The European Schools Chess Championships 2019 took place in Constanta, Romania and the English Chess Federation (ECF) selected a team to compete in the competition against some of the best junior chess players in Europe. Two members of the England team were Matthew Timbrell (Under 11) and Toby Kan (Under 13), both representing England for the first time in an international tournament.
There were around 30 players in the England team, with age sections in the tournament ranging from Under 7 to Under 17 and trophies awarded to the Top 3 in each section. The event took place over 9 days, from 31st May to 8th June 2019, with all competitors playing one match per day over a time control of 40 moves in the first 90 minutes, then 30 minutes to finish with a 30 second increment per move. A tough competition, requiring stamina and resilience as well as immense concentration during play.
Players were accompanied by a parent/guardian on the trip and all based at a hotel in the holiday resort of Mamaia on the Black Sea coast, a short bus transfer away from the playing venue in Constanta.
Matthew competed in the Open Under 11 section. In a field of 53 players, there were 7 players representing England, and Matthew played 4 of them in his 9 matches. There were fine margins determining the outcome of the games throughout, and Matthew finished in equal 37th place on 3.5 points out of 9, with 3 wins, 1 draw and 5 losses.
Matthew commented: “I really enjoyed the whole tournament. It was great to represent England and play against opponents from all over Europe”.
Toby competed in the Open under 13 section, which included several players with FIDE rating of 2000+. There were 43 players in Toby’s section and with a score of 5.5 points from 9 games, equal 8th place was secured. A great achievement, winning 4 of his last 5 games and ending the tournament with 5 wins, 1 draw and 3 losses.
Toby: “A fantastic, once in a lifetime opportunity. Whilst I thoroughly enjoyed the chess experience, I also enjoyed meeting new friends from all over Europe and spending time with my friendly England teammates.”
Players left Romania with their England shirt, certificate, medal and lots of great memories playing for the ECF England team at this international event. Toby and Matthew should be very proud of themselves and Somerset Junior Chess congratulate them for this achievement.
Official website of the European Chess Union European Schools Chess Championships 2019.