13th Yarm Chess Championship
Saturday 29th September
The latest in the long line of Yarm Chess Championships was a very successful event.
13 teams entered the Primary Section, including defending champions Yarm A. Their main rivals, Newcastle’s Royal Grammar School (‘R.G.S.’), looked strong from the start and were eager to loosen Yarm’s grip on the trophy. Indeed, Yarm A and R.G.S. have traded victories since the early days of the championship.
A crunch encounter in the third round (of five) ended in a convincing R.G.S. victory and they made sure of the title with further match wins in the final two rounds.
Meanwhile, Yarm A tired towards the end of the event managed to hold onto second place.
Yarm B and R.G.S. F tied for third place. A play-off match sought to break the deadlock but ended in a 2-2 draw so they just shared the place.
1st: R.G.S. A 18.5
2nd: Yarm A 13
=3rd: Yarm B & R.G.S. F both 12.5
(13 teams played)
There was a very tough battle for honours in the Secondary Section. The top teams from Yarm, R.G.S. and Wakefield’s Queen Elisabeth Grammar School (‘Q.E.G.S.’) were all in action. Q.E.G.S. held a slender lead after three rounds but a fighting 2-2 draw with Yarm A allowed R.G.S. A to take a point advantage with a round to go. The new leaders held their nerve and produced another great performance in the last match to deservedly take the title. Q.E.G.S. had a good last round too to ensure second place. Hosts Yarm A had to settle for third, but the scores were very close.
1st: R.G.S. A 16.5
2nd: Q.E.G.S. 15.5
3rd: Yarm A 12.5
(10 teams played)
The tournament experience was enhanced by the presence by the presence of two very special guests. Current Cleveland County co-champion and former British Senior Champion, David Smith, was present throughout the day to help out, play and pass on tips to the juniors. Grandmaster Daniel King was there too! In fact he had already given Elmwood Chess Club a very memorable Grandmaster evening on the Thursday night and won nearly all of his games in a Yarm School simul on the Friday night (only Matthew Cornford managed to lower the GM’s colours - but he did it in great style; I’m hoping to show the game here soon).
Sincere thanks to everyone - from Y2 players to Grandmaster - who all made the 13th Championship one of the most enjoyable and special of the whole series.