Sunday 3 March 2024

Big Chess at Brentwood School's 8th Annual Tournament & EJCA Grand Prix

Brentwood School hosted and co-organised the 8th Brentwood Junior Chess Tournament alongside British Chess and the Essex Junior Chess Association on Sunday 3rd March.

This was a stand-alone event but the tournament was also Round 4 of the Essex Junior Chess Association Grand Prix along with being the Brentwood Senior and Prep School Championships.

The tournament attracted a record entry of 140 juniors from Essex and beyond, with players split into 4 sections based on age and chess rating. This included 40 students from Brentwood Senior and Prep Schools.

For the 8th Brentwood Junior Tournament, we had a new format of 8 rounds at the faster time control of 10+5 to mirror the 8x8 design of the chessboard. 

The Under 18 Open - the top section - was won by Ruqayyah Rida (Year 7) from Colchester with 7.5 out of 8. Ruqayyah had beaten British GM Mark Hebden the previous week to cement her reputation as one of England’s rising junior stars.

Max Pert (Year 9) from Brentwood School was the runner-up and as a result retains his Brentwood School Championship. Nina Pert (Year 11), also from Brentwood School, was third.

The Under 18 Minor - for players rated below 1000 - was won by Toby Allen on 8 out of 8. Lenny Horn from Suffolk was the runner-up with two Brentwood School students - Akaash Jain and Pranav Chandalia - third and fourth respectively.

The U11 Open (the largest section with 52 players) was won by Hantin Wang from Shenfield on tiebreak from fellow Chelmsford Junior Chess Club member Digby Shea. George Nanayakkara became the first student to retain the Brentwood Prep School Championship with his score of 5 out of 8 

The Under 11 Minor (mainly consisting of players in their first tournament) was won by Siyon Sujeeth with 7 points. Arjun Kattimani was second and Finley King third.

All the details are at Click on the link to each section then the final crosstables.

It was a fabulous day’s chess played in a perfect spirit and showed the power of chess to bring people together of all ages and backgrounds.

Thank you to everyone - Brentwood School and Courage Hall staff, our team of arbiters and board stewards led by FIDE arbiters Reza and John Bowley, Essex Junior Chess Association members and chess parents - who helped make the day such a success. Thank you also to Angelin for keeping everyone fed and watered. 

These photos that give such a great feel of the day are courtesy of professional photographer and chess parent Melinda Wilde.

These events cannot run so efficiently and happily without the combined efforts and expertise of a big group.

Robin Slade

Head of Chess, Brentwood School

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