EPSCA Chess Semi-Finals at Pontins

U9 and U11 Teams Qualify for the Finals again!

We had a very strong contingent of 34 players representing Hallfield at this event: 3 teams in the U11s, 2 teams in the U9s and 1 team in the U9 Plate Competitions (for teams who have not qualified for the main event). The weather started off very wet and cold but improved over the weekend and the children had great fun playing football and cricket and many visited the beach on Saturday afternoon.

U9 Plate Team

Our Plate team consisted of players from Yr2 to Yr4 who had not qualified for the main event. It was a mixed U9 and U11 team tournament so they were mostly against teams much older than them. They won 5/6 matches and came first in the U9 section, a magnificent result.

U9 Section

Our U9 B team, playing mostly against school A teams, had an amazing run and were ahead of the A team for much of the tournament. They came close to a podium finish and ended in 6th place out of a field of 24 winning gold medals. They were the best B team in the section by a long way.

The Hallfield U9 A Team were a close second at this event last year to Wetherby and were one of the favourites this year. They won 5/6 matches losing only to a very strong North London Collegiate all girls team and ended the event second, qualifying for the finals in July.

U11 Section

There were 24 school teams competing all of whom had qualified at regional events. Our C team overachieved by coming ahead of some other schools A Teams and finished the event with bronze medals.

The B team played some very tough teams and all team members scored well. They ended the event 4th just outside a qualification place. This is without doubt the strongest U11 B team I have ever coached at Hallfield, significantly stronger than most of the other schools A teams.

The A team were supreme from start to finish. They won all of their matches easily including wins against Wetherby and North London Collegiate. Our top 3 players scored 17.5 points from a possible 18 at the event and we finished first, well clear of the chasing pack. Our team will be strengthened at the final in July with the return of Kanav Monga who missed the tournament while in Romania representing England at an international chess event.

Hallfield Top Scorers

  1. Manvith Sandhu – U11 A team – 6/6
  2. Zain Amir – U11 A team 6/6
  3. Rohan Khashu – U9 Plate team – 6/6
  4. Rohan Pal – U11 A Team – 5.5/6
  5. Avinash Sharma – U9 B Team – 5.5/6
  6. Ritik Jose – U11 B Team – 5/6
  7. Kai Miller – U9 A Team – 5/6
  8. Orion Thandi – U9 B team – 5/6
  9. Malakhi Bailey – U9 Plate team – 5/6

Thanks to all of the parents who accompanied their children to this event and to the children who were well behaved throughout. Also massive thanks to the former Hallfield chess players: Rohit Jose, Kieran Vas, Eshan Suthi and Kiyan Miller who did a fantastic job helping to manage 4 of our 6 teams at the event. Their help was invaluable and it was great to see them all again in Prestatyn.

We will now compete in 8 team all play all finals on 2nd/3rd July against the very best U9 and U11 school teams in the country. This is the same week as our U11 team compete in the finals of the English Chess Federation schools U11 final at Uppingham (4th/5th July) – a very busy week for our elite chess players.


Mr Thomas