The 22nd UK Chess Challenge has now moved into the Megafinal stage.
There are 43 Megafinals across the UK and this year we were delighted to be given the opportunity to host one of them on Teesside (just as we did last year).
There was a distinct possibility of the Delancey UK Chess Challenge ending in 2016 but thankfully the project was taken over by Sarah Hegarty, a former UKCC champion. Sarah has worked very hard not only to save the world's biggest chess tournament but also to give it a fresh, new look for 2017.
We made some changes on Teesside too, changing venues from Yarm Prep. School to the magnificent Princess Alexandra Auditorium at the Yarm Senior School. We needed the extra space, as our numbers had increased from last year's tally of 132 to 154 children (although, inevitably, some of those did not make it on the day).
This made it the biggest junior chess tournament yet seen on Teesside. A long and hectic day was clearly in store for all concerned!
All children from Under-7 up to Under-11 required four or more points out of six to qualify for the forthcoming Manchester Gigafinal. Children from Under-12 to Under-18 required three and half points or more to qualify. This is part of Sarah's new initiative to promote chess in secondary schools (which, for many reasons of varying complexity, see a big drop in numbers).
We had players from: Yarm Pre-Prep. School, Yarm Prep. School, Yarm Senior School, Whale Hill, Throston, Brambles, Billingham South, Sacred Heart, Eskdale, Dormanstown, The Avenue, Wheatlands, Westgarth, Ings Farm, Saint Benedict's, Mill Lane, Hemlington Hall, Park End, Outward Academy Bydales, Dyke House, King's Academy and Redcar Chess Club.
Many thanks are due to:
Yarm School and their extraordinary staff, including the wonderful ladies of the cafe (the ice cream proved particularly popular but I don't know if it lived up to its reputation because I wasn't allowed to take any food into the chess hall!).
Mr Grundmann, my long-term collaborator and the hardest-working person I have ever known.
Mr Pointon, Mr Smith and Mr Harris for helping control the various sections of the tournament.
Zoe, my invaluable Personal Assistant.
Sarah Hegarty, for saving the UK Chess Challenge and for trusting Teesside to host a Megafinal.
All of the parents, teachers and children who gave up their time to support our event.
Further reports and galleries will follow over the course of the week, but for starters here are the final scores.
Combined Section: Boys and Girls
5/6: Jack Wilkinson, Zachary Green
4/6: Oscar Watson
3.5/6: Leon Li, Noah Coulman, Luke Smart
3/6: Natasha Pointon
2.5/6: Joseph Beach, Harley Campbell, Charlie Wilkinson, Archie Brooks, Miley Chalmers
2/6: Ruby Todhunter
Jack and Zachary shared first place but Jack won the trophy and title of Supremo due to the more favourable Sum of Progressive Scores tiebreak system.
Natasha was the best girl and therefore the new Under-7 Suprema.
Jack, Zachary, Oscar and Natasha have all qualified for the Gigafinal.
5/6: Isobel McGlade, Emily Rowe-Simpson, Farrell Scott
4/6: Lily Tattersall
3.5/6: Niamh Boddy, Leonna Van Der Merwe
3/6: Georgina Harding
2.5/6: Shayna Welsh, Juanita Senthooran
2/6: Jessica Wallace, Lilly Mitchell, Isla Stewart
1/6: Mia Downing
Isobel took the trophy and Suprema title on tiebreak.
Isobel, Emily, Farrell and Lily have all qualified for the Gigafinal.
5/6: Aryan Nalawade, Seth Holland
4.5/6: Aditya Paul
4/6: Kenneth Bezrucko, James Thompson, Glen Arya
3.5/6: Frankie Parker
3/6: Thomas Bashford, Henry Yates, Owen Bonner
2.5/6: David Burton
2/6: Leon Hunter, Manhal Al-mashharawi, Leo Edmanson
1.5/6: Aaaron Oldfield
1/6: Lawrence Wilson
Aryan took the title of Supremo on tiebreak.
Aryan, Seth, Aditya, Kenneth, James and Glen have all qualified for the Gigafinal.
5/6: Evie Veasey
4/6: Freya Costello, Grace Crawford
3.5/6: Eden Addison, Olivia Hensby, Martha Curry
3/6: Ella Field
2.5/6: Olivia Timney
2/6: Hannah Thomas
1/6: Faith Holland, Millie McGee
Evie is the Suprema.
Evie, Freya and Grace have all qualified for the Gigafinal.
5/6: Carlton Nevsion
4/6: Alex Gray, Ben Meager, Ajay Selvan, Adeel Mahfooz, Samuel Bolton, Thomas Illingworth, Jack Storey
3/6: Jake Fawcett, Charlie Clark, Harrison Joel, Jacob Howie, Hary Donichey
2.5/6: Jack Nicholson
2/6: Akira Bartram, Daniel Thompson, Joseph Kelly
1/6: Cole McWilliam
0.5/6: Cody Braithwaite
Carlton is the Supremo.
Carlton, Alex, Ben, Ajay, Adeel, Samuel, Thomas and Jack have all qualified for the Gigafinal.
5/6: Evie Harbisher
4.5/6: Molly Bryce, Eleanor Whitwell, Eleanor Lamb
3/6: Ellie Story
2/6: Caitlin Louisa Bates, Alice Sturman, Ellie May Couhig
1.5/6: Ellie Brackstone
1/6: Bethany Stares
Evie is the Suprema.
Evie, Molly, Eleanor W. and Eleanor L. have all qualified for the Gigafinal.
5/6: Joshua Nichol, Henry Parker, Yusuf Syed, Ellis Anderson
4/6: Krishaan Sivachelvam, Matthew Finn
3/6: Brooklyn Dalton, Aidan Howe, Ben Calyton, Nathan Li, Dominic Jamieson
2.5/6: William Rose
2/6: Sam Collings
1.5/6: Bradley Guest, Jake Hewitt, Joe Glasper
Joshua won the title of Supremo on tiebreak.
Joshua, Henry, Yusuf, Ellis, Krishaan and Matthew have all qualified for the Megafinal.
Combined section: Boys and Girls
6/6: Ammar Soni
5/6: Adhi Dinakaran
4.5/6: Keya Shah
4/6: Thomas Armstrong, Dahen Arya, Leia McCusker, Jorja Ward, Rahen Arya
3.5/6: Sam Robinson, Shinobu Bartram
3/6: Charlotte Robinson, Greg Beevis, Samantha Botterill
2.5/6: Sam Glew, Luke Taylor, Curtis Atkins
2/6: Harrison Scott
1.5/6: Danielle McKittrick, Benjamin Smith
Ammar is the Supremo.
Keya is the Suprema.
Ammar, Leia, Adhi, Keya, Thomas, Dahen, Leia, Jorja and Rahen have all qualified for the Gigafinal.
Combined seciton: All players from Under-12s to Under-18s
6/6: Abhinav Ramisetty
5/6: Edward Adams
4/6: Gautam Sathyamurthy, Ihsaan Mahmood, Kieran Chapman
3.5/6: Matthew Bradwell, Abhinav Sathyamurthy, Nicole Pattison, Benjy Millward, James Wales
3/6: Ben Shield, Vignesh Janakiraman
2.5/6: Hannah Westwick, Daniel Chapman, Tharun Suresh
2/6: Harrison Scott, Jai Trivedi, Molly Cottrell, Thomas Farleigh
1/6: Charlie Packham
0/6: Adam White
Edward is the Under-12 Supremo.
Abhinav Ramisetty is the Under-13 Supremo.
Molly is the Under-13 Suprema.
Matthew is the Under-14 Supremo.
Abhinav Sathyamurthy is the Under-15 Supremo.
Kieran is the Under-16 Supremo.
Nicole is the Under-16 Suprema.
Thomas is the Under-17 Supremo.
Hannah is the Under-18 Suprema.
In addition to the Supremos and Supremas, Ihsaan, Gautam, Benjy and James have also qualified for the Gigafinal.
Details of the Gigafinal can be found here. All qualifiers received their Gigafinal confirmation cards yesterday and they must enter online and make all other arrangements for themselves.