World School Chess Championship

14 English juniors competed in the World School Chess Championships in Rhodes, Greece from April 13th to 23rd 2023. The event was very well attended with delegations from 54 countries and 530 children taking part across 6 age ranges.

Congratulations to our top placing boy, Edward Jackson (main picture), who finished 10th in the very strong Under 17 age group and to our top placing girl, Eugenia Karas, who also finished 10th in the keenly contested girls under 15 section. The tournament was over 9 rounds with 1 game per day under time control of 90mins + 30 second increment, allowing plenty of time for opponent prep and recovery between rounds. The England team comprised:
Boys: U17 Edward Jackson & Frankie Badacsonyi, U15 Stanley Badacsonyi, U13 Pengxiao Zhu & Joseph Morrison, U9 Krish Keshari & Junyi Zhang, U7 Junyan Hu.
Girls: U15 Eugenia Karas, Lindsay Pyun & Abby Seward, U13 Ankita Belhur & Diah Patel, U7 Nuvee Konara. Overall England finished in the top half, and all our players contributed wins to the overall points total of 64.5/126.  Throughout the tournament we played children from 32 different nations:

Test your flag knowledge! Answers at the bottom of the post …

In round 5 Edward Jackson (black) found a nice ‘Hook’ checkmate against Kiril Kostov.

Black to play, mate in 7

51… Ra1+ 52. Kf2 (is forced as Kh2 is met with immediate Rh1#) 52… f4 (An immediate Rf1+ allows white to escape via e3) 53. Rb7+ Kg6 (And white resigns, as checkmate is inevitable in a few moves, E.g.) 54. Rb6+ Kh5 55. Rh6+ Kxh6 56. Bf8+ Kg6 57. B4 Rf1# (The familiar ‘Hook’ mating pattern).

Outside of the tournament matches the England players relaxed in the evenings discussing games. Edward Jackson and the Badacsonyi brothers gave tips and coaching advice to our younger players and blitz game sessions occurred with players from many nations gathering to join in. The Fide motto “Gens una Sumus” (We are one family) was clear to see. Friendships were made and the worldwide enthusiasm for chess amongst the young generation was apparent.

Flags answers –
Aruba, Azerbaijan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Cyprus, Denmark, England, Georgia, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Iceland, Israel, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Sri Lanka, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates & Uganda