SCCU U14/U130 League 2015 – 2016

This grade-limited competition, run by the Southern Counties Chess Union, was formerly known as the “U14/U140”, and before that the “U14/U90”. The ethos of this competition is to provide opportunities for secondary age children to play competitive chess. Sussex embraces this by choosing to select over 11s in preference to possibly stronger Under 11s who have plenty of opportunities to play competitively. The event also has a record of playing several reserve boards to further widen participation and build up experience of competition in this age group.

There are 12 players per side plus reserve boards.  Each player plays 2 games and the time limit is 59 minutes each.

This year we have been drawn in the ‘East’ group with Essex, Kent, Middlesex, Surrey and Richmond JCC.  The winners of this group will go on to play a final against the winners of the ‘West’ group (Berks, Bucks, Oxon A and Oxon B).

Kent v Sussex –14th February 2016, Sevenoaks

Richmond JCC v Sussex – 23rd January 2016, Twickenham

Essex v Sussex – 28th November 2015

Kent v Sussex –14th February 2016, Sevenoaks

Headline Result:





4 ½

7 ½





10 ½

13 ½

The team:
Juju Samworth-Calvier, Batuhan Kaya, Michael Banks, Oliver Manchester, Hugo Westwood-Dunckley, Zevon Rustom, Max Bennett, Oliver Thorne, Henry Roser, Thomas Manchester, Dominic Walker, Thomas Midmer Reserves: Harry Clarke, Kieron Escott, Mario Pastrana
Team captain for this match was Oliver Thorne.

This was always going to be a tough match and so it transpired with Kent taking the honours. 

The teams were equally matched according to grades, except for boards 1 and 2 where the top two players had grades of 147 and 136 against 130 (Juju) and 123 (Batuhan) respectively.  However, Juju, playing on board 1, achieved creditable draws against both players, but the result of the day was Batuhan, who won his match in the second round against the player with a 147 grade.

At the end of round 1 the Sussex score was 4 ½ with only Hugo, Max and Henry managing wins.

However, Sussex did better in the second round but couldn’t quite make up the points difference and ended up honours even, 6 games all with Batuhan, Hugo, Oliver Manchester and Dominic managing wins.

On the bright side, our reserves played exceptionally well winning 5 games to 1.

On a final note, the matches were so tight that results could easily have been in favour of Sussex but we did have strength in depth.  Combining all of the results, the final score was Sussex 15 ½ Kent 14 ½.

Well played everyone and thanks again to the parents for their support.

Thanks also to Jo Wildman for hosting the match and congratulations to the Kent team and good luck in the final match against Richmond.

The final match for Sussex is at Haywards Heath against Surrey on Saturday 27th February but unless Richmond get a result against Kent in their final match, the best we can do is finish as runners-up.

Barrie Thorne

Richmond v Sussex – 23rd January 2016, Twickenham

Headline Result:








9 ½

2 ½


18 ½

5 ½

The team:
Batuhan Kaya, Hugo Westwood-Dunckley, Juju Samworth-Calvier, Alex Miller, Thomas Rousell, Michael Banks, Oliver Thorne, Henry Roser, Max Bennett, Thomas Midmer, Dominic Walker, Mario Pastrana Reserves: Harry Clarke, Kieron Escott, James Walker
Team captain for this match was Hugo.

Congratulations to the team for an excellent performance, only losing two games out of 24 with no losses in the second round!

I would like especially to mention the following boys who achieved 2/2

Batuhan Kaya
Hugo Westwood-Dunckley
Juju Samworth-Calvier
Alex Miller
Michael Banks

In the second round, Harry Clarke replaced Mario Pastrana on board 12 and got a deserved draw.

Thanks again to the parents for their support and also to Paul McKeown for hosting the match.

The team now have two wins out of two and we look forward to our next match against Kent on 14th February.  This match may well decide who will take the honours in the group.

Barrie Thorne

Sussex vs Essex – 28th November 2015

Headline Results:










The Team:

Michael Banks, Max Bennett, Harry Clarke, Kieron Escott, Batuhan Kaya, Mario Pastrana, Henry Roser, Zevron Rustom, Juju Samworth-Calvier, Oliver Thorne, Dominic Walker, Hugo Westwood-Dunckley, James Walker (reserve).


The first match in this year’s SCCU U14/U130 competition was an away fixture against Essex, a 200 mile round trip for the team.

Juju was selected to be captain and won the toss and elected to play white in round 2.

We soon took a 3 – 0 lead with Batuhan, Michael and Kieron winning their games.  Batuhan played an aggressive game quickly demolishing his opponent.  I’m not sure whether the rugby injury to his right hand fingers helped as he didn’t have to write down the moves!!

With Juju, Henry and Hugo also winning and Oliver and Dominic securing draws, the advantage was with Sussex 7 points to Essex 5.  Hugo’s game was pivotal, as he was the last player standing (or sitting in this case) with both players equally running out of time, his opponent played an illegal move (moving the king into check), which gave Hugo an extra two minutes to see out the game. 

The second round started knowing that 5½ points would be good enough to secure the win.  The results in the first eight games were evenly spread.  Michael, Max, Oliver and Harry winning their games and Batuhan holding on for a draw.  Oliver was quickly in a winning position in his game, pinning his opponent’s Rook and Knight with his Queen and a Pawn on the 7th rank.  With four games remaining, the position was Sussex 4½ Essex 3½ , so ½ point would guarantee a draw and 1 point the win.  It was Dominic who took the team past the winning post, heralding a loud cheer from both players and parents alike and with Juju and Henry winning their games, the final result was Sussex 14½ Essex 9½ .

So, a winning start to the campaign.  Thanks to all the parents for giving up their time and providing transport and support for the team.

Barrie Thorne