Saturday 9th July - GigaFinals Boys Under 10
Downend Juniors were out in force this weekend at the Manchester Northern GigaFinals. The long wait after the MegaFinals in May was over. First up were Joe and Toby, both playing in the Under 10 Boys section. The number of entrees for Under 10 Boys was huge, with over 120 competitors. They were split into 3 groups, A, B and C, with both Downend boys competing in group C.
The playing hall was huge, but the heat generated from the 100s of Britain's brightest young brains made it unbearably hot and stuffy. They started promptly at 9.40 and both boys recorded their first wins to settle their nerves, Joe doing fantastically well by beating a 141 graded player. Confidence was high and before long the half way stage was reached. Unfortunately Joe was unable to capitalize on his fantastic start, Joe on 1 and Toby on 2½ after 3 games.
A quick lunch and they were back in front of the chess boards. The hall seemed to have cooled down a little... but still perfect temperature for an after lunch nap. Both boys had to dig deep, there were no easy games in this group with numerous players graded over 100. Joe managed a draw in his next 2 games, with Toby winning both and going into the final round joint 1st on 4½. It was tense and a mammoth effort from Toby having played the top 4 graded players in the group. But it wasn't to be, after going a rook up Toby eventually lost to the 141 graded player placing him 3rd overall. Joe showed great character in winning his final game.
Toby progresses into the 2 day TeraFinals Challengers Tournament in Loughbourgh at the end of August, down to the most successful 250 players out of 50,000.
What a tremendous effort... Congratulation to the 2 Downend Juniors!!!
Results: Under 10 Boys
Toby Kan - 3rd - 4½ ( 4 W, 1 D, 1 L) - Qualified for the Challengers Tournament
Joe Featherstone - 2½ ( 2 W, 1 D, 3 L)
Sunday 10th July - GigaFinals Boys Under 12 and 14
Next up were the more senior members of the Downend Junior party. Jack Tye in the Under 12s and Oli in the Under 14s. It was going to be a tough day for these 2 talented players. There were some seriously good players in these categories with some players graded 150 in the Under 12 and in Oli's group, grades of 170 and a 'Child Genius' (for all those who watch the Channel 4 TV program) thrown in for good measure.
Jack started well recording 2 great wins on the trot. However, Oli found the start tough playing a 130 grade in Round 1 and 160 grade in Round 2. Into the afternoon session and Oli started his comeback showing great character and tenacity to win his first game against a Supremo from Scotland. Sadly, Jack was unable to build on his great start losing his next 2. Jack 2/4 and Oli 1/4.
The last 2 rounds are never easy with fatigue affecting play; both boys were determined to fight to the end. Both boys managed a win and a draw in their final games. Jack on 3½ and qualification to the Silver Plate tournament and Oli on 2½ showing great character in his fight back.
Well done lads!
Results: Under 12 Boys
Jack Tye - 3½ (3 W, 1 D, 2 L) - Qualified for the Silver Plate Tournament
Results: Under 14 Boys
Oliver Stubbs - 2½ (2 W, 1 D, 3 L)
What a great weekend for Downend Chess Club and their juniors. It fantastic to see such talented and enthusiastic young players for the club and I am sure the club will continue to nurture and push them to their full potential. 50,000 children entered this competition, 4 Downend Juniors made it to the last 2000. It going to be tough, but lets hope Toby keeps the flag flying high for Downend in the last 250 and Jack in the Northern Silver Plate.
Well done lads, they're putting Bristol Junior Chess in the spotlight. ☺