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Playing for a Playground, Brentwood Busload & Mega Chess Photo Gallery

Updated: Mar 9, 2022

Nolan and Drummer play their first game at Brentwood

This blog is packed with amazchess news from our Colchester Juniors! Over the last few weeks, from one of our youngest members to our more experienced players, everyone has been so busy preparing and working towards their chess goals. We couldn't be prouder of all our club members and recognise everyone's efforts, no matter how big or small.


Our club hosted a simul for junior, Grace Wilde 22/02/2022. Grace, who is 7, raised money for Myland Primary School for play equipment for the KS2 playground. The school's climbing and play equipment is currently closed due to the deterioration of the wood, which makes it unsafe to play on. The PTA encouraged all Myland children to do a fundraiser of their choice to raise £20.22 towards the final goal. With the help of the Committee and Coach Michael's suggestion of a simul at the club, Grace was thrilled to create a "Great Chess Challenge". It was her first time playing more than one person at a time, but she was determined to go for it as the pledges came in. She played 13 in the beginners group, and even with some very close games, she was successful in winning all of them. It was a fantastic learning opportunity for Grace and the beginners. With the support of club parents, the club, and the community, she managed to raise £500! That is an incredible amount of money, and it even made it to Just Giving's top 20% raised in February out of thousands of fundraisers. Well done Grace! Never stop doing good in the community and doing what you love.

A massive thank you from Grace for the contribution to her cause. Grace chose Rosie, Benjamin, and Michelle as top players, who she felt played very well, and was impressed by their determination to keep trying. Great job you three, and to all who took part!

"Grace's Great Chess Challenge" photos : Melinda Wilde

Learning more about openings finished our February curriculum. One of the openings learned this month is called the "Catalan Opening". I won't get into the specific lines of the opening here, but has a Complete Guide to the Catalan Opening blog, which is great. According to, "The Catalan Opening is a hypermodern opening introduced to the chess world by Savielly Tartakower in Barcelona back in 1929. It arises after the moves 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 (other move orders are possible). The Catalan Opening in chess is a powerful weapon for positional players who enjoy playing 1.d4". World Champion Magnus Carlsen also favours it, as well as other top Grandmasters. After learning the opening in the club session, Nolan played it in a recent classical (45+15) 4NCL game with fantastic success. Here is Nolan's game using the Catalan Opening. Well done, Nolan!!


Brentwood 6th Junior Chess Tournament

Sunday 27th of February was the 6th Brentwood Junior Chess Tournament. Colchester Junior Chess Club had 19 of our members participate in the tournament. This was the largest over the board tournament in Essex in over two years, with 130 players registered. For many of our club members, it was their very first over the board tournament. We are so proud of our juniors, who have done so well to prepare and persevere. Every single one of our juniors earned at least one point, which is an incredible achievement, especially in a first tournament! Amazing job, Colchester Juniors!!

Tournament Results

In the Under 18 Open, where most players are either an England player or among the best in the country. Nolan Periera (4 points) won his 1st trophy ever in a chess tournament for not losing a single game. Mae Catabay joined him (4 points) and Huzaifa Baig (4 points), who both played in the top boards for most rounds, and Drummer Ross (2 points), who played with great confidence and enjoyed his first chess tournament.

In the Under 18 Minor, we have Diya Kumar (2 points) who played really well against tougher opponents.

In the Under 11 Open, we have the following results after 6 rounds:

1. Ruqayyah Rida - 5.5 points, tied 1st place (trophy)

2. Nikolaos Kanellopoulos - 5.5 points, 2rd place (trophy)

3. Deimantas Salkauskas - 5 points, tied 3rd place (medal)

4. Rezin Catabay - 5 points, tied 3rd place (medal)

5. Grace Wilde - 4 points, (chess magazine & medal)

6. Jason Ren - 4 points

7. Vince Chung - 4 points

8. Kingsley He - 4 points

9. James Beer - 3 points

10. Kayla Owen - 3 points (medal)

11. Alexander Kariyawasam - 3 points

12. Jake Dudley - 2.5 points

13. Aadya Kumar - 2 points

14. Joseph Kariyawasam - 1.5 points, just 5 years old

Photos: Melinda Wilde

If you would like to see the rest of the photos, check out the U11's gallery or the U18's gallery .


Finally today, our Chess Success goes to... Coach Michael Catabay!

We are so proud to announce that our coach, Michael Catabay, successfully completed his course and passed his exam to become an ECF Arbiter (level 1)! This is a brilliant achievement and can open many more opportunities for him with chess and for our club.

That's a Chess Success that we can all be excited about! Congratulations, Michael!

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.


Phew! That was a lot of chesstastic news! We have so much more to come, so please keep an eye out for our posts. Have a wonderful couple of weeks! Thank you for taking the time to read our updates. :)

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