2nd Brentwood U12 Open tournament - guest player GM Jon Speelman


Max, Shlok and Jerry win the event with 5/5. Jake (2nd from left) Brentwood School Champion on 4/5. Photo with Jon Speelman.


GM Jon Speelman took on all participants in a series of simultaneous matches. Tomas pictured was one of only two players to hold Jon to a draw.


Hugo and Laura in second round action


Competitors in action in the main playing hall.

Hi, my name is Jake Horton and I want to tell you about the tournament on May 13th, 2017 at Brentwood Preparatory school.

From the moment, I arrived I started having fun and I got to perch next to my mum who helped to sign everyone in. As I was walking into the playing hall, I grabbed my scoresheets and pen. I won my first game because I wrote my moves down, which helps to slow me down. I told my mum the good news and wandered into the playground, where I found some of my friends playing cricket, so I joined in. Sudden glory as I stumped someone out, but sudden shame as I got bowled out.

The good thing about these events is they are loads of fun and loads of people that are new to chess come along, and although they might lose every game they still have the time of their lives.

By now I was starting to get hungry, so I borrowed 10p off my mum and bought a sweet with it; as soon as the wrapper was placed in the bin it was time for round 2. I was up against someone graded 113 and my grade is 56, so I thought I had no chance of winning. However, because of the result I will never think that again – yes, I won and they were over double my grade!

The next game was savage – I had to play the British Under-8 and Under-9 girl champion (grade 101), and I lost. The next game I played was a simultaneous game against Mr Jon Speelman, formerly world-ranked number 4, and I lost again. The next game I won easily. So I was on 4/5, the same as the Brentwood Prep girl from round 3. So I had to battle her in a playoff for the title of Prep Champion, but this time I won by checkmate.

As we cleared the hall for prize-giving, loads of people were congratulating me. 5 minutes later the terrifying moment came when I had to go on stage and collect my book prize and trophy for Brentwood Prep Champion. I felt happy whilst we were packing up, as this was the end of an eventful day.

Report by Jake Horton