Monday, 25 September 2017

Train and Play 24th September

Yesterday was the 5th H+H Fire Train and Play event at Moulsham Junior School in Chelmsford. Joining International Master Richard Pert and me as guest coach was British Grandmaster Chris Ward.

70 children of all levels came along for a mixture of team competition and chess coaching. It was the closest team competition we have ever had and the final scores were...

1st Team Garry Kasparov 28.5 (managed by Essex Junior Chess Association coaching co-ordinator Nate Weersing).

2nd Team Judit Polgar 27.5 (managed by IM Richard Pert).

3rd Team Bobby Fischer 27 (managed by GM Chris Ward).

4th Team Magnus Carlsen 25 (managed by twice Essex champion and CJCC parent Russell White).

18 players from CJCC took part and special congratulations to Jixuan Li for being one of 6 children to score 3/3 in their games.

More details will appear at but for now here are some photos of the event.

Concentration with Ned closest to the camera and the tournament for parents in the background.

 An attentive coaching group doing some work with me in between matches.

 Selina (rightly) looking worried against Henri. Nate and Chris in the background watching the games.

 Team Manager and CJCC parent Russell White keeping a close eye on the action.

 The top board between Jenith (on the left) and Kyan in the last round.

The victorious Team Kasparov with Chris Ward on the left and Captain Kyan Bui holding the trophy. Thank you to Tony Fox for the photo.

Best Wishes

Monday, 18 September 2017

KEGS and Upcoming Chess

The new chess season is well under way now. On Sunday I went with KEGS to Eton College to take part in a one-day tournament. KEGS entered two teams made up of 6 players each with the A team scoring 19.5/30 to finish in the top 10 and the B team exceeding grades and expectations with 15.5/30. 

Finishing in the top half means KEGS B also qualify for the regional section of the National U19 School Championships. As most of the B team were from Year 7 and 8 this was a fine achievement and bodes well for the future. KEGS and their students are lucky to have a teacher in Tim Worrall willing to organise so much chess on behalf of the school. Next on the agenda is a weekend away at the junior 4NCL at the end of September.

CJCC player Ben Pickwick was playing in his first tournament for KEGS and scored a magnificent 5/5 for the B team. CJCC poster designer Elliot Cocks was part of KEGS A after flying back from representing England in the European Youth Championships in Romania the previous week.

Below is a photo of the event which took place in the palatial surroundings of the school hall.

Tomorrow (19th) is the first day of the new season at CJCC then on Sunday 24th is the next Train and Play event at Moulsham School with guest coach Grandmaster Chris Ward. Details at

Also at Moulsham on Saturday 7th October is the first EJCA Grand Prix tournament. Entry form via 

Best Wishes

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

CJCC - New Season Dates

I hope you are enjoying the summer. There is a brief pause in the chess now after the British Championships and Terafinal before things start again in September.

CJCC will open on Tuesday 19th September with the younger players (Years 1-4). This is slightly later than usual because I'm away on holiday. Looking ahead to Christmas (getting closer every day) the dates should be as follows. All Tuesdays from 4.30pm-6pm and the boundaries between the two groups  - and the top and bottom ages - are as fluid as ever. Please email with any queries.

19th Sept - Younger Group (Years 1-4).
26th Sept - Older Group (Years 4-8).
3rd October - Younger Group.
10th October - Older Group.
17th October - Younger Group.

24th October - Closed for half-term.

We'll reopen on 31st October with the Older Group then run through until 12th December.

If the club has to close for any reason on a particular week the groups will change so please keep an eye on the blog and the emails.

Some other chess dates coming up I'm involved with...

3rd September - Essex Junior Chess Association Training Day (by invitation).

17th September - KEGS taking part in a secondary school competition at Eton College.

24th September - Train and Play day in Chelmsford. All welcome. Details and entry via

7th October - EJCA Tournament in Chelmsford. Details via (but not yet!).

Best Wishes

Sunday, 30 July 2017

British Championships and Upcoming Chess

Good luck to all the Essex Juniors at the British Championships which started this weekend. We have 17 juniors playing altogether in the different sections. The easiest way to follow their progress is via the “Essex at the British” link at

I am delighted to say GM Chris Ward had such a good time at the Holiday Camp he has agreed to come to our next Train and Play event in Chelmsford on 24th September. Online registration is open at

The new chess grades are out. Always an exciting time – particularly for children getting their first ever grade. Click on

Below is a photo from the Holiday Camp last week. CJCC’s Maheep is concentrating hard in the foreground in what was a friendly game while Theo and Ben are across the room in the distance. One thing the players did was record the games they played in the team competition so we could analyse them afterwards which is what I’m doing with Jaideep and Isaac.

Best Wishes


Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Holiday Camp

The H+H Fire Chess Holiday Camp organised by Richard Pert and myself took place on 24th and 25th July. This was partly to help prepare the stronger players for the British Championships next week and partly to provide two days of chess fun for junior players.

Photos, a report and even a movie (courtesy of Nina) will appear at

Long-time Essex chess organiser Ivor Smith kindly came along to present Richard with the Essex Championship trophy (the fine silver one) and Essex Rapidplay trophy. Ivor is standing at the back with Richard seated at the front surrounded by some of the Holiday Club players. Those with good eyes will spot Maheep, Olga, Theo, Bertie, Ben and Eddie from CJCC (Jake and Alice were also present).

Best Wishes

Monday, 24 July 2017


Last weekend was the South of England Gigafinal with 9 CJCC players taking part. For many of them it was the biggest tournament they had ever played in and they all did themselves proud.

Particular congratulations to Olga who scored 5/6 in the U8 girls section to qualify for the Terafinal and Alexander Lockett who managed an excellent 4/6 against 6 opponents rated higher than himself.

 Anna ahead of her first game. She would go on to score a very respectable 3/6.

Jerry and Harry Zheng from Chelmsford. Jerry (left) scored 5/6 in the U9s and Harry 6/6 in the U7s. Both boys are off to the British Championships next week.

Essex U11 and CJCC player Alexander before going on to battle all day at the top of the tournament. He lost his last game to finish on 4/6.

Best Wishes

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

End of Season and Good Luck

This week (18th) was our final meeting before breaking up for the summer. It was nice to welcome Tyler and James along for the first time even if it wasn't great timing for Tyler to discover the club in the last week of term.

Good luck to our 9 players  - Alexander, Olga, Anna, Jake, Toby, Adam, Jixuan, Dinil and Andrew - off to the South of England Gigafinal this weekend. They qualified through the Essex Megafinal back in May. Hope I haven't forgotten anyone.

I'll be involved running a chess Holiday Camp next week ( which should be fun. For a number of players it is ideal preparation for the British Championships the following week. For the CJCC players it is just a chance to have a fun two days learning some new chess skills.

For those of you missing playing already have a look at two websites. is a brilliant and safe place for children to play and improve their chess online (there are many puzzles and video tutorials). is a nice tutorial package suitable for older children covering all aspects of the game.

The adult club in Chelmsford will still meet on Thursday evenings through the holidays and I'll be there to sort out the chess for the junior players.

Best Wishes