A feature of the Academy is the emphasis placed on playing high-quality competitive games. Opponents will be matched against others of a similar standard wherever possible. We encourage games to be recorded so players can go through their games afterwards using a computer engine to show tactical opportunities and blunders.
In the autumn we created two houses: Ravenclaw for more experienced players and Gryffindore for those at an earlier stage. We will keep these groups in the spring but if you would like to change groups just email or speak to Paul and we’ll transfer you.
In the autumn we experimented with differing playing conditions but in the spring you will normally play two serious games a night. This will leave time for coaching, puzzle-solving and friendly games. There will be further opportunities for serious chess in the Cambridgeshire Schools League and the ALCA Rapidplay on Saturday 23 March (details of this tournament to follow).
During the autumn we recorded the results of games you played, although we know that in the early days some results weren’t handed in. Nevertheless we have tabulated the results and Anthony has calculated ratings for all of you based on your results and the strength of your opponent. These ratings are unofficial, but we will continue with ALCA ratings in the spring. The results as at 15 December are tabulated below.
Cumulative results as of 2023-12-15:
For the spring term we will award prizes (memento trophies) to the winners, best girls and most improved player in both Ravenclaw and Gryffindor groups. The most improved players will be those who show the biggest improvement over their 15 December ALCA rating, provided they have played a minimum of eight games.
Games played in the Ravenclaw tournament will also be sent for English Chess Federation rating. This should enable you to get on official rating by Easter which is helpful in entering tournaments organised elsewhere as it can affect what sections you can play in and whether you are eligible for prizes. To get games rated all the players in a tournament need to join the English Chess Federation, so all Ravenclaw players need to be ECF members.
Joining the ECF is easy: go to their website, click on membership and opt for Junior Silver membership, giving Anglian Learning Chess Academy as your club. Junior Silver membership is free in your first year, £6 a year thereafter, and has a number of benefits including an excellent online chess magazine. Whilst membership will be required for Ravenclaw players I would encourage Gryffindors to sign up as well.