Ipswich Chess Junior Club
Who, Where and WhenIpswich Junior Chess Club provides a friendly environment for young people aged 6-16 to learn and play chess. The emphasis is on informality and enjoyment, but there is also coaching and competition.
The club operates at Ipswich County Library, Northgate St, IP1 3DE, on Saturday mornings, 10:00 - 12:00, during school term-time, for the full Autumn and Spring terms, and the first half of the Summer term.
Participants pay £2 per person (siblings are £1 for larger families), each week, although there may be an option to pay subs for half a term or the whole term in one go, with a small discount. Parents should be prepared to stay with their children until they have been settled into the club, or for all 8yr olds and younger, and will of course be welcome to help out and play. For more information please get in touch via our email address firstname.lastname@example.org.
Useful club documents: 1) Bronze grading; 2) Silver grading; 3) Gold grading; 4) How to record chess moves
We take Child Protection and Safeguarding seriously. See our current policy here.
News and Forthcoming Events
Club Dates for remainder of 2023
Dates in the run up to Xmas are:
Nov - 25th ** Ipswich Seniors are sending a team of 4 to play us. Normal club activities will still be taking place **
Dec - 2nd, 9th, 16th (then breaking until New Year, dates below)
Club Dates for 2024 (restart 6th Jan)
The club will run in the new year until Easter, then after up to the Whitsun half term (dates after Easter will be confirmed nearer the time)
So... put these in your diary....
Jan - 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th
Feb - 3rd, 10th, 17th (note closed on 24th Feb for half term)
Mar - 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd (note then shut for 2 weeks over Easter
(club will restart on 13th April, after Easter)
We are likely to be sending a team up to Bury Knights on one Friday evening next term. This will be open to all players, regardless of standard, and there is no limit on numbers we can take, but you will need to make your own way there or arrange a lift with another player if you can.
There are also loose plans for us to host an Open handicap Blitz tournament during our normal session one Saturday - details published when confrmed.
The club is run by volunteers, both behind the scenes and each Saturday morning. Any level of help will be appreciated - the club will only be as good as the people helping to run it. If you want to discuss this, without commitment, contact Martin via the email address above or at the club on a Saturday.
Results and Recent Events
Visit by Ipswich Senior Club on 25/11/23
Ipswich Juniors got another taste of match experience with the visit of players from the senior chess club. ICC sent 4 players under the stewardship of Ken Lunn - Angus Irving, Kenny Fowler, Phil Chapman, Jim Stowe, with Tim Lunn also there as a reserve. They played 2 x 20 minute games each against different Juniors, providing a different style of opposition from the recent Bury Knights visit.
In the end the Seniors ran out comfortable 6-2 winners, from having been 2-2 at the halfway stage. Our Martin and Jonathan were winners, with Joseph, Advik, Amara, Zak, Pranav and Ewan not being successful but giving a good account of themselves.
Thanks to the Seniors for turning out; we hope to make this an annual event again, as it was before Covid.
Visit by Bury Knights to Ipswich Juniors 21/10/23
Bury Knights brought a strong team of 8 players to Ipswich for a two-round match, each game being 20 minutes per player.
The first match ended 5-3 to Bury, including a few games that could have gone either way. In the second match the greater experience of Bury was evident, and although some games were again close, Bury ran out 6-2 winners. Congratulations to them.
Having taken the opportunity to give some regular but inexperienced players their first taste of formal matchplay, the Ipswich players will have learned a few things from Bury, plenty for us all to work on, and we hope to be stronger in the New Year when we will be invited up to Bury for a return fixture.
The full results board is shown here; the Ipswich and Bury players are shown here.
Club Championships 2023
May 13th saw the Open Rapidplay event take place, 6 round Swiss with 5 minutes per player. There was added spice as players reaching 2 pts had their time reduced to 4 minutes, and those who reached 4 pts were reduced to 3 mins.
22 entrants, some dramatic results, but 3 players tied on 5/6 pts, so were joint winners - Martin, Nico and Joseph P. Breathing down their necks on 4/6 were Woody, Illia and Aditya in joint 4th place. Woody, Illia and Ben (3.5/6) performed extremely well given that they are all still at Junior school, Woody in particular had 6 strong opponents.
The first two events were completed on 6th May:
- Open Longplay
20 minute games, moves recorded, with 14 players taking part at various stages
1st = Martin and Nico, who both had chances to win before shaking hands
3rd was Joseph
A surprisingly tough tournament, with all 3 of the winning players losing at least one game in the preliminary rounds.
- Junior Rapidplay
5 minute games with 8 participants
Ben was consistently the strongest player, and Logan next strongest throughout.
Colchester Megafinal on Sun 21st May 2023
Disappointingly, a number of Ipswich Juniors tried to enter but were turned down as the events were already full. We'll keep our eyes open for next year's event, and encourage earlier entry.
Bury St Edmunds Junior Congress 2023
This excellent event was held on Sunday May 14th. Ipswich Junior players had good results at the event despite very strong and experienced fields:
- in the U13 section Martin (4/6), Nico (3/6), Freddie (2.5/6) and Annindya (1/5)
- in the U18 event Joseph (3/6) and Benedict (2/6)
We hope more enter next year!
Rapidplay Event 25/2/23
As a warm up event for the Club Championships, our members played a 4 round Swiss event, with 5 minutes for each player in each game. This was the first time many of them had played in a competitive event, and all of the finishers of this 18 player competition managed at least one win, much to the credit of everyone. To make it a more even event, piece handicaps were given to the stronger players when they played those with less experience.
Congratulations first to Nico, with 3.5 out of 4 to be outright winner. This was an outstanding performance as he played all 4 games without pieces, in order Q, R, N and N.
In joint 2nd on 3 out of 4 were Nived, Logan and newcomer Zak, well done to them, while Woody and Martin were next with 2.5 out of 4.
For the full results table, click here.
Fun at Xmas session
To lighten the mood in our last session before xmas, the club ran a competition... to see who could set the boards up accurately and the quickest.
Pieces were flying all over in the race to set up, with Jacob the eventual winner.
Good fun had by all, before returning to normal games.
Junior Open Event at Martlesham 20/8/22
Dagne is running another event in the summer hols, with an U12 and U18 section. 10mins per player + 10 seconds per move added time controls, running through the afternoon in Martlesham Heath. Should be fun and get rid of the rust before the new season.
Click here for all details in this entry form
Daily chess puzzles
If you fancy keeping your hand in over the summer, why not visit the Suffolk Junior Chess website - it has a daily set of puzzles to find the best move in an interesting position. There are 3 levels, easy, medium and hard, and if you click the Hint button it will tell you which piece moves and then where to, so you can check your reasoning.
There is other information available from this site, with news, events and details of online chess with other Suffolk juniors. Worth a visit:
Completion of first year after Covid
Running from October 2021 to April 2022 was a challenge at time as Covid still interfered, and players rightly gave schooling priority, but the club got through it and is now taking a break over summer before re-starting with renewed vigour.
Online chess during lockdown and the summer (updated 16/2/21)
Suffolk Junior Chess are running regular events for established and new Suffolk junior players. You can join the club free of charge: details here https://lichess.org/team/suffolk-junior-chess or contact Tim Kent for more details at email@example.com or on 07743 457251.
Tim can also provide details of forthcoming events run by the suffolk online club, and of a new initiative "She Plays To Win" which is an online group set up for girls only.
2019 Club Championship
Well, this got stopped before finishing due to Covid. Jonathan Painter was leading at this point so he gets a pat on the back and our very best wishes.
Handicap Blitz tournament March 7th
A time handicapped Blitz event was run with 18 participants. Spice was added by Steve and Martin taking part, albeit with brutal handicaps. The event was won by Steve on 5/5, who had one minute per game against 9 minutes for each opponent - a dominant and artful performance indeed. Of the Juniors, Luke and Charlie each scored 4/5, only losing to Steve, well played to them both.
For the full results board click here
Simul with Steve Gregory Dec 7th
Steve played 10 players, offering up to a Queen start to even out their chances. In the end he won all 10 games, but not without some struggles. Special mention to Nico, who had Steve on toast for most of their game, then managed to get swindled and lose to his wily and experienced opponent.
Match Ipswich Juniors v Ipswich Seniors Nov 23rd 2019
Ken Lunn brought a team of gnarled veterans to the Library to play our young bucks, as in previous years. Unlike previous encounters, however, the Juniors took some of the spoils against their more experienced opponents, and in a very sporting contest, we lost 1.5 - 6.5 instead of 0-8. Not at all bad, and many thanks to the Seniors for their time and help discussing each game after the event.
For the record, Ken, Patrick and Jim each collected two Senior wins, while Sayeb rescued a draw and William sneaked a win against Roger. The other players from the Juniors who gained valuable experience were Jenni, John-Paul, Jonathan, Nico, Samuel and Reece.
Bonus Event September 3rd 2019
Jonathan Painter and Luke Davison stepped up to the challenge against senior, battle hardened players. It was a sharp learning curve for the pair, even with time advantages in most games, but they managed 6 wins out of the 20 games they played between them, not a bad effort at all.
End of Season 25th May 2019
Our final meet of this season allowed everyone to play Exchange and 4-way chess while the club championship played to a conclusion. 16 players turned up, which was just as well as the medals and chess books were dished out as follows:
- Rook and Pawn (piece handicap) was won on 4/6 by Jenni, Samuel and Zikora with presentation by Suffolk's 2nd best Junior, Alex Sheerin
- Blitz (time handicap) was won by Jenni and William on 5/6, presentation by Jane
- Championship (piece handicap) shared by Luke and Jenni, presentation by Steve. Here they are in actual combat
- Most improved player was Caitlin, presented by Martin
- finally a discretionary award to sisters Saaruja and Dinoja for immaculate chess and everyday manners, always playing with a smile and being a pleasure to have at the club. Presentation by Madge
- of course, every club depends on diligent volunteer help. Here are 3 such stalwarts showing total dedication to the cause...
MegaFinal Success for Jenni
Congrats to Jenni who qualified in the recent Suffolk Delancy MegaFinal event in the U16's girls. She qualifies for the finals, good luck!
Martlesham Open May 12th 2019
Dagne's event, entries paid for by the club, attracted 6 club members out of the 17 total field. Dagne split the comp into two halves, with the strongest (such as Dagne herself and Steve Gregory, our own club coach) and the less experienced. Jenni volunteered to test herself against the stron field - all credit - but no cigar so to speak, but as a learning experience oh boy! In the Junior section Jonathan triumphed over the field with 6/7, Caitlin 3rd, but a good performance from Samuel on 4/7 is worth noting. Well done all, and on to the Bury champs next week.
Club Championships 201918th May saw the last leg of the club champs get going, which was a blitz for 15 players, with time handicaps for the strongest and experienced players. Based on 5 mins each for equal players, the differential was as much as 2-8 minutes for the strongest against the least experienced, which made everything more equal and proved hilarious as the stronger players occasionally panicked.
Despite this, the stronger players prevailed, with William and Jenni winning on 5/6, and Caitlin breathing down their necks on 4.5/6. Tremendous fun, well done all. Scoreboard for the day is here
In the main event, two weeks' worth of games led to an exciting finale as 4 players qualified for the semi finals on May 25th. Runaway best player was Caitlin, followed by Jonathan, then saw a scramble for the remaining 2 places which were just secured by Luke and Jenni despite quite heavy handicaps for all 4 players.
The unlucky 5th, on standby in case of non-attendance, was William, with a creditable mention to the two final reserves Aakash and Anuj who both finished above 50% with the handicaps in their favour and not over their games.
So, the 4 remaining will be drawn and will play 2 final games each to determine top dog.
With the main event only halfway completed, 4th May saw the King/Pawn event take place. With 0,1, 2 or 3 pawns handicap this proved to be very close and exciting. The 3 winners on 4/6 were Samuel (-1 handicap), Zikora (-1) and Jenni (-2 increased to -3 for her final tie). Great event, chess books dished out, medals to follow on the final day of our season.
Simul v Steve Gregory 16th March 2019
14 players this time, varying piece handicaps, with an impressive 12-2 score in favour of Steve as the only wins against were by Jenni and Caitlin who both had a knight advantage to start. Well done all.
Suffolk U11's results 9th March 2019
Suffolk had a thin time this year, finishing 8th of 8 in the Eastern zonal fixture. Club members William, Alex, Max, Zikora and Beatrice all played, with limited success as we were heavily outgunned by more experienced teams. For the full results grid see http://www.oxfordfusion.com/epsca/TeamResult.cfm?EventID=129&Team=F
Blitz Tournament Feb 16th 2019
The club hosted a 20 player 5 round swiss Blitz event, with guests from other Junior clubs in Suffolk. Much fun, hard competition but a high standard of chess manners throughout. With extra help running the busy tournament desk from Tim Kent and Leon Burnett, it was a great success with home talent William Davison finishing with a perfect 5/5, ahead of Jonathan Painter (Ipswich) on 4/5 and Raf Calumpiano (Bury Knights) on 4/5 both of whom only lost to William. Well done to evry player, some of whom were using clocks for the first time in anger.
Pics - a shot of the hall - William with his prize (Raf just behind him) - the final scoreboard
Top 100 for Jenni Rochford
The latest grades are out, and Jenni, whose adult grade is 79 (and likely to rise) is currently ranked 98th in the English U16 Girls listings.
Congratulations to Jenni. Top 50 by the end of the year maybe? Hmm?
Match v Ipswich Senior club 2nd Feb
Two rounds of matches were played against some of the more experienced (i.e. older!) players from the Senior club. Junior members Jenni, Caitlin, William and Jonathan and then Luke, Alex, Anuj and Dinoja had games against Ken, Roger, Patrick and Jim. In the end the greater consistency and battle-hardiness of the Seniors produced an 8-0 whitewash, but several of the games were close, notably Caitlin and Alex vs Roger.
Many thanks to the Seniors for giving up their time and giving the younger players something to aim at for next year (revenge....!)
Simultaneous event Jan 12th 2019
The first event this year was a Simultaneous display from two of the more experienced club players, Jenni and Caitlin, who played 16 games between them against other club members. It proved a stern test for the girls, with speed of decision making and concentration thoroughly tested. Results were mixed, but considering they were handicapped in several games, it was an excellent effort. Not as easy as it looks!
Jenni concentrating here, Caitlin hard at work here.
Bell Tournament Dec 15th
As an end of term treat, 13 players took part in a 5 round swiss tournament where a bell was sounded every 10 seconds, for players to move. It was aimed at quick thinking and tactical play, proving to be good fun for all. Luke finished unbeaten, seen here receiving a chess book as a prize, courtesy of senior club member Mike Clapham. The scoreboard for the comp is pictured here. Piece handicaps were applied to even up the chances for the less experienced players.
Chess books donated to the Junior Club
Mike Clapham, from Ipswich Senior Chess Club has very generously donated a box of chess books to the Juniors, for use as prizes and teaching aids. Many thanks from all club members.
Club Shirts NOW AVAILABLE!!!
We are pleased to inform you that stylish and practical shirts can be bought via this link:
Price for Juniors is £10, for Adults it is £15. You can either wait and they will be delivered to the club for collection, or you can have them posted for another £3.40.
Choose the name to put on the back, and boom! The shirt has been tested by Martin, it washes well, seems to be of suitable quality and can be ironed (but only inside-out).
Simul event - Ipswich Juniors v Alex Sheerin Sept 22nd
Alex, currently Suffolk's highest graded Junior player, took on the ranks of the Junior Club en masse. Allowing his opponenents to choose their colour, and giving away Q, R or N depending on their strength, he played very efficiently in winning 9 and losing only 2 games. Well played Alex, with congratulations to Jonathan Painter (whose play was commended) and Jenni Rochford (who was a touch fortunate) for winning.
Pics from the event are here and here.
Ipswich Junior Club now on social media
With thanks to Emma (Owen's mum) who is going to post details of club events on Facebook and Twitter this season. She invites you all to "like" the pages and get involved. She would particularly like photos.
Suffolk Junior Grand Prix
Final event of the year was at Woodbridge School on June 17th, with plenty of our players involved, all of whom met or exceeded their expected performance.
Top of the pile was Alex Sheerin with 6/7, who lost the overall title on a tie-break; Jenni and Caitlin headed the U14's, John-Paul, Eniko and Hamilton all did well in U11/10/9's, being pitched against more experienced opponents. Well done all.
Keep your eyes on the Suffolk Junior site, where a full report should follow.
End of Season Party
Martin and Giovanna hosted the event, which was a thinly veiled excuse to film a few more videos and eat cake. See pics in the text for evidence...
In glorious weather, the giant set made an appearance so that the outstanding correspondence match against Martlesham could be finished, which Ipswich won in the end to finish 1-1 in the series (well played both clubs!). There was also a bit of 4 way chess going on and a general hoofing around in the garden or taking in the sun for parents and helpers.
On the video front, 7 rough cut videos on simple chess topics were shot, we hope they work out well and will stick them on this website if so.
As for the cakes, well now!! What a spread. The prettiest cake (tasted delicious as well of course) was this one, but with such a high standard everyone was caked out by the end. Thank you to everyone for making the day so enjoyable, all 28 attendees enjoyed it very much.
Club Tournament 2018 - Finals Day 19/5/18
A tremendous finals day culminated in the following results:
U18 - Jonathan got revenge on Caitlin for the Blitz final by winning the U18 event
U11 - Hamilton played well to beat William for the title
Kings + Pawns - William recovered to beat Caitlin in a close hard fought event
Caitlin is the Blitz champ
Here is a photo of those prizewinners who were not away for half-term
Blitz Tournament on May 12th
A tremendous occasion at the Library today, with an impressive 20 players taking part in the Blitz tournament. Les Jones (fresh off the plane from holiday in Peru) and Ken Lunn from the Ipswich Senior Chess Club ran the event (take a bow, chaps).
There were 6 rounds, 5 minute games on clocks, the results as follows:
1st - 6 out of 6 - Caitlin, who becomes the IJCC Junior Blitz champ 2018
2nd - 5 / 6 - Jonathan / Eniko / William / Luke
6th - 4.5 / 6 - Owen
7th - 4 / 6 - John-Paul / Adam
9th - 3.5 / 6 - Yesin
10th - 3 / 6 - Hamilton / Karthik
It was pleasing to welcome Yesin and Adam from the Martlesham Junior Chess Club, who visited us for the tournament.
Suffolk Junior Teams March 2018
After an absence of many years, Suffolk have submitted teams into regional junior tournaments, in a bid to qualify for the national age-group finals. The organisers of these teams, Tim Kent and Bob Jones, deserve a lot of credit for the amount of work they have put n and the physical effort of getting players to the remote venues.... thanks chaps.
U9's last weekend saw Ipswich players Hamilton and Karthik in the team. They both had strong positions against higher graded opponents without success, but the team qualified for the finals so they have the opportunity to do the business in Birmingham later in the year.
U11's played yesterday in what is probably the hardest section. Well done to William, Owen and John-Paul who took part, with Eniko scoring highest of our 4 team members with 2 out of 3 on the day. The team was unsuccessful against much stronger opposition, but there is alwsays next year.
U18's played in February and were outgraded, outgunned and out of luck. Only Alex Sheerin from Ipswich was in the team, on board 1, but against such high class opposition the results went the way of form unfortunately.
It must be remembered that Suffolk is a small county in terms of population, has to travel long distances to compete and has not been taking part for a while, so is relatively inexperienced. We have the players with potential to improve, not just from the existing squads but also from those who did not make the team this time. We intend to play an active part in Suffolk temas on years to come.
Woodbridge Train and Play, Feb 24th
An impressive 11 of the 23 attendees at this event came from our club, who demonstrated their commitment and ambition handsomely.
After morning coaching sessions those involved were split into 3 groups.
In the top group Jenni scored 2/3, which Johnathan, William and Karthik all featured against strong opposition.
Group 2 was won by Owen (3/3) while Hamilton, Oscar and Charlie all scored 2/3
Group 3 included Freddie also on 2/3
We don't normally report on such events as birthdays (when you get to the age of the organiser's you will understand...) but we had to share a picture of Eniko's cake from her recent 10th birthday. Happy birthday and wow! to Marta, who made the cake for her daughter.
Simultaneous event Sat 3rd Feb
Steve Gregory, taking time out from coaching at the club, agreed to do a simul event where he started a full Queen down in all games. Only 3 players beat him - step forward Jonathan Painter, Luke and William Davison.
Suffolk "Train and Play" Jan 7th
The first training camp of the year was held in Bury, with 4 Ipswich club members attending. After 2 coaching sessions and dinner, the 22 players split into 3 groups. In group 2, Jonathan Painter took 1st, Owen Free 2nd place, and in group 3 it was Eniko (3 wins from 3) in 1st and Hamilton narrowly pushed into 3rd, meaning all 4 Ipswich players made the prizes!!
Well done all, we look forward to hearing more next Saturday. See photo here
"Medal Simultaneous" event Dec 16th
Martin played 9 Juniors this time, on the last date before the Xmas break.
There were no medal winners this time, just Luke Davison who once again got a draw from a winning position for a round of applause.
Honourable mentions also go to Oscar, Eniko and Owen (who went a full queen up but eventually got swindled).
Match at Bury Knights - Fri 8th Dec
Ipswich took a team of 9 players to the Bury Knights - what a fabulous evening.
Bury had set up a separate room to allow the games to be played in match conditions. Each Ipswich player had 3 games against different opponents, a tribute to the numbers who attend the Bury club and the expert organisation of Bob Jones. Bury took the opportunity to field their less experienced players, with a few young assassins mixed in, and the results went in favour of the street-wise Ipswich players who ended up winning 20.5 to 6.5, with every player winning at least one game. The bottom boards were dominant for the away team with the senior Ipswich players running up against more experienced opponents on the top boards.
More info to follow, but here is the match getting under way, and here are the Ipswich team holding up the number of fingers for the games they won.
Simultaneous event a roaring success!
On October 21st Martin lined up against 13 club members, playing them all at the same time (that's what simultaneous means, after all...).
Martin took white, with each game starting from the Kings Gambit accepted position. This was intended to lead to a quick and wholehearted attack, and indeed it did.
Of the 13 games there were many close-fought, with a lot of skill on display. In the end Luke Davison got a draw (for a round of applause) after narrowly missing a couple of mating attacks, but his brother William took the only win for Black for a medal. He was a bit lucky (ok, he played well...).
This will be repeated in December. Bring it on!
2017 Club Championship - Results
In the Open category (for mainly year 7 upwards)
Jenni - winner
Freddie - 2nd
Zac - 3rd
Oscar - 4th
Honourable mentions go to Cayden and Luke, both of whom would have contended but for unavailibility at the wrong time.
In the Intermediate category (year 4 - 6)
Ben - winner (see presentation picture here)
Charlie - 2nd
John Paul - 3rd
Owen - 4th
Unlucky in this category was William, a strong contender who was unavailable for the finals
In the Minor category (year 3 and younger)
Hamilton - winner (see presentation picture here)
Shahrazad - 2nd
Bury Knights team visit April 22nd
Bury Knights Junior Club brought a 3 person team to Ipswich on 22nd April. Featuring an 8, 9 and 10 year old, two girls one boy, the greater experience of the Knights counted as they racked up an impressive 14 wins from 16 games played, although the Ipswich players put up a decent test in many of the games. Cayden Judge and Jenni Rochford were the Ipswich victors, Cayden's win coming over Amy John, who is an England player for her age group.
Details are in the excellent Suffolk chess blog here www.suffolkchess.org.uk/2017/04/bury-knights-go-to-ipswich.html
Bury Knights also issued an invitation for a return fixture in the autumn - details will follow later this year.