Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Middlesex - 2013 ECF U18 Champions!

Middlesex - 2013 ECF U18 Champions!

On Sunday 30th June 2013, the ECF National U13 / U18 Championships were hosted within the fantastic grounds and facilities of The Haberdasher’s Aske’s Boys’ School in Elstree. Including reserves, 375 chess players participated forming 44 teams from 17 counties.

The format for the Under 18 Open was 12 boards, playing 2 rounds using a jamboree draw.

Brief history that I hope will inspire my fellow Team captains!

In 2012, Angela entered a Middlesex team at the last minute after many years of not entering. With only one month to go, she contacted me to assist with gathering and managing a Middlesex Team. I really struggled to fill boards. Many Middlesex players had been playing for rival counties for many years and understandably declined my invitations to now play for Middlesex.

In the end, eight players were accepted and turned up to play at Eton. In round,1, with only 8 players, we had to default 4 boards! In round 2, I only had 3 players as I some players had prior commitments, and had to default 9 boards!

As a result, we finished in 12th place. Very disappointing given the strength of Middlesex Juniors in general. Downcast, I determined to do better for our team next Year.

Building the 2013 Team

In April 2013, Angela confirmed that Middlesex would again enter the ECF U18 Championship. I identified potential Middlesex players and started to contact them. My first break came, when I managed to recruit Ananth, Aditya and Anuj from last year's winners. Further places were quickly filled with Peter, Isaac, Charlie, Paul, Dominic, Gautam. I now had a total of 9 boards filled.

Now, came the hard part! Filling the bottom 3 boards with 13+ aged players proved impossible, despite contacting over 30 players!

With one week to go, I made the decision to look for players in the younger ranks and promoted George, Jagdeep and Gabriel to the bottom boards, rather than default them! Reuben was our sub!

On the Day!

As Team Manager, one of my duties was to select a pairing envelope on the morning of the event. Yours truely selected the letter "L". I could not help reflecting whether that was L for Loser or Lucky!

As the players gathered in our Team room, the deadline approached for submitting final team details. Unfortunately, four of my players were still absent when I had to submit the team. I wondered if i would have to default boards! However, to my relief, they all turned up, even though one of  them was not very well!

The first round was a bit of a blur. When it was over, we realised that Middlesex were only 1 point off the lead! Kent were in the lead on 9.5 points, with Middlesex and Sussex on 8.5 points.

During the break, the team was in high spirits and joking that they would get the full twelve points in the next round.

In our round 2 draw, we were due to play Kent on Board 2 (Isaac against Rohan Shiatis) and Sussex on board 10 (George against Daniel Lowe). These were must win games against our closest rivals!

And then, slowly the results started to flow in. The first to finish was Jagdeep. Watching Isaac on board 2, he majestically outplayed Rohan. As the other players finished, it became apparent that we were having a very good round. With 10 games completed, we had 8.5/10 points.

And then finally, only two games remained. George managed to fight a difficult endgame to win against his Sussex opponent. Result 9.5/11!

In the last game, Gabriel seemed to have a drawn game and even offered his older opponent a draw at one time, which was declined. Eventually, both players end up with less than 1 minute on their clocks, living off 10 second increments to survive! This is where Gabriel came into his own and outplayed his opponent! Final Result for Round two - 10.5/12!

I was totally stunned at how brilliantly our players had performed in round two. Not a single loss!

When the Middlesex win was eventually announced, it was still a surprise, but well deserved!

Our Middlesex stars performed superbly on the day and are worthy ECF 2013 U18 champions!!

On behalf of Middlesex, I wish to thank everyone for their support. Well done Juniors!

Surjit Dhemrait
Team Manager of 2013 ECF U18 Champions!

 Under 18 Open Results

7=Greater Manchester128

Round 1 Results

BoardMiddlesex PlayerOpponent (Round 1)CountyResult
L.01Peter BatchelorMatthew WadsworthBerkshire1-0
L.02Isaac SandersJeffrey LeungDevon1-0
L.03Ananthanarayanan BalajiRoman MitraHertfordshire1-0
L.04Charlie NettletonJacob MantonGreater Manchester1-0
L.05Dominic Norcliffe-BrownJake BreindelHertfordshire1-0
L.06Paul WaddinghamNikolai HinterreitherBerkshire0.5-0.5
L.07Aditya MavinkurveSimeon BottCambridgeshire1-0
L.08Gautam JainMichael PettitSurrey0.5-0.5
L.09Anuj MavinkurveHaydn GodfreyLincolnshire1-0
L.10George IvanovThomas FurberBuckinghamshire0-1
L.11Jagdeep DhemraitMatthew HowellSussex0-1
L.12Gabriel Balouka-MyersMichael GreenKent0.5-0.5

Round 2 Results

BoardMiddlesex PlayerOpponent (Round 2)CountyResult
L.01Peter BatchelorSam BrennanSuffolk1-0
L.02Isaac SandersRohan ShiatisKent1-0
L.03Ananthanarayanan BalajiAnna WangOxfordshire0.5-0.5
L.04Charlie NettletonJames ColeOxfordshire1-0
L.05Dominic Norcliffe-BrownZoe SlatteryCambridgeshire1-0
L.06Paul WaddinghamEden KirkBuckinghamshire0.5-0.5
L.07Aditya MavinkurveWilliam TaylorLincolnshire1-0
L.08Gautam JainReece WhittingtonDevon0.5-0.5
L.09Anuj MavinkurveRory GoldsmithSuffolk1-0
L.10George IvanovDaniel LoweSussex1-0
L.11Jagdeep DhemraitThomas GreenGreater Manchester1-0
L.12Gabriel Balouka-MyersLuke GostelowSurrey1-0

Final Totals

BoardMiddlesex PlayerRound 1Round 2Total
L.01Peter Batchelor112
L.02Isaac Sanders112
L.03Ananthanarayanan Balaji10.51.5
L.04Charlie Nettleton112
L.05Dominic Norcliffe-Brown112
L.06Paul Waddingham0.50.51
L.07Aditya Mavinkurve112
L.08Gautam Jain0.50.51
L.09Anuj Mavinkurve112
L.10George Ivanov011
L.11Jagdeep Dhemrait011
L.12Gabriel Balouka-Myers0.511.5

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