“Superb” team performance gives QE best-ever result in international chess competition

QE’s Chess Team took second place in the Millfield International Schools’ Chess Team Championship with its best-ever performance in the competition.

The team, captained by Upper Sixth-Former Akshaya Ahuja, comfortably came through the two qualifying rounds to reach the Championship section, which is contested by the six leading schools in the event. Having last year been runners-up, the team then came even closer to ousting the overall winners, St Olave’s Grammar School, Kent, who retained their title. QE ultimately missed out on overall victory by two points after five closely contested rounds.

QE’s teacher in charge of chess, Geoff Roberts, said: “We had a highly enjoyable two days of chess and the team played superbly, with excellent captaincy once again from Akshaya Ahuja. The weekend ended with the School’s best-ever finish in over a decade of attending this prestigious tournament. The fact that we missed out on top place by only two points shows that we will be one of the favourites for the title in 2010.""

“There were some outstanding individual performances, with two boys, Ravi Popat, Year 13, and Joseph Levene, Year 8, winning prizes for the leading performance on their board. Also especially pleasing was that two of the awards for the best performance in their age group were captured by boys from Queen Elizabeth’s School; Joseph Levene (best U14) and, another of our rising stars, Jake Breindel, of Year 7 (best U12).”

Other members of the QE team were: Anup Desai, Year 12; Amit Desai, Year 12; Jon Hoong, Year 13; Gabriel Gendler, Year 9; Madhi Elango, Year 9; Kushal Shah, Year 11; Kieran Chan, Year 8, and Rahul Rajakulasingam, Year 12.

Held at Millfield School in Somerset, the tournament dates back to 1984. In addition to the successes of the A team, Queen Elizabeth’s B team competed and gained valuable tournament experience in the Challengers’ Competition.

“Several of these younger boys are sure to feature strongly in our top team in the years to come, with Damian Jeyananthan, Year 11, and Parus Shah"", Year 8, both to be commended for winning board prizes,” added Mr Roberts.

  • Queen Elizabeth’s School’s Years Eight to Eleven Swiss Chess Tournament was won by Joseph Levene. (In Swiss-system tournaments, players with similar scores are paired against each other.) Joseph thus finished as the School Chess Champion, winning 5.5 out of a possible 6 points. Hugo Bassa, Year 9, finished as runner-up, scoring 5 out of a possible 6 points and Kieran Chan, Year 8, Ben Collins, Year 9, and Kushal Shah, Year 11, finished in joint third position, each with 4.5 points. Kushal and Reyvanth Varathan, Year 10, won the prizes for the best performance in Years 11 and 10 respectively.