IT has been a lively start to 2024 for Wells Chess Club.
The first match of the season was a home game in Division 2 against local rivals Glastonbury (pictured). In a five-board contest Wells fielded two of their rising juniors, Leon Nelson and James Holdstock. It proved to be a closely fought contest. On board 4 Ed Farms picked up an early advantage which he converted clinically. Leon carried on where he left off in 2023 as he sealed a victory in a tactical battle on board 1. Jon Rossi clinched victory by finding a bishop fork in an even endgame to win on board 3. Both James on board 5 and Greg Roome on board 2 had games which ebbed and flowed and could have gone either way but unfortunately both lost out at the end. Nevertheless, it was a 3-2 victory for Wells which leaves them top of Division 2.
The Junior Championship of South West England and Wales 2024 took place in Chepstow with 43 Somerset juniors, including James Holdstock, Camden Lovelace, Hector Gardner and Henry Kilroy from Wells Chess Club. Wells members Chris Strong and Sasha Matlak were also part of the Somerset coaching team. They played three matches each and there were more than 200 juniors attending the event. Camden had a great day and was part of the Under-9 side that won their category for Somerset. James, Hector and Henry also performed well in their sections.
In the Clevedon Chess Congress Leon Nelson represented Wells in the Intermediate section. He had a flying start with three points from the first four rounds leaving him in contention in the final round. A narrow loss left him in sixth place which is still a fantastic result against good opposition, he continues to impress with each new challenge.
Wells is also hosting its Inaugural Chess Congress on the weekend of March 8-10 at the Town Hall. It is an exciting opportunity for the city and the club to host such an event with around 150 players in three sections. Anyone interested in playing can find details at wellschess.co.uk along with other information about the club. They can be contacted at email@example.com.