Chepstow just miss out on a medal at the ECF Junior Team Chess Challenge

At the ECF Junior Team Challenge finals, held on Monday 16 April at Hertford College, Oxford, Chepstow School came equal fourth, just half a point behind third-placed Heathside. The team of Madeleine Smith, Neil Stevenson, Harrison Postans and Steffan Griffiths netted 8 game points in their four matches, all played with a time control of 10 minutes plus 5 seconds per move.

The ECF Junior Team Challenge, which is for players in year 8 and below, attracted more 70 teams, whittled down to ten for the finals. Schools in and around London took the top three places in the finals: King’s College London won with 11.5 points, St Paul’s were second with 11 points, and Heathside third with 8.5 points.

The highlight of the day was a talk by Grandmaster John Nunn, who is a former British Champion, and winner the World Problem Solving Championships in 2004, 2007 and 2010. Nunn discussed a game between Fridrik Olafsson and Erich Eliskases, played in Argentina in 1960 (see, for example, . While going through this game, which involves the sacrificing of a rook, Nunn offered insights into how a GM thinks. After this, Nunn went on to discuss of three chess problems, one of which ended with mate delivered by two knights, and another that finished with mate by a single knight against lone bishop.

Before the competition got underway, the players were given a tour of the college by a first year undergraduate.

Chepstow School: Madeleine Smith, Neil Stevenson, Harrison Postans and Steffan Griffiths