As usual, the Girls’ Championships at U14/U12/U11/U10/U9 and U8 were held as rapidplay tournaments at the very welcoming Inglefield House School in Monmouth.  Because of the numbers in each age group, the tournaments were all held with two age groups paired together U14-U12, U11-U10 and U9-U8.


This was the first time I have run a tournament with add on time limits, with the oldest section starting with 6 rounds at 25min+10sec/move and the two younger sections playing 7 rounds at 20min+10sec/move.  There was no serious problems caused by any exceedingly long games, and my feeling is that players who deserved to win and were running short of time duly won – which to me is a big plus for the system.  The other advantage is that an arbiter never needs to decide a game on a two minute ruling.


The older girls tournament was somewhat disrupted by the withdrawal after round 2 of one of the U14s and my decision was to scrap the two games she had played and play the remainder of the games as an all-play all.  Alyssa Wang won all her games to finish U14 champion and Megan Richards losing only to Alyssa was runner up.  Anna-Lena Barth was U12 champion, but nearly messed up by stalemating against 2nd placed Tahlia Morgan-Rose when masses of material ahead.  Emily Parr took the 3rd place trophy by winning a full length play-off against Ella Hale-Smith. 

u14      U12 Winner
Under 14 Winner - Alyssa and 2nd Megan   Under 12 Winner - Anna-Lena


The U11 girls who went out to the World Youth Championships in November filled the first three places in their event.  In the crucial game, Stephanie du Toit holding a marginal positional advantage and a comfortable time advantage with her opponent Shayanna Sivarajasingam down to less than two minute plus increments rushed a move which blundered a knight – did she forget Rooks can move backward.  Shayanna played competently subsequently to win the game, and later the championship with a perfect 7/7.  Stephanie was clear 2nd on 6/7.  Alice Tang lost to Stephanie and Shayanna and drew with the U10 champion to take 3rd place on 4.5. 


Aishwarya Lutchman-Singh was winner of the U10s on 4.5 points with Neya Govindaraj and Emily Wang sharing second place on 3.5 points – much the same as last year’s results.


U11 winners      U10 winners

Under 11 Winners - 3rd Alice,  2nd  Stephanie and

1st Shayanna


Under 10 Winners - 2nd Emily and Neya and

1st Aishwarya

The U8’s was won by Venetia Sivarajasingam matching her older sister’s score with a perfect 7/7.  The only player among the U8 and U9 girls to compete with Venetia was Susanna Fraser who did lose their game, but won all her other games to finish U9 champion with 6/7.  I am hoping I have got the correct reults for the other places, as I had some pairing cards showing the wrong ages, and after a mix up at the end, I hope the trophies have gone to the rightful winners with Rana Ghandour 2nd in the U9s on 4.5 and Evie Hurn, Beth Bradfield and Ophelia Light joint 3rd on 4/7, and in the U8s Nayana Kalavala 2nd on 4/7 and Olivia Armstrong and Nandini Prasad joint 3rd on 3/7.


U9 winners      U8 Winners
Under 9 Winners   Under 8 Winners


Ladies’ Director and Olympiad player Olivia Smith came for the afternoon to encourage the girls and presented the prizes.


I would also like to thank Kevin Thomas for his help in organising and running the event, the head of Inglefield House Mrs Jayne Treasure for letting us use the school and for her help during the day, and to Colette du Toit and Lucy Tang who provided light refreshments and kept plying me with coffee to keep me going during the day.   


John Thornton ~ Arbiter


GM Hou Yifan

Women's World Champion