The 2014 ECF County Championship Finals Day was played on Saturday, 12th July at the Trident Centre in Warwick. 7 matches were played, involving over 200 players. You can download the complete PGN here
Essex won four out of four Under 100 Championships, but failed to qualify for the Final Stage this year. In their absence, Warwickshire and Kent qualified for the Final and were convincing 8½ – 3½ winners.
Nottinghamshire made it to three Finals, the most of any county. The Under 120 Championship was their only successful Final, as they beat Hertfordshire 7 – 5.
When the Under 140 section was created in 2010, Hampshire won the first two competitions, and made it back to the Final this year to play Nottinghamshire. The two teams were very evenly matched, but Hampshire prevailed 9 – 7.
Yorkshire and Middlesex met in both the Under 160 Championship Final and the Open Final. The Under 160 Final was a 10 – 6 win for Yorkshire, who were victorious on 6 of the bottom 7 boards.
Warwickshire had home advantage in the Under 180 Championship, but were nevertheless outgraded against Essex. The match was live with two boards remaining, but Warwickshire won both to secure a 9½ – 6 ½win.
Nottinghamshire’s route to the Final of the Minor Counties saw them beat Leicestershire three times before meeting Suffolk. Suffolk fielded three juniors on the top three boards, and Alan Merry and Justin Tan on boards 1 and 2 hold the FIDE Master title. They won their games as part of a 9½ – 6½ win for Suffolk.
The Open was a comfortable win for Yorkshire, 11½ – 4½. Yorkshire outgraded their opponents, but the result was unexpectedly one-sided. It was their first win since 2009. All boards of the Final were broadcast live on the Internet via the ECF website for the first time.
I would like to thank Andrew Zigmond, the Controller this year in his first year in the role; as well as the team of David Sedgwick, Sean Hewitt, Thomas Thorpe, Matthew Carr, Bruce Holland and John Philpott for providing assistance in various capacities on Finals Day. I would particularly like to thank all of the captains, whose endeavour over the course of the season has enabled over 1000 people to participate in these Championships at the Union Stage, and I hope they all return to the competition next season.
– Alex Holowczak, ECF Director of Home Chess