by John D Thornton (arbiter)
Inglefield House in Monmouth was as usual the comfortable venue for the girls' championships. Kevin Thomas had done his customary sterling work in ensuring a good number of players from the school, with an overall total of 40 entries, only one failing to make it on the day. This year he was rewarded with a new star Xanthe Harris, who was winner of the U9 championship with 5/5.
As usual it would have been unkind to turn away entries on the day, having made the trek to Monmouth, and as usual most of these arrived close to the start time, which makes sorting out all the different age group tournaments rather a problem. In the end we finished with 6 player all-play-alls in the U9, the U10 and the U11 age groups; the U8s was a 12 player Swiss tournament; and the only combined event being the U12 and U14s running as a 9 player Swiss.
Congratulations are in order to Helen Sherwood on winning the British Ladies Correspondence Chess Championship with a score of 5.5/6!
Very well done!
The English Chess Federation National Schools Girls Championship is the top chess UK tournament for teams of girls. On Sunday two teams from Howell’s Juniors and one team from the Seniors took part in the Southern UK semi-final and all three teams of three players qualified for the Final. This event will take place over two days during the Easter holidays and will be hosted by St.Catherine’s School, near Guildford.
The Welsh Girls’ Championships were held at their customary venue of Inglefield House in Monmouth on 11th January. As usual entry numbers meant combining some age groups. The combined U14/U12 was strong with 6 of the 7 girls all able to beat each other on a good day. Emily Wang’s draw with Shayanna Sivarajasingam in the first round had a significant effect on events as this left Shayanna for the whole event having to play catch up with Stephanie du Toit. The crunch came in round 4 when these two played. Shayanna missed her chance to win in a K+P ending, with the resulting draw leaving Stephanie an easy road to the title. Aishwarya Lutchman Singh was the unlucky U12 who had to play up to Shayanna in the last round - the only one of the top three U12s to play both U14s, though a win for her would have meant she would have won the U12 title outright. As it was she lost, allowing Emily Wang and Neya Govindaraj to overtake her.