5 November - Wiltshire Junior Open

Jack and Toby headed off to the Wiltshire Junior Open in Swindon. It was a high profile event attracting many county and England juniors as players doing well gain qualification to the London Junior Championships in December.

Jack was competing in the Under 14, which included a strong England junior, whilst Toby completed in the U12 which was packed with England and County players, it was looking to be an ominous day for Toby. Jack did fantastically well winning most of his games, with only a defeat by the England Junior graded 153. Jack finished with 5/6 and 2nd in his age group, a great achievement and some well-deserved cash to treat his mum to a nice curry.

As for Toby, it just wasn't his day. Unable to adjust to the rapidplay time control, he struggled to keep track of time and his opponents and ended up with a disappointing (not my words, Toby's) 2½ out of 6. On the plus side, he walked away with a prize for best game.

Good job lads, keep it up !

Jack and Toby

Probably safest not to play anything tactical nor anything beginning with 1. d4 against these two.

13 November - British Rapidplay Championship

Junior Tournament - Check , Drive up North - Check. It was the British Rapidplay Championships in Leeds this weekend, and based on Toby's performance in rapidplay at Swindon and my journeys up North we were both regretting entering this tournament. On the plus side, there were 5 rounds of chess to be played and norms to be gained.

Toby started well, winning this first 2 games, but we all know it gets tougher and it did. Toby lost his next 2 games beaten by the eventual winner and the 2nd place junior. The pressure was on, he had to win his last game to get his ½ norm for the England Trials. It was nail-biting and tense, but he dug deep and won, earning his 2nd ½ norm and qualification to the England Trials. A great achievement.

He now needs to up his game for the trials in April, so any hints and tips for Toby would be much appreciated as he'll be up against "the cream of the crop" it in the trials.

David Kan