More than 30 Jersey youngsters under the age of 18 competed in the 1st Appleby Jersey Junior Chess Blitz Championship on Saturday 15 December. The tournament, sponsored by Appleby, took place at Haute Valle School from 9.00am to 3.00pm.
The youngsters who competed in the tournament played unassisted in a round robin format, playing a total of 12 games, they had to make all moves in each game in five minutes. All games were played against the chess clock and this is considered by many as the most exciting form of chess. The games were fast and furious and a great opportunity for the youngsters to compete under pressure against the clock.
The winner of the competition was Joshua Rondel, aged 15, Joshua had 11 wins out of 12 and was presented with the Ed Le Quesne trophy, the trophy recognises Ed Le Quesne for all his achievements with juniors over the last 40 years in Jersey. In second place was Andrew Ruff, aged 14, and third place was Alexander Hodnett, aged 15.
The Jersey Chess Club is dedicated to introducing chess to all schools on the island and there are now a total of 10 schools with chess clubs. FIDE, The World Chess Organisation’s, ‘chess in schools’ programme has also distributed free chess sets and boards to all interested schools on the island giving all children access to chess.
David Benest, Appleby’s Jersey Office Managing Partner said: “It is fantastic that so many young people were involved in this competition and so committed to the game. Chess improves concentration, enhances memory, develops logical thinking, builds self-esteem and improves decision-making skills. It also teaches youngsters independence to make important decisions influenced only by their own judgment. Supporting the championships and the academy is part of our commitment to education and nurturing the development of young people in Jersey.”
Marcin Mazurkiewicz, Jersey Chess Club Junior Representative commented: “The tournament was a great opportunity for them to put their training into practice and further develop their skills, and to compete under pressure against the clock. We hope the tournament has raised awareness of the game and will encourage more young players to become involved. The competition was also good preparation for the Appleby Junior Chess Jersey Championship which takes place in April 2013, and will identify champions from six age groups which is very exciting.”