Chess: strong performances and a bright future, too

QE pupils acquitted themselves well at the country’s top schools chess championship, with a strong team performance and three boys winning prizes for their individual games.

Pitted against 15 élite chess-playing schools from across the UK and Ireland at the Millfield International Schools’ Chess Team Championship, the QE A team easily secured their place in the championship section as one of the top six teams in the first two qualifying rounds.

After five further rounds of intense competition at the event at Millfield School in Somerset, QE finished in third position overall, ahead of several independent schools known for the quality of their chess.

The three QE boys achieving prizes for the leading performance on their board were: Federico Rocco (Year 8), James Bunyan (Year 13) and Aneesh Chopada (Year 10) (pictured above, left to right).

Geoff Roberts, teacher in charge of chess, said: “I was very pleased with the strong performance of the team; finishing in third position in such a high-calibre tournament is an excellent achievement.

""“Federico’s performance as the tournament’s best board 2 player was particularly impressive, given the quality of the opposing players he faced.

“It was a particularly special tournament as it marked the final year at the Millfield International for several stalwarts of QE chess with Chess Captain Jake Breindel, Ashwin Ravichandran and James Bunyan all enjoying their swansong; I was particularly pleased to see James bow out with an individual board prize.

“With many of the team comprising Year 7 and 8 pupils, chess at Queen Elizabeth’s has a bright future.”

In addition to the successes of the A team, QE’s B team gained valuable tournament experience, finishing sixth in the Major Competition. “Several of these younger boys are sure to feature strongly in our top team in the years to come,” Mr Roberts added.

He also expressed his gratitude to his fellow teachers, Marie-Jo Jacquin and Jonathan Brooke, for their assistance with the trip.