Efe Shimwell 2014 BCA Junior Tournament Title Holder
2014 BCA Junior Championship
held in Wallington Chess Club on 23rd August.
This very enjoyable and very sporting event was held in the United Reform Church in Wallington.
The event included 2 players from St Stephens School in Godstone, Jacob Wright and Jonny De St Croix, and also Efe Shimwell from Claremont School in Kent, plus two other Associate BCA Members; Henry and Gregory Yu from Sutton. Henry is in fact a regular pupil of mine and the current British U8 Champion. At one stage there were 10 entries, but due to other engagements 4 (all Associate Members) from 2 families dropped out, and for whatever reason a Full BCA Member from St Stephens was also a no show. Still the event went off and was much appreciated by the 5 participants and by their parents and by myself.
Some good chess was played by all the contestants, although the less experienced players from St Stephens (having their first ever Tournament) did play relatively a little too fast. In between rounds it was noticeable that they played some better chess when playing without the `threat' of a time limit hanging over them!
Due to their only being 5 players who showed up, after some quick adjustments by the controller (me) this at least meant that it became an all play all event-which of course can have the merit of giving a fairer result than a Swiss event. Unfortunately the odd number of players meant that one player would have to sit out each round (but a rest can do a player good in the heat of battle under the pressure of 25 mins/player chess!)
The time rate was 25 minutes/player/game. There were BCA Trophies and Medals to play for, and also a Best Game Prize, which I donated to add a little extra interest/spice to affairs.
Refreshments (bottled water, diet and ordinary coke, coffee, tea, cakes, chocolate chip biscuits, Revels chocolates, chicken bites, and crisps were all available and much appreciated) - served before round 3 to all players and their parents and continued to be available for the rest of the afternoon through a convenient hatch link which I had opened up to the kitchen. Making this a particularly convenient venue!
The game of the Championship in my view was the round 1 clash between Efe `The Stealth Bomber' Shimwell graded Rapid play 79 (but e100 on recent tournament results) and Gregory `The Terminator' Yu graded rapid play e60. Aliases chosen by all the players-added to the Razmatazz! This was a cut and thrust game which fairly quickly moved towards a middle game which slightly favoured Efe with the Black pieces-and active rooks and centralised King, despite the fact that Gregory had come out of the opening a pawn to the good. Eventually after a very tough struggle where the players used more of their time than in all of the other games-the game was drawn when Gregory had to sacrifice his rook for Efe's last pawn which he had just promoted to a Queen-so literally drawn by force with no pieces left on either side! I have to say that I had watched most of this game and felt- `well if this is anything to go by I and the parents and players would be in for a rare treat!'
Meanwhile in the other opening match Henry `The Dark Destroyer' Yu after a level opening quickly gained the ascendency and won by checkmate against Jonny `The Defensive Avenger' De St Croix. So under the points system of 3 for a win and 1 for a draw (adding spice to the mix!)-the early lead was held by the British U8 Champion on 3 ahead of Efe and Gregory on 1 each and Jonny on 0, with Jacob `The Crusher' Wright yet to enter the fray!
After a lot of lively encounters after 3 rounds (including everyone given 3 points for their default win against Charlie) we had Jacob on 3 points, Jonny on 6 points, Efe and Gregory on 7 points, and Henry on 9 points.
With Henry beating his older brother Gregory in round 4 this meant that with Gregory beating Jacob Gregory had ended with 10/15 and Jacob with 3, and Jonny, who lost his last game stayed on 6 points, so the last round game between Henry `The Dark Destroyer' Yu, and Efe `The Stealth Bomber' Shimwell would decide the event:
A win or draw would give Henry the first prize and the Championship Trophy; whilst a win for Efe would secure him the Championship, and a draw would ensure he finished second with 11/15; thereby demoting Gregory to third on 10/15.
The tension was clearly mounting and both players had an extra rest before doing battle! Efe even noticeably went out with his lovely guide dog for a quick walk and a chat! Incidentally Efe's Guide Dog (`Chipper') was much liked by all the players and parents and myself! Fantastically well behaved as you would expect for a Guide Dog! Really friendly to all too!
Henry opened somewhat cunningly with Van de Kruyt's 1 e3! Efe was clearly not in the mood for taking prisoners and quickly essayed 1 ...e5! Henry then played 2 b3 and we soon had a Classical Larsen position with pressure put on the Black e5 pawn. Whether sacrificing or just making a mistake after 8 moves Efe had shipped his e pawn, and later sacked another pawn in favour of immediate development! Soon Henry came under some pressure when Efe played Qb4 check forcing Henry to self-pin his Knight in order to defend his Bishop on b5. Efe then waded in with a pawn move and a knight hopped into also attack the c3 `hopper'. Henry showed some confusion for the first time in the Championship and lost the exchange some 4 or 5 moves later. Technically with best play Efe had a won ending as White's Bishop on a1 was poor - blocked in by a double pawn, and Efe very assiduously created an open file for his a Rook by sacking his b pawn! An outright win for Efe and the scalp of the British U8 Champion were very much on the cards! Both players had some 14 minutes left so Efe was the clear favourite!
However in `Part 2' of the game Efe started to rush his moves instead of planning how to make maximum use of his extra rook. He appeared to lose a piece for a pawn, but his rook in combination with a brilliantly centrally placed Knight hemming in the White King was so menacing that Efe could win the piece back or otherwise win the other rook with a Back rank Skewer! Yet again the awareness of tactics was reaping rewards! Henry was in serious trouble, and shipped the piece back and headed for the Kingside and an escape square on f3 with his King!
Sadly for Efe this game was one not of two parts though, but of 4! And in part 3 Efe was to play too quickly and fall foul of a well-planned Knight fork leaving Henry a favourable ending. That said Efe was not about to go down without a hard fight and swapped off his final Knight so that he had 4 pawns (two Passed) against a Knight and one set of doubled pawns! Unfortunately for Efe, Henry now showed his double- UK Chess Academy - Terrafinalist credentials/experience and stayed calm - and under pressure came and defended his pawns, and then made Efe run out of moves-eventually he then promoted his c pawn by using the extra tempi available by virtue of his double pawn to offside Efe's King! After a few more brave moves Efe was mated and the British U8 Champion was victorious again (15/15)-They don't call this guy `The Dark Destroyer' for nothing! Yet Henry knew he had escaped somewhat luckily from this bruising encounter with Efe! And he clearly held his young blind adversary in much higher regard!
Well with two players tied for 2nd place and a silver Medal at stake, Efe had a brief rest and then had to take on Henry's brother-Gregory `The Terminator' Yu yet again. This time Efe had the White pieces!
It appeared that Efe was on fire in this game, and clearly was `played-in'. He appeared from my point of view to hardly need to refer to his board-seemingly memorising his and his opponent's piece placements. (Impressive, but take care to check matters Efe!) Soon Efe got on top and converted in style for a middle-of the Board mating net! Very nice one indeed Efe; and bad luck a bruised, but not bowed Gregory! This was clearly Efe exacting revenge for having lost in unfortunate circumstances against Gregory's brother! `Hell have no fury like a Stealth Bomber scorned!'
Henry 2014 Junior Champion
So we had the final placings:-
Henry Yu won the BCA Championship Trophy, the Gold Medal and £100
Efe Shimwell won the BCA Junior Title and Trophy, and the Silver Medal and £40, and also picked up the Phillips Best Game Prize!
Gregory Yu won the Bronze medal and £20, and an extra medal as a memento of playing his part in the Best Game of the tournament!
In 4th place came Jonny De St Croix, who was awarded a medal for playing and being a good sport,
In 5th place came Jacob Wright, also awarded his medal for being a jolly good and very sporting participant.
Everyone seemed to have a good day, and we would like to all thank the BCA for funding the event.
In a very handsome gesture Debbie Yu, Henry and Gregory's mother, donated the £120 won by Associate Members Henry and Gregory back to the BCA,
and all the parents and children thanked me and the BCA for funding and running the event, and also for laying on the refreshments!
It just remains for me to sign off a `Cream Crackered', but very happy Tournament Controller. I look forward, if invited to do so, to organise and control a 2015 BCA Junior Championship.