We don't like to boast about our successes at KCC, mainly because we don't have that many of them, but when we have no less than three champions in our midst, its only right that we should be proud of their fantastic achievements.
To get the least important out of the way first, its hats off to Joshua who somehow managed to claim a British title for himself - though with typical modesty, he has hardly even mentioned it. What a guy! In November, in the unlikely setting of Cowpasture Road, Ilkley (I kid you not!) - so probably hat-less - Joshua claimed the British Major (under 1976/171) Rapidplay title with a score of 8/11. He finished a half point clear of the field (38 players) despite only starting as 16th seed. There must have been drama a-plenty in the last round, as when it started one player led on 7.5, followed by four - one of whom was our hero - on 7 points. None of the chasers were paired against each other while Joshua was upfloated to play the leader. He duly won, but none of the other contenders could score a victory (they actually managed a half out of three between them!) and so it was the KCC man who annexed the title and the £350 first prize. Bravo Joshua!
Far more importantly, though, December witnessed massive triumphs for two of our newest - and youngest - club members, Jude Shearsby and Billy Fellowes, in the highly prestigious London Junior Chess Championships - probably the strongest junior events in the country outside the British Championships and the UK Schools Chess Challenge. Billy was clear first in the U-8 tournament (despite officially being an U-7!) and Jude was joint first, winning on tie break, in the U-10 event (despite officially being an U-9!). And these successes are hardly the only things these two amazing young chess players have to shout about.
Billy just made history by becoming the youngest ever winner in the Leamington League (see Roy's post about the match on this website, dated 20.12.18) at the age of 7, while Jude (who had only just set the record Billy has beaten!) has been performing brilliantly for us in both the Leamington and Coventry Leagues. Oh yes, I should probably also mention that he recently won the U-8 section at the UK Schools Chess Challenge Terafinal, the largest chess tournament in the world! And that he was one of the England representatives in the European Youth Chess Championships in Latvia during the summer!! An amazing roll of honour in such a short space of time.
These two KCC members are a massive credit to themselves, their parents, the club and, of course, their coach, the one and only KCC legend that is Paul Lam. His work at the Coventry Chess Academy, and in his private coaching role, has been phenomenal. We may be forced to conclude from the remarkable achievements of his students (see here for details of these and even more successes) …….. that Paul is actually rather good at this coaching malarkey! Despite Roy's efforts to disprove that assertion!!