'Hannah is a Y5 player, and she has been
receiving CSC coaching since the start of Y4.
This year her chess has really come on,
and she is one of the top two best players in her school.
She has entered several tournaments and
competitions this year with good results: 3.5/6 in the
Manchester CSC congress, and scoring 4 pts at the Megafinal
to qualify for the Gigafinal.
She is the top board for her school's
Yes2Chess team, and has joined Liverpool Chess Club this
season, playing for their junior team in the Merseyside
Polite and well-mannered, Hannah is
always enthusiastic in the chess lessons and is a delight to
Loise is ranked 3 in a strong Year 6
class and has been receiving CSC tuition since Year 2. She
has had a brilliant season. She is a member of the school
team which has reached the final of the ECF National Schools
U11 Championship. She scored 5/5 in the North-West Regional
Final of this event.
In the Zonal tournament of the EPSCA U11
Schools Championship, she again scored 5/5 as her team
qualified for the Regional semi-final. She has represented
Merseyside in the U11 County Championships in each of the
last two seasons.
She is polite and enthusiastic and a
pleasure to teach.
Not only is Fiona a talented chess player
but she displays all the qualities of a good sportsman. She
is polite, a hard worker (learner) and more than anything
never gives up. She is constantly trying to improve her
game, makes an effort to learn outside the class. Her
greatest quality is her tenacity, when she is paired up
against a player much better than herself, she embraces the
challenge and tries her very best. She does not shy away or
give up. She is a great example to the other children and a
good ambassador for the sport.
She started playing chess at age of 6 (as
part of CSC) and is constantly improving her tactics and
strategy. Recently she played at EPSCA semifinals for
Oldfield Park Junior School U11 Team even though she is 9
years old. She is successfully playing for Somerset U11G
Squad . Finally, for the third time Fiona qualified to the
UK Schools Chess Challenge Gigafinals . In previous 2 years
at Somerset Megafinals she won the title Suprima.
Anna Boyle, The Dell (nominated by Richard Stevenson)
Anna Boyle, the current British Under 9
Girls’ Joint Champion, is a year 5 pupil at The Dell, a CSC
school in Monmouthshire, Wales.
Taught by her father at home, Anna caught the eye of CSC
Chess Tutor Richard Stevenson when, in year one, she played
in the school round of the UK Land Chess Challenge. In year
two she joined the chess puzzle’s club at The Dell,
increased in strength, and started to do very well in junior
chess competitions. In year 3 she won the Welsh Girls’ Under
8 title and represented Wales in the girls under 8 section
of the World Youth and Cadets Chess Championships in South
More success followed in year 4, including joint winner of
the Welsh Girls’ Under 8 title, joint winner of the South
Wales mega-final, joint winner of the northern giga-final
and winner of the Welsh Under 9 title. Now in year 5, Anna
continues to excel, most recently winning the South Wales
mega-final. Anna has also made a massive contribution to the
success of the school team. At the finals of the ECF under
11 Open she won all five games on board three, giving her an
ECF rapidplay rating of 114. She also helped The Dell to
twice win the Cardiff Stadium event (a tournament for teams
of 10 that has entries from over 40 schools), and to come
joint second in the Welsh Primary School Championships.
Qualities of Anna include a competitive spirit, fairness,
and great enthusiasm for chess. She is able to analyse her
own games and performance with rigour, openly admit her
mistakes, which are consequently addressed, and encourage
others to improve.
Anna is coached by Tim Kett, who comments: Anna took to
chess like a duck to water. The two things that strike you
about her are: her fearlessness and positivity; and her
superb match temperament. She always tackles her opponents
head-on; she plays daring gambits as though they were the
most natural and obvious approach − even against much
higherrated opponents. Unlike so many kids at her level, I
don't think I've ever heard her offer a draw, and needs to
be at least a rook down for nothing before she'll consider
accepting one! The biggest factor of all, though, is her
fierce concentration and determination. I have rarely before
known a player so young who stays so focused at the board.
When she does go wrong and makes mistakes she never lets her
head go down but simply re-doubles her effort and starts the
fightback. Of course, to have achieved what she has so far,
she has worked at her openings, her tactics and endgame
technique etc .... but at other times I feel she wins games
through sheer willpower and the force of her personality!
Anna will play in The British Under 10s this year, and
represent Wales in the European Union Youth Chess
Championship in Mureck, Austria. If she is awarded a
bursary, this will help to pay for coaching and game
preparation in Mureck.
Madeleine Smith is a year 6
pupil at The Dell, a CSC school in
Monmouthshire, Wales. Madeleine started to learn
the game in year 3, along with many of the girls
in her class. She showed more promise than most,
and soon cut her teeth in competitive chess by
playing and winning the B-section of qualifying
events for the junior Welsh championships.
Following further rapid
progress, she started to excel in national
competitions: she won the Welsh Under 10
rapidplay in 2014; came second in the Welsh
Girls Under 10s in 2015; joint second in the
Welsh Under 12 rapidplay in 2015; and second
in the Welsh Girls Under 11s in 2016. Most
recently, she won the South Wales under 11
mega-final. In the autumn of 2015, Madeleine
made her international debut, representing
Wales in the World Youth and Cadets
Madeleine has also made a
tremendous contribution to the success of the
team at The Dell. Playing on board two at the
semi-finals of the ESPCA under 11 school
tournament, she won four out of five games,
including a great victory against Aman Gogna, a
player from Haberdasher Askes with an ECF rating
of 134. Coach for that school, IM Lorin D’Costa,
was particularly impressed with Madeleine’s
play, commenting that she had clearly outplayed
her much stronger-rated opponent. Madeleine has
also been a key player for the Welsh Dragons,
helping this team win trophies in division two
of the junior 4NCL. Great attributes shown by
Madeleine include a love for chess, a
willingness to address the weaker aspects of her
game, and great determination.
Madeleine is coached by Tim
Kett, who comments: Wales seems currently to
have a 'golden generation' of strong girl
players between the ages of 8 or 9 and early
teens and when you look at Madeleine’s record,
the number 2 seems to stand out. Look how many
times has she finished 2nd in strong events,
played on board 2 etc. etc. In the face of very
strong competition she has battled and
persevered where many might have been
intimidated − and often had little luck in the
final rounds. I think though that Madeleine
personifies the saying ‘Chess rewards
persistence’, and she is now challenging and
looking set to overtake many of her higher-rated
rivals. She has always worked hard in training,
developed a fine positional intuition, improved
her endgames − and never backs away from a
challenge. Her future is bright and with
Madeleine's mature attitude to training I know
she would make more use than almost anyone else
of any bursary award.
This autumn, Madeleine will
leave The Dell and move to Chepstow School,
where she will support a growing chess scene –
this comprehensive school has just entered the
Eton Rapidplay, and Madeleine will be a key
member of the team. If Madeleine is awarded a
bursary, she will use the funding to attend
competitions throughout the summer and beyond,
including congresses away from Wales that will
enable her to play against new opposition.
The charity established the Brian Kerr Girls' Award, funded by a £25,000 bequest.
The bequest includes a £1,000 award each year for ten
years, to fund four girls on CSC courses who demonstrate
exceptional enthusiasm and achievement. The remainder of the
funds is used to promote girls' chess within CSC.
Brian Kerr (1944-2014) was an Irish
international, Cambridge maths graduate and successful
problem-solver. He was also a sharp attacking player.