2023/24 Review of the Season

Strong finish gives League success

This has been another successful season for Linton in the Bury Area Chess League. In division 1 the Leopards finished with five straight wins of 4-1 or better to win the League for the first time since 2015/16. Even more remarkably division 2 Linton Llamas retained the second division championship, coming from next to bottom with two matches to play by crushing their two main rivals. Our other sides also did well: first division Lions drew 8 of their 14 matches in a mid-table finish; Lynxes were third in the second division and Lemurs second in division 3. My thanks to all who played, especially the captains Chris Davison, Paul McMahon, Oded Pilowsky-Bankirer, Alan Wadsworth and Michael Osborn.

Other notable team successes included sharing the East Anglian Team Championship in the autumn, tying with a powerful Broadland side. This came after four outright wins starting in 2020. Linton were also winners of the Bury League team jamboree and more recently came second in the Cambridgeshire jamboree, with juniors as three of the four team members.

Individual achievements

Abigail Weersing was awarded the title of FIDE master for her performances, culminating in the European Club Cup in October. Ruben Evans was the joint British Under 16 champion in the British Championships last summer, qualifying for the senior championships this summer.

For their perfomances in the League Chris Davision was named first division player of the season, and Yoav Pilowsky-Bankirer second division player of the season. Our warmest congratulations to all of them.

Anglian Learning Chess Academy

In September we launched, in partnership with Anglian Learning and Sawston Village College, a chess academy to develop chess enthusiasts in Year 6 to Year 10 – late primary to mid-teens. Meeting at the College on Friday evenings in term-time we combine competitive chess with coaching, we had two teams in the Cambridgeshire Schools League, and ran a one-day tournament for local juniors (not just ALCA members) in early March.

There is no doubt that the standard of chess has improved over the year and two of the juniors have already made their debut in the Linton senior team. My thanks to the organising and coaching team of Paul McMahon, Alan Richardson, Mauricio Varea and Anthony Chan, and to the legacy of the late Patrick Ribbands which provided the funding to enable this to be set up. We are determined to maintain and build upon Linton’s reputation for developing junior talent, which has seen six of them selected to represent England in the past decade.

NB There are separate posts below on the East Anglian Team Championships and the success of Abigail and Ruben. The Anglian Learning Chess Academy has several web pages on this website which give further information on the Chess Academy.