Wakefield Chess Club juniors test themselves against top quality players in national finals

Wakefield Chess Club juniors performed well at the National Gigafinals and the last Yorkshire Junior Chess Association Grand Prix event of the season.
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The UKCC Gigafinals in Manchester was a tough tournament with some of the best juniors from around the country taking part.

Wakefield’s Hasana Garuda, 8, won five matches in a challenging U10s girls section and it was also well done to Jack Holmes, who won two matches in a competitive U10s boys section.

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It was also well done to juniors who took part in an exceptionally tough YJCA Grand Prix event three in Holmfirth.

Jack Holmes at the UKCC Gigafinal.Jack Holmes at the UKCC Gigafinal.
Jack Holmes at the UKCC Gigafinal.

Both James Parfitt and Hasana Garuda played valiantly in a challenging intermediate section, winning three and drawing one between them.

Jack Holmes won four from six matches in a competitive novice section, narrowly missing out (by tie break) as the Best U9.

It is onwards and upwards for the next YJCA Grand Prix season, which begins in November in Bradford, and the Yorkshire U18 Championships, with Wakefield Wolves taking part, later in the year.

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Senior team captain Mark Shelmerdine, meanwhile, has delivered an end of season team report, saying: “After our incredible promotion to the top tier of the Yorkshire League in 2022, Wakefield Chess team enjoyed the challenge of competing against the best teams and players in the county last season.

Wakefield Wolves James Parfitt, Hasana Garuda and Jack Holmes at the Grand Prix.Wakefield Wolves James Parfitt, Hasana Garuda and Jack Holmes at the Grand Prix.
Wakefield Wolves James Parfitt, Hasana Garuda and Jack Holmes at the Grand Prix.

"According to our player ratings, we were expected to lose every match. We outperformed by drawing in two games and finished ninth out of 10 in the league.

"Next season, we will be competing in the second division. I'm looking forward to my 24th year as captain, playing the game we all love and putting our skills to the test once more with our friends from across the Yorkshire chess family.”

The club held its AGM last month, discussing the exciting up and coming projects, games, tournaments and fun competitions for the next year.

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Highest-ranking player and current tied British Major Open Champion Peter Shaw handed out the awards to: Whitaker Memorial Shield for Best Junior Performance – James Parfitt; Derek Paffley Memorial Trophy for Most Improved Player – Jack Holmes; Wakefield Chess Club Best Contributor Award – Lindsey Hanson.

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