The young players of Earlston Chess Club showed their talent earlier this month when four junior players took part in a team event held in the Wester Hailes Education Centre, Edinburgh, playing against some of the most respected schools from the capital.
Kieron Munro, Logan Symons, David Swanston and Alex Scott battled it out against some of the best young players from George Heriot’s; the Nigel Short Chess Society from Fettes College; Linlithgow Academy; and Tiger Cubs, the junior section of the Edinburgh Chess Club.
Hosted by Lothian Junior Chess, the secondary team competition was an inaugural event, played alongside the LJC Team Day 1 for Primary 5,6 and 7 pupils.
With only five teams taking part in the Secondary Competition, each team was given a bye, and one point in one of the rounds and it was Earlston who received the first of those. In rounds two and three, with two points for a team win and one each for a draw up for grabs, two excellent draws against Tiger Cubs and George Heriot’s respectively, kept the Earlston players well-placed, and by defeating Linlithgow Academy by 2.5 to 1.5 in the fourth round, they were in with a chance of victory.
In the final round, Earlston were drawn against the Nigel Short Chess Society from Fettes and Linlithgow Academy faced Tiger Cubs. A win against Fettes, together with a win for Linlithgow would have seen the Earlston team come out on top by one point.
As it was, both Fettes and Tiger Cubs won their final games, which meant Tiger Cubs won the event on eight points. Earlston and Nigel Short Chess Society finished second equal on five. The count back between Earlston and Fettes saw NSCS secure second place and Earlston finishing third.
At the prizegiving, everyone in the top three teams were presented with a small shield to mark their success.
This was the third time that junior players from Earlston Chess Club have travelled to Edinburgh to compete against other players of their own age. Unfortunately, the absence of organised inter-school chess events in the Borders means travelling to Edinburgh is necessary, but the Earlston players have shown they are capable of holding their own against the best of the Lothians.