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Checkmate – success at Champion of Champions chess
June 26, 2024

Westminster Under School made a remarkable impact at the “Champion of Champions” Chess Tournament hosted by King’s College. This prestigious competition gathered the top school chess teams from the past decade of EPSCA national schools’ competitions, bringing together the best of the best to crown the ultimate champion.

WUS proudly sent two teams to compete: an Under 11 team and an Under 9 team. Both teams faced seven other strong chess schools in an intense round-robin format, ensuring exciting matches throughout the tournament.

The Under 9 team delivered a stellar performance, winning all their matches and finishing a commendable second place, accumulating 26.5 points out of 35. The Under 11 team emerged as winners, clinching first place with 25.5 points out of 35 and securing decisive wins in all their individual school matches.

Reflecting on the tournament, U11 team member George shared his experience:

Over the long-awaited schools chess finals weekend, 5 Junior boys Ethan, Pranav, Rishabh, Niles and Noah went to play as the Westminster Under School U9 team at King’s College School, Wimbledon.

Anxious chess chats and settling into the team room done, they got down to play the first of 7 rounds of facing the 7 other top chess playing schools. A rather sedate warm up round with Hall to commence where WUS beat them 4-1 was followed by a more challenging Highgate which also yielded a 4-1 scoreline. UCS came next at a close 3-2 and then Pointers at 4-1.

The most crucial round came next where they faced the table topper hosts KCS who had stayed undefeated with perfect 5s in each round till then. The team played brilliantly to snatch a precious 3 points handing them their only losses in the tournament. The next 2 rounds were comprehensive wins for WUS at 4.5-0.5, 4-1 against St Pauls and Hallfields respectively. Consistently performing at an average of approximately 4 wins every round, the WUS U9 team finished second winning the silver medal at U9 Champion of Champions Chess tournament 2024.

The Under 9 team did in fact win all their matches against rival schools. Unfortunately, unlike the Eagleide Schools Chess tournament two weeks ago, this tournament was decided by the total points rather than match points, meaning that the Under 9s came second despite winning all their matches with 26.5 points out of a total of 35.

Meanwhile, the Under 11 team started against hosts Kings College. It was a tough match, but we managed to overcome them, winning 3-2. The next few victories were much more convincing, and the WUS Under 11 team built and extended a lead as we won all of the individual school matches, until we faced our closest rivals The Hall in the final round. What was expected to be a close match up turned out to be an stunning WUS victory, winning decisively by a score of 4-1.

This meant the Under 11 team won on both match and game points, coming first with 25.5 points out of 35.

Finally, I would like to thank Dr Horridge for organising the team, and to thank Mr Coleman and Mr D’Costa for coaching us to success!

WUS U9 team:
Ethan, Pranav, Rishabh, Niles and Noah.

WUS U11 team:
George, Alex, Aryan, Shrinivas and Arthur.

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