Last Thursday, the Wilson’s Chess team made their way to Imperial College to participate in the National Final of the ECF Team Chess Challenge, playing five rounds of chess with 13 other schools across the country, coming from as far as Bolton and Bristol, Newcastle and Torquay. Whilst we were the likely favourites (being top seed), it turned out to be extremely close, coming down to the final round to decide the winner. We ended up only just beating second place Queen Elizabeth’s Hospital by half a point, resulting in victory at 15.5/20!
Congratulations goes out to each person on the team, since every point (and draw!) mattered to us: well done to Shivam (10H), Shlok (9B), Denis (9H) and Rahul (11G). Not only should I praise the team for their efforts, but also for their good spirit throughout, with Rahul’s assured confidence to Shlok’s pre-match motivational talks, it certainly kept the morale high, pushing us to win the event; also allowing us to win this event for the first time in Wilson’s Chess history!
The day started off with a set of chess puzzles, to allow teams from all over the country to arrive and settle in. Whilst they seemed easy at first glance, some took us up to 15 minutes to solve, but nothing went past the mastermind of Shivam. After that, Grandmaster Jonathan Mestel (also a Maths Professor at Imperial College) gave us a 3-part coded Chess puzzle, which turned out to be both interesting and challenging, with Denis particularly focused.
With a provided lunch of a selection of sandwiches ranging from egg mayonnaise to pickle, the first round started, the time control being fast play (10 min + 2 sec increment). Although we won four rounds out of the five, we did unfortunately draw to local rivals Sutton Grammar, Shivam and myself each dropping a point; however that only added to the intensity of the final round.
As stated before, well done to all who participated, but special thanks to Dr Cooper for organising the trip as well as the whole event. At the end of the day, whilst it was competitive, it was really about the experience of going to Imperial College to play chess against so many other schools, so a big 'thank you' goes to him for this great opportunity.
Overall, this trophy definitely gave us the right boost to the start of the year, making us only hungry to add more to our trophy cabinet!
Russell Jamboree held at RGS Guildford on 16 September
Wilson’s A won the Championship Section with 11/16 ahead of 5 other local schools. Two wins for Balahari (8G) and Raghav (10H), one win for Shivam (10H), Shlok (9B), Henry (12D), Rahul (11G), Anuj (9D) and Pratyush (11S).
Wilson’s B were second in the Major Section (just behind Sutton A) with 9/12 Two wins for Aryaman (13C), one win for Josh (9S), Idhant (10G), Eeshaan (13C), Vedant (10G), Jack (11C) and Michael (11B).