Yorkshire Junior Reports
Yorkshire Junior Chess Association (YJCA)
The 2016-17 Grand Prix season was very successful, with 156 youngsters taking part. This was our 8th Grand Prix and this was the second highest number of participants, and the highest since 2013. We had 33 girls this year - a drop of 2 from last year but at 21% still above national averages.
This year we had 5 events, branching out to new events in Harrogate and Hull. This had the effect of diluting attendances somewhat, with 63 averaged per event down on previous years, but spreading participation more across the county. I was particularly pleased with the success of the Hull event as it was well supported by local players and organisers, and we have already pencilled in a return date next year. There were the usual hard core of competitors that played in all five events – 11 of them showing great commitment.
Aditya Tangirala was the runaway winner this year, amassing nearly double the points of his nearest rivals, Ben Wood and Hashim Khan who were joint second.
Best girl this year was Agamya Gupta from Leeds. It is always good to look for new talent emerging and Fraser Yang-Turner took the U8 trophy and looks very promising.
Full results for the Grand Prix can be viewed at www.yorkshirejuniorchess.org.
Next year the plan is to have 4 events (Leeds, Sheffield, York and Hull).
It was also good to see the UK Chess Challenge revamped and running well under new management and we had 118 youngsters who took part in the North and West Yorkshire event in York – very promising. Again we need to push harder to get more youngsters through to the final stages of this competition as I believe we had just three again, which was the same as last year.
White Rose Junior Chess Academy (WRJCA)
Following its foundation after last year’s AGM a number of events which have been organised:
1. York Chess Day, opened by the Lord Mayor, with coaching provided by Lateefah Messam-Sparkes and James Adair. This was well received by both players and parent/carers. A quickplay event split into four sections was played.
2. Ackworth Chess Camp. This was a new venture at a new venue and featured a simul by Andrew Ledger, and a problem-solving workshop with Lateefah Messam-Sparkes, in addition to normal coaching. A clash with other events meant that the entries were lower than expected and so a single quickplay was held in the afternoon.
3. A Mega-Final (part of the UK Chess challenge) was held in Sheffield and an encouraging entry saw almost 80 pupils compete.
4. A ‘Girls only’ event is being held at the same time as the Yorkshire AGM (The lure of a free venue on this date was too tempting to ignore!)
We have run a tight financial ship and the £100 loan from YCA was repaid via Steve Burton.
In the planning stage for next season are a Junior Problem-Solving event, with which we will be aided by the British Problem Solving Society in the person of Brian Stephenson, another York Chess Day, probably two Mega Finals and at least one Ackworth Chess Camp. We are investigating new venues.
We hope to support teams to represent Yorkshire in various events. However, several factors make this difficult mainly the lack of volunteers to help with running teams and the apparently random scheduling of events. We will endeavour to support teams whenever practical.
Volunteers are always welcome to support the committee, Phill Beckett, Peter Cloudsdale and Pat Sutcliffe.