Young masters have their day at schools chess championships

GALASHIELS,  UNITED KINGDOM - 24 Feb 2012'Primary School Chess Tournament at Focus Centre, GALASHIELS'Annual schools chess event''(Photo by  ROB GRAY/digitalpic/freelance )
GALASHIELS, UNITED KINGDOM - 24 Feb 2012'Primary School Chess Tournament at Focus Centre, GALASHIELS'Annual schools chess event''(Photo by ROB GRAY/digitalpic/freelance )
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A TEAM from Philiphaugh Community School in Selkirk lifted the Borders Primary Schools Chess Championship title at the Focus Centre in Galashiels.

After a demanding schedule of matches, the quartet of Jack Ramsay, Josh Third, Antony Wood and Michael Bell won the David Matthews Associates Quaich, having proved themselves “chairmen of the board”.

At the event, 18 teams representing 17 schools played five qualifying matches in the morning and were then split into three competitions: the Premier, Major and Minor leagues. Each school played a further five matches in the afternoon.

Games were closely-fought in all three sections with Philiphaugh heading the top tier Premier League, just ahead of Trinity (Hawick) with newcomers Gordon in third place.

The second tier Major League was won by St Margaret’s (Galashiels) with Caddonfoot in the runners-up spot. Langlee (Galashiels) topped the Minor League ahead of Lilliesleaf.

Michael Bell of Philiphaugh won the prize for the best individual player, while Paual Fratczak of St Margaret’s (Galashiels) was the leading girl player. The award for the youngest player went to nine-year-old Struan Bowie of Gordon.

For the third successive year Scottish chess master Craig Pritchett awarded a prize for the winner of the match he judged to be the best. This went to Joe Douglas of Trinity.

The 72 pupils taking part played a total of 360 matches and, as ever, programme of matches was expertly organised by Tom Lawson and his team of willing volunteers.

In addition to the main event there were also a quiz and a problem solving competition with Earlston prevailing in the former and St Boswells excelling in the latter.

The prize-giving was attended by competition sponsor David Matthews who said he was delighted to see so many children playing chess. Thanks to his generosity, all the competing teams left with a new chess set for their school.

Results

Premier League – 1, Philiphaugh; 2, Trinity; 3, Gordon; 4, St Peter’s A; 5, Glendining; 6, Heriot.

Major League – 1, St Margaret’s; 2, Caddonfoot; 3, St Peter’s; 4, Melrose; 5, Stow; 6, St Boswells.

Minor league – 1, Langlee; 2, Lilliesleaf; 3, Earlson; 4, Newtown; 5, Fountainhall; 6, Balmoral.