2016 BCA Junior Championship
April 23rd at Wallington Chess
Club, Wallington United Reformed Church
BCA Junior Championship
Organiser, Arbiter and Coach, Owen Phillips, reports:
The week before the
Championship was a downer, as there were seven withdrawals, leaving only
eight participants. So instead of
running a six round Swiss event as planned, I split the players into two
all play all qualifying groups; ‘Tal’ and ‘Fischer’. The top two from each would proceed to a
Championship all play all ‘Kasparov’ group and play off for the top four
positions, whilst the 3rd and 4th players in the qualifying groups would go
into the ‘Korchnoi’ all play all group. All games were rapidplay
with 25 minutes per player.
The top seed was the 2014 and
2015 BCA Junior Champion, Efe Shimwell,
with an ECF rapidplay grade of 111. He was followed by Gregory Yu with a rapidplay grade of 76 and others graded 73, 62, 51,
e50, e50, and e40, so whilst Efe was the clear
favourite, a good tournament was in prospect. The players ranged in age from 7 to 12.
The game between Efe and Jijjith Thukaram was a tight one which went down to both
players only having minutes left. Efe won and after that the qualifying groups were
dominated by the top seeds who both scored 3/3. Jijjith won his
other two games, and so also proceeded to the ‘Kasparov’ Championship
group, alongside Efe and Gregory. The final spot was won by Ayush Mehrotra (e50), who is
clearly on an upward curve! In the ‘Korchnoi’ group were Nishad Patil, Sheroze Bhutta, Ayush Patel and Ehteshaam Bhutta.
The first shock of the
championship came in round 1 of the ‘Kasparov’ group, when Gregory Yu with
black defeated the reigning champion, Efe! Meanwhile Jijjith
beat Ayush Mehrotra to
join Gregory in opening up an early lead.
In the ‘Korchnoi’ group Nishad and Ayush Patel also
had first round wins, but round 2 in that group saw Nishad
play very well only to squander a huge material advantage with a stalemate! Despite being the youngest competitor, Nish
took this with great aplomb and was reassured by others who noted what a
harsh rule that can be! Still, it
was a healthy lesson learned!
Meanwhile in the battle of the Bhutta
brothers, the older brother, Ehteshaam,
prevailed, meaning that all players had now scored!
In the ‘Kasparov’ group Efe struck back by winning with black against Jijj, even though Gregory won against Ayush Mehrotra, this meant
that theoretically we could still see the event finish with a multiple
play-off for the main prizes! The
final round saw more tough games but eventually, by stealthy play and good
use of his time, Gregory Yu won considerable material against `Jijj', which he was able to convert. Efe meanwhile
hit top form against Ayush and had one of the
rare quick wins of the day.
In the ‘Korchnoi’
group both Nish and Ayush Patel won giving them
2.5/3 and setting up a play off for 5th place. Nish chose the white pawn, leaving Ayush with the black pieces. However, Ayush
could then choose whether the game would be 15 or 10 minutes. Without hesitation, he chose 10
minutes! It was a fine encounter
with early inroads by Ayush and then a successful
counteroffensive from Nish, who proceeded to win many pieces. In the end, Nish’s flag fell, however by
then he had reduced Ayush to just a King, thus
the game was drawn and the original scores from the qualifying groups were
used as a tie-break.
Overall I felt the chess was of
a higher standard than in 2014 and 2015.
The fact that many games resulted in both players only having
minutes left, suggested that by and large the chess was highly competitive
and that in the main players were not moving too hastily. All players were very sporting, chatted
with each other between rounds and enjoyed a few friendlies too! Thus, whilst lacking the larger numbers
that were anticipated only a week before, the event was most enjoyable and
There were many prizes to be
won, some donated by the BCA and some by me. I was thanked for organising the event
and the refreshments. We would all like to thank the BCA again
for their generous ongoing sponsorship of the event. People
were impressed by the David Hodgkins Annual BCA
Best Game Prize, which was on display throughout the event. The juniors were reminded that recording their games is good practice
as they can look through them later and perhaps find a gem to enter for the
award. I noted that they could enter
games for the award from any BCA event and proposed that they look at the
forthcoming events on the BCA website.
Down to what you all really want to know; the most popular
snacks were Jaffa Cakes and the most popular openings were the
Hippopotamus, Larsen, Colle, and Zukertort!
Final Standings and Prizes:
2016 BCA Junior Championship winner: Gregory Yu with 6
points and a tournament performance rating of 123!
2016 BCA Junior Champion: Efe Shimwell with 5 points
2016 Bronze Medal Winner: Jijjith
Jijj also won the Best Game
Prize Trophy for his victory over Ayush Mehrotra in round 1 of the ‘Kasparov’ group.
4th: Ayush Mehrotra, who also won a book for the Best
5th: Nishad Patil, who also won the ‘Korchnoi’
Others in the ‘Korchnoi’ group
won medals: 6th Ayush Patel, 7th
Ehteshaam Bhutta, 8th Shehroze Bhutta.
Gregory Yu chose the Black Shard of Glass Trophy, and
Debbie Yu his mother kindly returned his £50 winner's cheque to the BCA
with thanks for the sponsorship and ongoing organisation of the event. Efe Shimwell won the Round Glass Trophy. All participants received a hearty round
of applause in recognition of their excellent behaviour and their
interesting and tenacious play!