Middlesex U14/130 juniors beat Sussex on Sunday to win the East Zone in the Southern Counties Chess Championships.
This is a fantastic feat by the team made up of secondary school juniors in Years 7-9.
The team on Sunday in Board Order was Gabriel Balouka-Myers, Reuben Balouka-Myers, Harrison Willmoth, Jacob Goldberg, Liam Reed, Dylan Hung, Devin Karia, Tej Shah, Zachary Potel, Ruben van der Lubbe, Max Faircloth and Joshua Wong.
In the end it was a comfortable win - 16.5 to 7.5. But there were some close games which could have gone either way and a number of games where Middlesex players were material down but turned the situation around.
Eight of the 12 players were undefeated. Reuben Balouka-Myers, Devin Karia, Tej Shah, Zachary Potel and Max Faircloth won both their games. Gabriel Balouka-Myers, Harrison Willmoth and Ruben van der Lubbe won one and drew the second game.
To win the zone, Middlesex played four matches over the season. They drew with Essex and Surrey and beat Kent and Sussex. This was a great team effort with 19 juniors representing the county over these matches. In the other matches, the team included Sam Cohen, Emmanuelle Gelain-Sohn, Lara Mallin, Nikita Nunes, Adam Rosenthal, Charlie Sprung and Arnav Varma.
It was a very closely fought zone this season with three counties in the running for first place - Middlesex, Surrey and Sussex - depending on the result of the match on Sunday.
The team will now face Berkshire who won the West Zone in the Southern Counties Final.