Friday 29 September 2017

England Junior Slays International Giant

England Junior, Aditya Verma, 14, defeated International Grandmaster and former British Champion Chris Ward in a Simul this Friday night.

Chris in thought with (Left to right) Hamit, Kieran, Mikey and Jacob pondering in the background.

The victorious Aditya (behind Harry)

The Simultaneous Exhibition lasted an astonishing four-and-a-half hours and did not finish until the early hours of Saturday morning at Petts Wood and Orpington Chess club.

One of the last games to finish was played by an eight-year-old who has only recently taken up the game. He fought off tiredness to take Chris to a (sadly-losing) king and pawn endgame. It would be improper to reveal the age of our most mature member, but it was especially impressive that his game length exceeded his age in years.

No fewer than seven of the line-up that faced Chris had international experience representing their country and it showed.

"There were no easy games,"  explained Chris as he rushed to the end of his Salsa session. At one point during the event he asked Aditya's younger brother, who just returned from the European Youth Championships with a fantastic 7/9, for help to overcome his sibling.

Unfortunately for Chris, "it got complicated and I was lucky", explained Aditya modestly.

Trevor Baldwin, who has been a member for as long as anyone can remember, also scored a draw against Chris. Apart from that, he defeated us all.

Nevertheless the strong showing from Kent Junior players and ex-Kent Juniors shows the strength of the Kent setup. The Chief Coach is none other than Chris Ward himself!

We are very grateful to Chris for taking part in this event, enthusing young people about chess and for his still formidable result. He is an inspiration to us all.

The full line-up of those who took part is below. The next event in Orpington will be the Orpington Junior Tournament and Training day, on the Friday of the half-term break (October 27th). One of the prizes for the best performance will be a place at next year's simul.

For more information and pictures, email

Aditya Verma                    187
Harry Dixon                      184
Jean-Baptiste Jugand        177
Hamit Soyel                      171
Kiran Shiatis                     168
Mikey Watson                   168
Jacob Watson                    167
Conrad Allison                  154
Raunak Rao                       151
John Cook                         146
Trevor Baldwin                 145
Shlok Verma                     130
Martin Zissell                    117
Michael Mc Naughton       116
Neil McQuillan                  110
Ansh Batura                      108
Huseyin Gueriane              92
David Fox                           94
Lev Mann                         75
Yifan Luo                          75

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