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UJCC wins ECF Junior club of the year award 30/07/2021

A Big thanks to all our great coaches who unselfishly give up their time to help run the Juniors....

David Okike, Colin Hughes, Peter Walters, David Knight, Ron Foale, Richard Smith, Yogit Senthilnathan, Dan Brooks & online coach FM Rishpal Singh.

Contribution to Junior Chess

Uxbridge Junior Chess Club

Nominated by Oliver Knight I am delighted to say that the Uxbridge Junior Chess Club has grown from a very small beginning just three years ago, to become a large, fun and friendly all-inclusive place to learn and enjoy the beautiful game. We now have OVER 80 juniors who are regularly involved with the club, attending our lessons, and playing for league teams. We have regularly fielded 6 junior teams, including one all girls team, in the excellent Junior 4NCL competition, with many of the best Juniors also playing league matches for the senior teams. During the original lockdown Nigel Colter (Uxbridge), Roger Lancaster (Watford) and I decided to take the initiative and create an online league for clubs in nearby counties. This is a competitive London-based league that has grown considerably over the last year (3 online ‘seasons’). Thanks, are also due to Nigel Smith (Maidenhead) who joined the board. In this Five Counties Online League (FCOL) we have six junior teams, 36 juniors playing every fortnight. The main purpose of the league is to give Juniors the chance to play Classic chess (45 mins plus 15 seconds increment) against various other Junior (and some senior) teams in Greater London & the surrounding areas. We are now lucky to have 16 great Junior teams competing in the FCOL from Uxbridge, St Albans, Watford, Surbiton, Hampton Hill, Petts Wood & Orpington, Maidenhead, and Maidstone.

This is giving Juniors ECF-graded quality matches, and great chances for us to analyse their classical matches with them to strengthen their games. The FCOL is also encouraging the process of making friendships between the clubs, team managers and is basically linking up these Junior setups in a friendly league environment. We expect the FCOL to continue after Lockdown, giving Juniors who are too young or not able to travel to evening matches the chance to experience competitive, controlled League chess. Coach David Okike going through one of the many exciting games played by GM Daniil Dubov.

David Okike taking class with our Intermediate, Advanced Juniors supported by Ron. We aim to encourage chess development, helping the children achieve their success to the best of our abilities in a friendly environment. What would a club be without their Juniors, future stars in the making!

Junior first team captain ECF Chess Maestro Dhairye Gauri being presented his League winner award by coach Ron Foale, Daniel Knight

“I am Dhairye Gauri, the captain of the A-team and the longest-serving member of the Uxbridge Junior Chess Club (UJCC). UJCC is a fantastic place, which gives ample opportunities to the young chess players to play with other members of the same age with varying abilities. There are also several occasions where the club hosts tournaments and team matches in competitive chess leagues. Weekly lessons are conducted under the able guidance of extremely talented coaches including FM Rishpal Singh and CM David Okike. All other coaches like Daniel Knight, David Knight, Peter Walters, and Richard Smith are equally supportive. The chess sessions and the lessons are very economical, offered at £5 an hour. All the chess lessons are truly informative and helpful. My chess ability has massively improved after joining UJCC. Due to the current pandemic, Uxbridge Junior Chess Club provides online chess, with easy access to sessions and tournaments on and lessons using Zoom.

I am highly passionate about chess! The reason why I love it so much is that every match is unique. Chess enables you to learn useful skills in life like planning or thinking tactically. My best match for the club was incredibly a game we lost to our senior A team in the Five Counties Online League. Although we lost terribly; none of us was upset as we did what we could and playing against better players improved our game. We analysed our games as a group after to hear a different perspective of playing the game. I enjoy being the captain of the A-team as I get to help my teammates in a different way from how coaches do just by being a similar age. This builds a special bond between the team, which is very important in a team sport.”

Another one of our promising young stars in the making Varish Tarigopula recently made 1st place U12 OTB Junior Tournament in Oxford hosted by Joseph Conlon, is great that normal life seems to be coming back, hopefully here to stay.

On Dec 12th we hosted Queens Gambit Simul vs FM Sarah Longson (Female only event) Which was open to all clubs

With one of our female stars Zoe Knight holding an interview with Sarah before the match Simul started

We regularly hold Team battles vs various clubs, with our nearest neighbour Harrow run by Nevil Chan one of our favourites sparring partners. With as many has 27 to 35 Juniors on each side competing in this event. Harrow, being a lot older and more established, used to comfortably win the event but after much learning and improvement by our juniors it has become a remarkably close affair. Vs Wimbledon (Managed by Gordon) Vs Lewisham (MB Andrew) etc….

Our Juniors also had a great time playing in our online Simul (23 of them) against experienced Women International Master, commentator and author Natasha Regan.

CM David Okike provided the excellent commentary Here are photos of those juniors who managed to get a result against Natasha and the fantastic, signed chess books they won, written by Natasha Regan and Matthew Sadler, as a prize.

In order: Anish R Aurangabadkar, Zoe Knight, Advay Bhat

The children’s list would be too long, so here are a selected group of promising players who will become better known in the years ahead if they continue their current improvement:

Rahul Babu, Suyash Prasad, Prathik Karthisamy, Pawan Parola, Rohan Shah, Varish Tarigopula, Dhairye Gauri, Samuel Knight, Rahul Shah, Jai Aggarwal, Gesneria Cepoi, Jeshan Jebananthan, Shawn Boby, Advay Bhat, Pranav Mangalagiri, Shaurya Kumar and Devansh Kapoor.

We would also like to thank our marvellous coaches who give up many hours of their free time to help support the club’s progression: David Okike, Rishpal Singh, Peter Walters, Colin Hughes, David Knight, Ron Foale, Richard Smith, Daniel Brooks

“The mere fact that the junior club has grown so big in such a short period of time is marvellous. With a lot of tutoring and encouragement from the matches and simuls. I could add that this could be a model for other communities to start a junior club from scratch. This has to be a UK success story to have 83 children registered in only 3 years.” CM David Okike

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