U19 Final 2018


U19 School Champions – Reading School
Runners up (winning the Richard Haddrell Trophy) – RGS Guildford
3rd = City of London School, Hampton School, Nottingham High School
Plate winners (best performance by a first round loser) – Brighton College

6th = Brighton College, QE Barnet, QE Hospital (Bristol), St Olaves, University College School, Wilson’s School; 12th = KEGS (Chelmsford), RGS Newcastle, St John’s College (Cardiff), The Skinners School; 16th Wirral GS

Round 1
Brighton College 2 – 4 RGS Guildford
Hampton School 6 – 0 UCS
KEGS Chelmsford 3 – 3 Reading School *
Notts High 4½ – 1½ QE Barnet
Wirral GS 1½ – 4½ City of London Boys School
RGS Newcastle 3½ – 2½ St John’s Cardiff
QEH Bristol 1½ – 4½ Wilson’s School
St Olaves 5 – 1 Skinners School
Round 2
RGS Guildford 4½ – 1½ St Olaves
Wilson’s 2½ – 3½ Hampton
Reading 4 – 2 RGS Newcastle
CLBS 3½ – 2½ Notts HS
UCS 3½ – 2½ QEH
St John’s 2½ – 3½ KEGS
QEB * 3-3 Wirral
Skinners 0-6 Brighton
Round 3
CLBS 1½ – 4½ RGS Guildford
Hampton 2 – 4 Reading
KEGS ½ – 5½ Notts HS
RGS Newcastle 2½ – 3½ QEB
Brighton 3½ -2½ Wilson’s
St Olaves 5½ – ½ UCS
QEH 3½ – 2½ St John’s
Wirral 3 – 3 The Skinners †
Round 4
RGS Guildford 2½ – 3½ Reading
Brighton 1 – 5 Hampton
NHS 3½ – 2½ St Olaves
QEB 1 – 5 CLBS
Wilson’s 3½ – 2½ KEGS
UCS 3½ – 2½ RGS Newcastle
The Skinners 1½ – 4½ QEH
St John’s 3½ – 2½ Wirral GS

* Won on board count
† won on bottom board elimination

The ECF National Schools Chess Championship 3-4 July 2018 – report by John Swain
[pictures and games by Phill Beckett]

This prestigious competition dates back to 1957-58 and is therefore in its sixty-first year. The Sunday Times were the original sponsors, followed by The Times from 1983 until 2000. We are very grateful to the current sponsor Winchester College. A total of 105 schools (163 teams) entered the Championship in the autumn of 2017 (thirteen schools and thirty-three teams more than in 2016-17). Less experienced teams enter the Autumn Term qualifying events, whilst those with a total grade of at least 750 or Finalists from the previous year automatically qualify for the Spring Term Regional knock-out phase. Due to the increase in teams we had fourteen regions, one more than last year, with each winner qualifying for the Finals and winning a DGT 2010 clock. The other two qualification places were decided at a repechage held at Eton College.

The sixteen teams travelled to the Finals in the splendid surroundings of Uppingham School where they played four games over two days, with an hour on the clock, plus 10 seconds increment per move. Drawn matches were not allowed, so boardcount was used as a tie-break in two matches; one match in round 3 between Wirral GS and The Skinners’ School was still drawn on boardcount and so the second stage of the tie-break regulations had to be employed: bottom board elimination. A further thirteen matches were scored as 3.5 – 2.5, illustrating the very competitive nature of the chess played. No less than seven players were graded over 200: Koby Kalavannan (Hampton School 219), FM Matthew Wadsworth (Reading School 218), Alex Golding (Royal Grammar School Guildford 213) Sasha Brozel (City of London School 204), James Moreby (Royal Grammar School Newcastle 204), Federico Rosso (Queen Elizabeth’s Barnet 201) and Joseph Dalton (Royal Grammar School Newcastle 201). Nine players were 190s, including Brighton’s FM top board Tom O’Gorman (2280), thirteen were 170s or 180s and ten 150s or 160s. The top seeds were defending Champions Royal Grammar School Guildford (average grade 175) followed by Hampton (166) runners-up in 2016 and 2017, narrowly ahead of the 2014 and 2016 Champions Reading School (165.5) with Nottingham High School (162.5) as fourth seeds.

The first round produced wins for all top eight seeds, but Reading had a big scare against King Edward’s Chelmsford, only winning on boardcount. In round 2, RGS Guildford defeated St Olave’s 4.5 – 1.5 whilst Reading beat RGS Newcastle 4 – 2; second seeds Hampton were pushed very close by Wilson’s, only winning 3.5 – 2.5 and there were identical results in three other matches. Many of the players then watched another close encounter where, for a change, England actually won on penalties!

The Championship resumed the next morning and saw a re-run of the 2016 Final between Reading and Hampton (that was won by Reading) and the round 3 encounter from 2017 (where Hampton prevailed). This time, Reading emerged victors 4 – 2. Meanwhile, RGS Guildford looked in menacing form as they despatched City of London 4.5 – 1.5. The Final therefore saw the defending Champions RGS Guildford play the 2016 Champions Reading. Reading had a swift victory on board 2, followed by another on board 6, but RGS fought back with a win on board 4. Matthew Wadsworth defeated Alex Golding on top board (see games) to seal the Championship for Reading, who would win at least on boardcount. The final score was 3.5 – 2.5 to Reading, with another middle-order victory for RGS on board 3 and a draw on board 5. RGS won The Richard Haddrell Memorial Trophy which was commissioned last year in memory of Richard who was Chief Conductor of the Championship from 2001 until 2015. Brighton College won the Plate for the best performance by first round losers. The players whose teams finished in the top five positions received engraved plaques, together with the Plate winners, and players in the remaining ten teams were presented with engraved medals. There was very little need for arbiter intervention, partly due to the use of increments (no two-minute rule!) The players are to be commended on their excellent sporting behaviour.

We are very grateful to the sponsors Winchester College for their continued generosity in supporting this event. Many thanks are also due to: the hospitality provided again by Uppingham School; Julian Clissold, Non-Executive Chairman of the ECF for presenting the prizes, bringing the equipment and assisting with the arbiting; those who ran qualifying events; Neill Cooper for his repechage tournaments at University College London in December 2017 and Eton College in April 2018; Phill Beckett, Michael Burn, Neill Cooper, David Matthews and Alan Thorn who administered the regions; certainly not least, Chief Arbiter Phill Beckett (who also took the photos and selected the games).

Alex Golding (Royal Grammar School Guildford) v FM Matthew Wadsworth (Reading School)
National Schools Final 04.07.2018

Gautam Jain (University College School) v James Moreby (Royal Grammar School Newcastle)
Round 4, National Schools Final, 04.07.2018

FM Tom O’Gorman (Brighton College) v Koby Kalavannan (Hampton School)
Round 4, National Schools Final, 04.07.2018

The following sixteen schools have qualified for the Under 19 National Schools Chess Championship Finals at Uppingham School on Tuesday 3rd July and Wednesday 4th July —

Brighton College; City of London School; Hampton School; King Edward VI Grammar School Chelmsford; Nottingham High School; Queen Elizabeth’s School Barnet; Queen Elizabeth’s Hospital Bristol; Reading School; Royal Grammar School Guildford; Royal Grammar School Newcastle; St John’s College Cardiff; St Olave’s Grammar School; The Skinners’ School; University College School; Wilson’s School; Wirral Grammar School for Boys

The teams will take part in a four-round Swiss tournament with no drawn matches allowed. The Fischer time limit for each game will be all the moves in one hour plus ten seconds per move. The Chief Arbiter will be Phill Beckett, assisted by Arbiters Julian Clissold and John Swain.  For further details of the rules see https://www.englishchess.org.uk/NSCC/u19-open/u19-rules/

The timetable is as follows —

Tuesday 3rd July 2018
Noon – arrival at Uppingham School
12.30 – 1.30 p.m. – Lunch
2.00 p.m. – Round 1
5.00 p.m. – Round 2
7.30 p.m. – Evening meal
8.30 – 10.00 p.m. – Optional Blitz Tournament (three minutes and two seconds increment per move) open to accompanying adults as well as players

Wednesday 4th July
8.00 a.m. – Breakfast
9.00 a.m. – Round 3
Noon – lunch
1.00 p.m. – Round 4
3.45 p.m. – Prize-giving
4.15 p.m. – Departure