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Witney's Jake Holton wins British U14 title

 
 

The British Chess Championships 2015 were held at the University of Warwick, incidentally where my parents both went to university. Before the U14 competition came the U15, which I suppose was an overall success: 74 FIDE points won, largely thanks to beating the second and fourth seeds, but some bad games, blundering an exchange then collapsing the game after as a result. I managed to finish with two wins, giving me 4/7 points. The last, and my favourite of the whole two weeks, was a local triumph against Oscar Idle:

 

The U14s started with, as in the U15s, a match against the second seed. Unlike the previous tournament, I threw away an easy win, as I did again in round 4. I had to escape with a draw second round against lower rated opposition, but redeemed myself partially by beating Daniel Varney (my third opponent from Oxfordshire) the round after. That put me on 2½/4 – it didn’t look likely I could win the tournament from here! My laptop managed to break at this point, limiting preparation greatly for me – fate, perhaps? After a routine win as white, I played a nice game as black against higher rated opposition:

Then came the last game. I was playing the sole leader (5/6), as white, while the other two players on 4.5 (like me) played on Board 2. To both of our delights, it was a quick draw: meaning a draw would be good enough for him to win the tournament outright, while a win for me would mean the same. Having the psychological edge, I managed a good position, but inaccurate play on my part meant it only translated to a queen endgame (particularly proud about the king march finishing with Qe5, meaning if he moved his queen my king moves away with check and then checkmate). Apologies for the lack of annotation here, I haven’t had a chance to analyse this one:

 
 

 

2015 British Under 14 Final Standings | Download 98 games in PGN | Full Prizewinners' list 2015 |

 

 

 

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