

Mike gave a great talk about looking for unusual moves and then took part in a simultaneous match alongside Richard and me against all the juniors. He was brilliant with the juniors and it was a special evening to be part of.

Congratulations to Moulsham and CJCC's Adam Baker who played a very nice combination to be the only winner in the simultaneous match.

Part two of the H+H Fire Christmas Train and Play is tomorrrow's family challenge event. Report to follow.

 Mike illustrating one of the ideas.

 The audience (parents and juniors) really enjoyed Mike's interactive presentation.

 Richard opposite a row of CJCC players watched by Byon.

 Mike thinking about Madison's position watched by Matthew.

A perfect photo for a caption competition!

Best Wishes

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Today's Meeting

The older players today and we had a team competition. 4 captains picked their teams for a semi-final and final. Congratulations to Felix whose team of Olga, Ed, Adam, Cody and Annie were victorious. Felix also won the "Player of the Week" trophy for his fighting draw with Ben Pickwick in the first match.

Please remember there is no club next week (5th December) but back with a bang on the 12th December with the Christmas Buffet for everyone.

 Two easily distracted teams in the first match. Alex's team (on the left) won 3-2.

 Ben playing Felix (right) in the first match. Felix's team would go on to win both matches.

Nikita - who seemed to end up playing for all the teams - focused in the first match.

Best Wishes