Report on Welsh juniors in FIDE Rapid championships

Six intrepid players: Khushi Bagga (U12 Girls), Tom Davies (U12 Open), Hiya Ray (U14 Girls), Ethan Chung (U14 Open), Ifan Rathbone Jones (U16 Open) and Hugo Fowler (U18 Open) represented Wales in this online event held over December 7,8,9.

DAY 1 

In at the deep end! 

Wow, our players faced some eye-wateringly high rated players in the first round. Khushi (U) faced a 1565; Tom (1395) faced a 2018; Hiya (1586) faced a 1924; Ethan (1619) faced a 2177; Ifan (1941) faced a 2348(!) while Hugo (1840) faced an FM (the first of five titled players) boasting a rating of 2386. And it didn’t get much better in round 2. In fact, Tom went on to face a 2048 in that round. Little wonder that our players’ combined score at the end of day 1 was 1/12: Khushi being the only winner in round 1.



The Empire strikes back!

That could have been demoralising. However, our players, undeterred, came out fighting in round 3 and scored 3.5/6 between them. The highlight was probably Hugo’s win against a Latvian 2224 but Tom was not far behind with his victory against a Swedish boy rated 1698. Hiya’s win and Ethan’s draw completed a very satisfying round.

More excellent play by Hugo in the next round saw him draw with a 2354 Danish IM (yes, IM!) who blundered in the ending. Ifan got his first win against a 2016 Croatian, while Hiya was the other winner.

Round 5 saw Ethan record his first win against a 1719 from Liechtenstein and was joined in the winner’s column by Tom while Ifan drew.

Two rounds in which we only narrowly missed 50% scores overall.



Best round ever/back down to earth (mostly)!

Round 6 saw our players break the 50% mark with four wins out of six. Hiya’s excellent result came against an 1821 Dutch opponent. Tom and Ifan scored good wins against lower rated opposition but Ethan went one (or two) levels higher to overcome a 1905 opponent from Denmark for his win. 

The winners were rewarded for their efforts by… tough draws in the last round. And most of the games went with form, including Hugo’s only game against a lower rated (but still decent) player. Top performance of the round, though,  was Ifan’s. Playing a 2295 FM from Greece, he withstood considerable pressure before turning the tables with a strong 39th move which ended in a fine win.

Overall, 15.5/42. Some might sniff… but when you see the strength of the opposition, I’d say that was a pretty good three day’s work. Thanks all.

Here are the results:

U12 girls Khushi Bagga  (U) 1/7   (opp avge rating 1428)

U12 open Tom Davies (1395) 3/7 (1690)

U14 girls Hiya Ray (1586) 3/7 (1682)

U14 open Ethan Chung (1619) 2.5/7 (1919)

U16 open Ifan Rathbone Jones (1941) 3.5/7 (2063)

U18 open Hugo Fowler (1840) 2.5/7 (2247).

Hugo Fowler actually faced 4 FMs and an IM and the average rating of his opponent’s is skewed by the fact that he faced a mere 1800 in the last round.