In the ECF National Schools Girls Team Championship Northern Semi Final held at Cheadle Hulme School on Saturday 16th February 2013, the U11 winners were Aughton St Michaels 'A' Team. The team consisted of Lauren Cornwell, Eleanor Rowlinson and Charlotte Melvin. They didn't drop a point with an impressive 15 points out of a possible 15 to ensure their place in the final in Uppingham in July. Aughton St Michaels 'B' Team also played well but just missed out on a final place.
Success for Aughton St Michaels Under 11s Girls Team!
Terafinal 2012 - Rachel Cass Wins Top Girl Title
The top Girls prize of £1,000 went down to the wire, with four players, including Rachel Cass of Aughton St Michael’s Chess Club, very much in contention with one game to play. Rachel held her nerve and clinched the title with a steady win against Jason Lau from 3Cs in Oldham. Many congratulations to her from everyone involved with Lancashire Chess Association!
Great performances from Rachel’s younger sister Natalie Cass (Aughton St Michael’s Chess Club) and Lauren Cornwell (Aughton St Michael's Primary School) enabled them to qualify for the Terafinal and both came home with a share of the prize money.
Another Terafinal qualifier was youngster Samir Samadov who used to play for Atherton and Lancashire before his family moved to the London area. Well done to him as well.
Lancashire Juniors at the Northern Gigafinal 2012
The weekend of 7th/8th July saw the Northern Gigafinal of the UK Chess Challenge take place in Derby (anyone unfamiliar with this competition can find details at www.ukchesschallenge.com).
Around 70,000 juniors enter the UK Chess Challenge and only around 2,000 make it to the Gigafinal stage, so just being there was already a triumph! Many of this year’s Lancs U11 squad qualified and all of them performed well. For this event, the “north” actually represents a very large geography (see here for what “north” entails), so our players were up against some very stiff competition, including many of the country’s best juniors.
Keith Arkell Simultaneous Display (Mar-2012)
Sixteen players arrived at Heywood Chess Club to do battle with Grandmaster Keith Arkell on Wednesday 7th March 2012. Sadly a contingent from Oldham who had reserved places did not appear, which was a little disrespectful to Keith.
However Keith was on sparkling form throughout the night. He gradually dispatched the players one by one until only Gordon Glover, Steve Flaherty, Allan Dunkerley and James Carrington were left. Allan held on despite only having a bishop against three pawns, but Gordon Glover took a draw a pawn ahead in a position where it was hard to make headway.
This left James and Steve, and the clock was applied – five minutes rapid finish for both. Straight on commencement of the clock, it was Keith who blundered, leaving rook and knight en prise. Amazingly Keith gave up the rook leaving himself just the knight and a pawn against a queen. While finally dispatching Steve in a pawn ending, Keith then led James a tortuous merry dance with several knight forks threatened, However James held his nerve with the other players gathered around him and, with his clock hanging, managed to deliver mate! James always seems to do well in these grandmaster simuls, always hanging in there to the death one way or the other. Keith congratulated James on a grand effort.
13 wins, 2 draws and 1 defeat. Everybody agreed it had been a very enjoyable evening, once again our many thanks to Keith.
Bill O'Rourke (Chairman of the Bury and Rochdale Chess League)
Keith Arkell vs. Lancashire Juniors (Feb-2012)
To celebrate the current strength of junior chess in our county, the Lancashire Chess Association assembled an excellent team of local youngsters to take on Grandmaster Keith Arkell. The simultaneous display took place on Saturday 4th February at Aughton St. Michael's School near Ormskirk.
Here are some pictures taken during the event and some of the games...