Chess team result confirms QE’s place among the élite

Queen Elizabeth’s School reached the semi-final stage at the finals event of the National Schools’ Chess U19 Championship – QE’s best-ever result in the competition.

Earlier in the championship, the team had achieved victories over King Edward’s School, Chelmsford, and local rivals Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School. They thus became zonal winners, securing their place with 15 other schools at the finals hosted by Uppingham School in Rutland.

At Uppingham, QE qualified for the semi-final with emphatic wins against top chess-playing schools Winchester College (5-1) and Millfield School (6-0) in a last-16 match and quarter-final respectively.

Teacher in charge of chess Geoff Roberts said: “Reaching the semi-final of the most prestigious schools’ chess tournament – the one which every school has aspirations to win – is a real achievement and one that confirms our place amongst the country’s élite chess-playing schools.”

""QE just missed out on qualifying for the final, losing to Hampton School 3.5-2.5 in a closely fought match. The School finished the competition in joint-sixth place overall.

“My congratulations to all the boys who have represented the School in this competition and a particular mention must go to the Captain, Jake Breindel, who now moves on to university, for his commitment to chess at QE throughout his seven years at the School as well as his rôle in creating the strong team environment which has underpinned our success,” Mr Roberts added.

He also pointed to the outstanding individual performance from Year 9 pupil Federico Rocco, who won all four of his games on board 2 – a clean sweep achieved by only four players at the finals, as the English Chess Federation’s report pointed out.

In addition to Jake and Federico, the following boys have represented QE in the competition in 2015-16: Ananth Balaji (Year 12); Rishul Karia (Year 11); Devin Karia (Year 8) and George Ivanov (Year 9).