1-2 October - Junior 4NCL

Toby was recently nominated to represent the Chess in Schools charity for their Junior 4NCL team. It was the first time they had assembled a team for this tournament, so to be a part of it was something special and a great honour.

The venue at Wokefield Park was fantastic, with plenty of activities for the children and unlimited caffeine for the parents. It was a win win. But more importantly, there was lots of competitive chess to be played, 5 rounds over 2 days and some free coaching in between.

We were off to a great start as we bumped into a friendly face from Downend Chess Club, Geoff Gammon, so things were looking up.

Toby and Geoff

The club being represented in all facets of the tournament.

Toby was playing in Division 2. There were plenty of strong players in this division, with a large number over 100 grade including some national and county players, so when the team manager announced that Toby would be playing board 1, the pressure was on. To Toby's credit, he was cool as a cucumber and took the responsibility in his stride.

The first round was a tough one, playing one of the favourites in the division (Leicester Blues). Their board 1 was graded 128 so it was going to be a tough battle, and boy did he battle. Toby's game was the last to finish, using all his time and relying on 10 second increments he managed a fine draw. Round 2 and 3 were also tough, paired against a 98 and a 109. But it was his lucky day, he managed 2 fine wins. "Smooth", as his team manager describe his games when analysing them.

The second day was more of the same with the first round against a 96 grade, it looked like Toby's form was to continue as he won again. In the final round, the team manager rested Toby so he played as a reserve in a graded game. This time an opponent graded 100, determined to stay unbeaten for the weekend, he pulled another win out of the bag. So 4 wins and a draw... not a bad start for his first ever J4NCL outing.

Well done Toby!

Results can be found on the J4NCL site.

Also, I've been told there will be a short article on the Chess in Schools website soon.

Ninja edit: The Chess in Schools website has a summary too in which Toby receives a special mention. As there is no direct link, a copy has been made below:

The first J4NCL weekend of the season took place on 1st & 2nd October at Wokefield Park, Reading.

CSC entered 2 teams - one team made up of children from Newham, East London which played in Div 1 and a team made up of children from Bristol, Manchester, Wales and Birmingham which played in Div 2.

Both teams did extremely well on their debut's with CSC Newham coming 8th/11 and CSC 2's coming 12th/18. All the players did themselves and their parents proud with their play and the way they conducted themselves. Whilst it was a team effort, Toby Kan deserves a special mention as he scored 4½/5 over the weekend which was a brilliant effort considering he played on Board 1 in each game.

As well as a hectic playing schedule the children also took part in some coaching sessions which myself and Jerzy Dybowski supplemented by going through the children's games with them.

As Team Manager I would like to thank all the children and parents for attending the weekend and I hope to see most if not all of you again over the next J4NCL weekends in Birmingham in January and April next year.

More information available on the 4NCL website.

- David Hardy, CSC Team Manager

David Kan