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Northern Gigafinal


July 7th & 8th


Qualified for the Terafinal:

Under 7 Girls: Ultima - Venetia Sivrajasingam 6/6

Under 9 Girls: Ultima (after sum of progressive scores) - Shayanna Sivrajasingam 5/6

Under 12 Girls: Ultima - Alyssa Wang 5.5/6


Qualified for the Challengers:

Under 7 Girls: Susanna Fraser 4/6

Under 8 Boys: 2nd Ifan Rathbone-Jones, Xavier Clason-Morgan 5/6,  3rd=  Max Lazarus 4.5/6

Under 8 Girls: 3rd  Emily Wang 4.5/6

Under 10 Girls: 2nd= Stephanie du Toit 5/6

Under 10 Boys A: 2nd=  Karanvir Lutchman-Singh 5/6 (no losses)

Under 11 Boys 3rd Joshua Williams

Under 12 Boys: 2nd  Nyasha Katsande


All results can be found on UK Chess Challenge website



The Northern Gigafinal took place over two days at the Moorways Sports Comples, Derby, with U7-U10 competing on Saturday and U11-U18 competing on Sunday. As usual, there was a strong turnout from Wales with over 30 players braving the poor weather conditions to get to Derby by car or by train.  With flooding affecting many parts of the Midlands, the typical journey time by car on Friday afternoon was 5 hours.


Moorways was a suitable venue for the size of the event. Limited seating was available for parents but, being a sports complex, there were ample mats to sit on and a staggered viewing gallery afforded good views of the playing hall for the keenest parents amongst us!  There was a ‘minor’ altercation on Saturday when one of the dads was escorted out of the complex after upturning tables/chairs (and scaring a few kids in the process!) – makes me wonder whether I should look into chess -boxing in more detail J - otherwise the tournament ran smoothly with a myriad of arbiters and helpers on hand to answer questions and settle disputes.


Both days were very long, starting at 9.30 am and finishing at 5.20 pm; I admire the tenacity of our juniors in coping with six rounds of intense chess play, especially in the older age categories. In between rounds, our juniors chillaxed in a number of ways; one poor child’s teddy bear was thrown around for hours in piggy-in-the-middle (!), games of football were played outside when weather permitted and of course the Wimbledon Finals (showing in the sports bar) were a strong pull especially on Sunday!


Our players battled bravely against some of the best young chess players in the UK.  The boys categories had the largest number of entries with the U9, U10 and U11 categories being split into A, B and C sections due to the number of players.  Several sections were very competitive and there were some surprise upsets in the early rounds.


In the boys categories, our juniors did well, with Xavier Clason-Morgan (U8), Ifan Rathbone-Jones (U8), Karanvir Lutchman-Singh (U10) and Nyasha Katsande (U12) finishing in joint 2nd position on 5/6 and qualifying for the Challengers event - Nyasha had two long games against two of the top seeded players in the competition and did well to draw both.  Max Lazarus (U8) and Joshua Williams from Denbighshire (U11) came joint 3rd and also qualified for the Challengers.


In the girls categories, our juniors did even better, winning three out of a possible six Ultima titles –congratulations to Venetia Sivarajasingam (U7) 6/6, Shayanna Sivarajasingam (U9) 5/6 and Alyssa Wang (U12) 5.5/6 for taking home the title, trophy and prize money!  They qualify for the Terafinal in Loughborough.  All three girls were introduced to chess via the school chess club run by Kevin Thomas, and are coached by Tim Kett.  Competition was fierce even in the girls’ categories; for example in the U9, 4 girls finished on 5/6 but Shayanna won by sum of progressive scores, demonstrating how important it is to win in the early rounds of this competition.  Stephanie du Toit (U10) came 2nd with 5/6, Susanna Fraser (U7) came joint 3rd with 4/6 and Emily Wang (U8) came 3rd with 4.5/6 – all qualifying for the Challengers Event.


Out of the rest, Rhydian Downing (U12) did well to finish on 4/6 in a very strong category and Arjan Bolina (U9) from North Wales finished on 4.5/6 - outside the top three but qualifying for the Plate competition which takes place in late August.  Other players to finish on 4/6 were Evan Spiers (U7), Michael Burger (U9), Aishwarya Lutchman-Singh (U9), Neya Govinderaj (U9), and Imogen Camp (U11) – all qualifying for the Plate competition.


Well done to everyone who took part. Many thanks to the staff at Moorways Sports Complex and to Mike Basman (and helpers) for another successful Gigafinal ! 





Shayanna and Venetia












Audrey Yong ~ Publicity Director



Junior chess activities are generously supported by a

 grant from the

Welsh Assembly