First Tournament Success for PCSA Chess Team

PCSA’s first ever Chess Club was started in September and consists mainly of Year 7 and a few Year 8s who regularly attend and battle it out over the chess board on a weekly basis. Due to their enthusiasm and support of the club it was decided to enter them into their first ever tournament – the South West Regional Final of the English Chess Federation Team Chess Challenge at Torquay Boys Grammar School.

Being one of the youngest and most inexperienced teams, it was a chance to take part in a competition outside of school, learn from some great tactical play and reward their loyalty to the club. It was a fantastic afternoon and they represented the Academy with confidence, fantastic behaviour and great sportsmanship, supporting each other and taking an interest in all the games going on around them.

The team was made up of Yuri Allasia (captain), Justin Mallari, Leo Mullings, Fynn Richardson and Mason Babbage. Even though they faced stiff competition from teams that included Devon Chess players; Torquay Boys Grammar School, Exeter School of Maths, Stover, Coombeshead Academy and St Cuthbert Mayne, they finished a fantastic 14th out of 21 teams – which is outstanding for such a fledgling squad.

The first round saw them win against St. Cuthbert Mayne A with individual wins from Yuri, Justin and Leo. The second round saw them lose to Coombeshead A with an individual win from Yuri. The third round saw them lose to TBGS Year 9s with an individual win from Justin. The fourth round saw them draw against Stover with individual wins from Leo and Yuri. (Justin also won but found himself playing as a substitute for rivals St Cuthbert Mayne!)

It was such a great experience for the boys and even those who didn’t manage to attain an individual win were great team players and gained invaluable experience from playing those older and more accomplished. The eventual tournament winners who will go on to play at Imperial College, London were the Exeter School of Mathematics team. Hopefully, now we have goals to aim for, we will be able to attend our next tournament with a few more teams, so if anyone is interested in attending Chess Club it is on Monday lunchtime in Room 15. All players welcome.