ECF Team Chess Challenge 2020

On Wednesday 22nd January, members of the TCS Chess Club travelled to Torquay Boys Grammar School (TBGS) to take part in the annual English Chess Federation Team Chess Challenge. Eight teams of students representing six Devon schools competed for the top two spots which would guarantee a place at Imperial College, London for the national finals in May 2020. With typically strong teams from TBGS, there was also the burgeoning threat of Stover and the unknown quantities of teams from Bideford, Braunton and Paignton who were all competing in the event for the first time.

The first round saw TCS pitted against Stover A and, despite some hard-fought games, it was Stover that claimed a whitewash victory by 0-4. Although the team was somewhat disheartened by the final scoreline, we have always been slow starters and a bye in the second round of matches saw TCS get the opportunity for some much-needed practice. The third round saw TCS pitted against TBGS C. Although only ranked as their C team, these were very experienced and able opponents against whom TCS would generally struggle and, if some silly mistakes had not been made, the 1-3 loss could very easily have been a draw or victory. Nevertheless, the team was now on the board and the students remained undaunted.

Going into the final round of matches, TCS knew that they had to display the ability that they have in order to secure a respectable position in the final table. The opponents Stover B struggled to contain the TCS team who ran out comfortable 3-1 winners and finished their competition on a very positive note. In the final reckoning, TBGS A and TBGS B predictably took the two qualifying spots with TCS finishing 5th out of 8 teams being only 2 points off 3rd place.

All five students behaved impeccably and were an absolute credit to themselves and the school. Well done.

The TCS Chess Club runs every Tuesday 3.30pm – 4.30pm in CAL and is run by Mr Horne. Everyone is welcome regardless of age or ability.