One hour after the Year 7 maths exam had finished, 128 children from 16 schools were seated in the sports hall ready for the County Chess Champions!

After six rounds of chess over the winter, quarter final, semi final and final are all played on the same day and it was no surprise that our U13A team met Brighton College U14A in the county final. Their team comprised three boys awarded chess scholarships to Brighton in 2021/2 plus our captain from last year. We weren’t favourites!

Gordon T won (1-1) and then, crucially, Igor beat their captain for the first time ever and at 2-1 we knew we’d won on board count even if our next player lost. Sidhanth played brilliantly however and won a very close game to make it 3-1!

Our ‘B’ and ‘C’ teams also thrived to win the 2nd and 3rd division titles against the ‘A’ teams from Hurst, Ardingly, Brighton ‘B’, Lewes Old Grammar, Angmering, St Andrew’s and Seaford.

The U11 triumph was completely unexpected. We’d qualified in 6th position out of the eight going into the quarter final well behind on the winter results of Cottesmore, Westbourne, Goldstone, Ardingly and Copthorne. However, we beat Cottesmore and Westbourne to reach the final against Goldstone Primary. They’d won 35 out of 36 chess matches over the winter, including knocking out our ‘B’ team 4-0, but Kyle W, Joshua T, Lucas VF and Andi T won the final against Goldstone 3-1!

It was quite a day and excellent experience for our future chess masters.