Linton Prizewinners at Bury St Edmunds Chess Congress

Five Linton players competed at the Bury St Edmunds Chess Congress on 7&8 October, all of them scoring 50% or better. Chris Davison scored 3.5/5 in the Open Tournament to finish fourth, just behind three International Masters. Just behind him was James Cole on 3/5 and English U16 champion Ruben Evans on 2.5/5. Ruben was awarded the Bob Jones trophy as the highest-placed East Anglian junior player competing.

In the Major Tournament Anthony Chan and James Briginshaw both scored 2.5/5 with James winning the giantkillers prize for his win over a much higher-rated competitor.

Ruben Evans receives the Bob Jones trophy from Congress Director John Wickham.

Winners of the Bob Jones Trophy

Sarah Weersing and Gavith Dharmasena are presented with the Bob Jones trophy which they won at the 2019 Bury St Edmunds Congress. They both scored 3.5/5 in the Major Tournament and were the highest-placed juniors from the Bury and Suffolk Leagues to score more than 50%. Making the presentation is Congress Secretary Steve Lovell (left) and Bob Jones, who was the Congress Director for 16 years.

Review of 2017/18 Season

The Linton club had a successful season and Linton members achieved distinguished themselves in local and national events. We have a particularly strong junior section, and as I write this three of them (Gavith and Kian Dharmasena and Aarnavh Trivedi) are preparing to represent England in the European Junior Chess Championships in Poland at the beginning of July.

First the team news. We narrowly failed to win all three divisions of the Bury Area Chess League, finishing a close second in divisions 1 and 2. However we were first and second in division 3, and expect to have both teams promoted as we enter two additional sides in division 3 for the 2018/19 season. Kian Dharmasena was the third division’s player-of-the-year, scoring eight wins, one draw and no losses.

The Linton Lions and Linton Tigers each won their respective sections of the grade-limited Roger Goldsmith Tournament, with the Lions winning the final. Three teams played in the East Anglian Club Championships, gaining two second places and one third in their respective divisions, a very creditable performance as four juniors made their debuts for the club.

There were many individual highlights, so apologies for those I have missed, but in rough chronological order I’ve picked out the following. In September Giulio Sahinoz, Aarnavh Trivedi, Gavith and Kian Dharmasena (together with Cambridge player Arnav Srivastava), playing as Cambridge Knights, won the 4NCL Junior Congress against stronger and older junior players. In January Aarnavh, Gavith and Kian repeated their success, playing this time with Arnav Srivastava and Julia Volovich from Cambridge.

Following on from winning the Danish Girls’ Championship Abigail Weersing scored 5/5 in the Minor Tournament at the Bury St Edmund’s Congress, the only player to get a perfect score. Twelve Linton players competed in the Cambridgeshire County Championships in November, with Peter Koiza coming second.

Moving into 2018, Gavith Dharmasena and Julian Ray shared first place in the Under 170 East Anglian closed championships. Later on, fourteen club members played in the East Anglian Congress at Newmarket. Kian Dharmasena came third in the Under 170 tournament, while Mel Kirwan and Michael Osborn finished second and third in the Under 130 tournament.

Finally, congratulations to Gavith Dharmasena (again) for winning the club championship with a perfect score of 6/6. We look forward to the next season!

Paul Kemp