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Blindfold Chess, Champion Russell White, Colchester Jr Advance to LJCC, Chess Success, & More

Nolan Periera plays Russell White in a Blitz game

We have had an exciting couple of weeks before wrapping up for this term. Our juniors have been busy with many new experiences in chess. These are the experiences that make our players stronger. Two weeks ago, our players practised playing each other in our weekly friendly tournament. Then our intermediate and advanced players had a go at blindfold chess! If you have never seen blindfold chess or wonder why anyone would want to, the reason is to develop the visual-spatial abilities and memory, and to test a player's understanding of the knowledge of chess they have acquired. This is no easy feat! The moves are communicated through chess notation, and the player must make a mental note of where the pieces are on the board throughout the game. This helps visualisation, memory, and recognising patterns. It sure was a funny sight when I walked in and saw them at the end of the session. However, I think the juniors did get a lot out of the exercise (even if they did peek a little).

Here are a few photos of the blindfold session...

Last week, we were grateful to have Essex Champion and chess coach, Russell White, join us for our over the board session. Russell and Rezin teamed up to play the simultaneous game. Our juniors had a great challenge to win against these two players. But, win or lose, what a great experience they had to play such tough opponents. At the end of the session, Russell chose three players whose impressive play earned them a chess magazine! Congratulations to Drummer, Grace, and Miles. Well done, you guys!

Here are some photos of our session with Russell...

We would like to recognise three of our club members who went to St Albans to join a qualifying event for the London Junior Chess Championships. Mae and Rezin Catabay and Grace Wilde were there for the day-long tournament, which consisted of six rounds. Mae won 1st place in the U12s, Rezin 1st for U10s, and Grace 3rd for U8s. All three qualified for the LJCC (which unfortunately but understandably has now been cancelled for health precautions). Really great job, you three!

Chess at its best!

Our 'Chess Success' goes to... Mae Catabay!

We are massively proud of Mae, who played in the 2021 Online Grand Prix Series. The tournament is played online for 9 rounds between March and November. The points scores are total points from the winners six highest scoring tournaments in both Rapid and Blitz. Mae played so impressively over the Grand Prix, she placed 2nd in the Women's Rapid category, and placed 3rd in the Women's Blitz. Holy Chess! Go girl!! Now that is a real Chess Success!! Check out the final results here.

Has your Colchester Junior had an outstanding chess achievement that you'd like to share? It can be an achievement of any size, such as practising puzzles online, reaching target goals, or even beating mum at chess! Snap a photo of your junior in a great moment of chess! Please share your club members' chess success, no matter how big or small, and a photo of your player to with 'chess success' as the subject.

We had an email from a librarian at the Hampton Public Library, who is doing a great chess centred project with kids, 10-14 years old. They have found our website and thanked us for providing great resources! Wow! How nice that we can help other young players outside of Colchester?! One of the girls, Anna, wanted to give us a great source to add to our list. So, here is Anna's suggestion for brand new players. Thanks Anna!

I thought I'd share this video by National Master, Elliott Neff, called "How to Develop Blindfold Chess Skill". Share a photo of your junior trying this out!

Lastly, we would like to welcome our newest member of Colchester Junior Chess Club, Drummer, who is already showing his brilliant chess playing abilities! We are so happy to have Drummer in the club. Welcome Drummer and family! We are always grateful to our players, and of course to all the supporters of our players. As this term ends, we hope you will join us for the next and watch all the successes of our players develop. We have some exciting hopes to bring our chess club to more beginners at the start of the next term. Thank you all for the support. Don't forget to practice!

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