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The Lenzie Chess Academy is a junior club for 9-14 year olds, meeting on Thursday evenings in the town of Kirkintilloch, just 8 mile northeast of central Glasgow. The organiser, Harry Marron ( who is contactable for further details at [email protected] ), got in touch with Championship Chess to tell us a bit about this growing club.
" The emphasis is on improved chess ability, fun and enjoyment in equal measure. We are now in our 9th year and the club has grown from an initial 12 members to having an intake of over 30 players, with almost 50% of those being girls!"
Lenzie has produced numerous Scottish Junior Champions and Internationalists over those years, and are also competing in team events.
" We have had success in gaining promotion to SNCL Div 3 and its anticipated we will enter a B team this year " Harry continued. " Many of the kids have enjoyed success playing for their school in Scottish Championships and also as individuals in both junior and adult chess congresses throughout the country. "
Much of this success can be attributed in no small part to Harry himself, but he does not see Lenzie being a one man show.
" Some of our previous members and Club Champions are now coaching at the club and we also benefit from having great parental support and encouragement"
And what is the plans for this coming season?
" This year Lenzie Chess Academy are particularly looking forward to playing in the new Championship Chess events as well as the existing junior tournaments organised by Hamilton Junior Chess, SJC, LJC, NEJCA and CS. Roll on the 2018/19 season! "
Bridge of Allan saw the introduction of our new Junior U800 section which we hope will become the first step into the weekend congresses for our younger players. It attracted many more players than I was anticipating, with one club in particular making up over half of the competition and it is this club that is the subject of our very first feature at Championship Chess.
And roll on it did to Bridge of Allan, where 17 Lenzie players competed in the Junior U800 while another, Ishan Kumar, took on the challenge of the U1400. And he aquitted himself well, scoring 2/4 with a tournament performance 229 points higher than his published grade. The club faired even better in our new junior section, where they not only had 4 players ( Lewis Ng, Michael Moroz, Kartike Sharan and Rishab Anthuvan) shariing joint 3rd place with 3/4, but they also produced the winner of the inaugural event, Aryan Munshi, who scored a perfect 4/4.
So another successful showing by the Lenzie players, but how did they find their first taste of Championship Chess?
" Apart from the obvious delay in the start I felt the event went well " Harry started, referring to the later than planned start brought about by someone, who will remain nameless, forgetting some of the boards as well as computer and printer problems. "In an ideal world 5 or 6 rounds would be preferable as that is what the kids are used to playing " he continued. " The arena was also maybe a little bit cramped, which was due to the success in attracting good numbers."
" I would be inclined to pay out a little bit of prize money for the junior event in future. I appreciate that the entry fee is set low, but even paying out 1/3 of the total entry fees would increse the attractiveness and almost certainly the number of kids entering."
Well we at Championship Chess aim to please, and we are pleased to announce that our next Junior U800 at Stranraer will indeed have prize money as well as our existing prizes on offer ( see entry brochure for details ). There shouldn't be the same room issues there as the playing hall is a bit more spacious, but we are definitely looking into maybe having an extra room next year at Bridge of Allan. It is already our intention to add extra rounds if the time permits. We look forward to welcoming Lenzie Chess Academy, and everyone else, to Stranraer at the end of the month.
That concludes our first ever feature article and I hope you have found it interesting. If you have a topic that you wish us to cover please get in touch using our contact page. Tune in next month!
Some of the Lenzie Chess Academy players enjoying their success