Wells players make mark on national stage

JULY 21 saw the start of the British Chess Championships at De Montfort University in Leicester. This lasted 10 days and consisted of various separate tournaments.

Sasha Matlak, Matt Goatcher and Solomon Hayes made the journey to the East Midlands, looking to put Wells on the British Chess map. A warm-up on the Thursday evening was a tricky nine-round Blitz tournament. Solomon came away with 2 points and Matt with 3 but Sasha finished in joint fourth with 6 points.

On Friday all three played in a high standard Rapid tournament. Matt scored 2 points while Solomon notched up 3 including a very impressive draw against a player ranked 2187. Sasha thrived in this elite company, once again, finishing joint fourth with a score of 5.

A gruelling Friday ended with the first round of the weekend Classical event. Solomon (1613) played in the Soanes Under 1750 category, Matt (1699) in the Penrose Under 2000 and Sasha (2136) in the Atkins Open section. 

Matt was competing in a high level with all his opponents graded 1860 or above. Never looking outplayed he came away with 2/5 and a very commendable performance. Sasha fought hard against tough opposition in the Open section. He scored 4/5 and took a share of second place. He was delighted and this follows hot on the heels of his success in winning the Denys Bonner Trophy at the Somerset Championships in May. Solomon chalked up a series of wins, many long and hard fought. His impressive performance secured a share of first place with 4.5/5.

Solomon stayed for another week playing three more events. His best performance was a share of fourth place in the Under 1750 afternoon section with 4/6. At the end of it all Solomon finished with 11/17 in his Classical matches which is very impressive at this level and no mean feat of endurance over 10 long days of chess.

Wells Chess Club welcomes new members to its meetings at the Globe Inn on a Wednesday evening. Contact wellschessclub@outlook.com for more information.