The new season opened in style with 94 in the four SJC junior sections, joined in the impressive playing hall by a further 48 players in the 30th Crowborough Adult Congress.
In the Under 11 Minors, the arbiters reported high standards of play and concentration. This was epitomised by the thrilling last round match between Elena and Adam finishing long after the other three sections. Congratulations to Timmy a deserved winner with 5 points. Joining him in moving up to the Under 11 Majors will be Adam and Callum, both also on 5 out of 6. Just missing out on a top 3 position after also scoring 5 were Solomon (in his first Grand Prix) and Thomas. It was enough to secure Solomon the Under 9 prize and Thomas both the Under 10 prize and the Crowborough Cup for the top performance by a Crowborough Junior. Consistent play saw Elena and Amelie secure the Under 8 and Under 7 trophies.
The U11 Major remains a tough place to be with no easy games to be had. The title was won by Edward just ahead of Leo. Edward will now head to the Under 18 Majors at Horsham and on this evidence will be well up to the challenge. Thomas pipped brother Oliver, Polina and Rajan to 3rd place and Polina deservedly took the Top Girl prize.
The Under 18 Minor section featured a number of impressive displays from players who have only just moved up from the Under 11s. The top 3 all on 4.5 were Thomas and Mario (who shared the title) ahead of Oliver on progressives. Kieron won the Grading Prize. (Note : we are often asked what winning on progressives means. A player’s progressive score is the sum of his scores going in to each round. This system rewards players who win more games in earlier rounds as they can then expect to have had a tougher tournament playing more highly ranked players).
The Under 18 Majors was missing a few of the usual faces, with Callum, Cassie, David, Jonathan, Matthew F, Matthew H and Thomas all entering the Adult Congress. Even so the competition still included a number of England players in the field of 13. Well done to Calum who progressed serenely to 5.5 to take the title ahead of Alec (in his first U18) and a five way tie for third place. Lucas in his first major deservedly won the grading prize.
Finally, thanks to all the parents for supporting the children throughout the highs and lows of the day.
And finally congratulations to a recent SJC Junior Matthew Payne finishing joint first in the six round adult Crowborough Congress. In third place in the adult Congress was ECF President Dominic Lawson, who kindly missed his own prizegiving to present all the tournament trophies, along with exchanging a few words with each of the prizewinners.
Thanks also to the tournament helpers :
We hope to see many of you back to compete again - our next Grand Prix is on October 17th where the sections will be slightly different - Under 8, Under 10, Under 12, and Under 18. Look out also for our age-limited tournaments for the Under 8s (Oct 31st), the Under 9s, Under 11s, Under 13s and Under 18s (Nov 15th) and the Girls Tournament (6th Dec). These events additionally include team prizes where there are three or more players from the same school.
Finally, we are a voluntary organisation and can always use extra pairs of hands, either at events or handling administration behind the scenes. Please speak to an organiser if you would like to get more involved.