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2013 Annual Meeting

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Page published 14 June 2013

Report of MCCU Junior Director – June 1st 2013

Last AGM my report was distinctly OTT, but I have apologised for that (I was under a lot of pressure at the time and extremely angry for having my time wasted!). Lincs graciously accepted my apology and one of their committee visited Nottingham to view a couple of our junior coaching sessions.

Manchester and Warwicks rightly drew my attention to the success of some of their teenagers, but in my experience very few players learn in their teens, and it is my contention that unless we first concentrate on developing juniors under 11 years of age chess in the MCCU counties will slowly die out. I attach here the results of the EPSCA county finals and the results of the previous 5 years. Only Notts appear regularly in the top 5 counties. It does not need much examination to see how much the South East dominates; only Nottingham gives these counties a significant challenge. This year Staffs, with Traci Whitfield’s help, are to be congratulated on finishing as high as 13th in the boys U11 section. It was also good to see Manchester do well in the boys U9s and especially pleasing to see Birmingham in the Girls finals!

I have not achieved as much as I would like in my first full season and am quite willing to step down if you all wish it, but the following are my achievements so far: I have begun coaching at Brooke Priory School, Rutland and some of these children played in the East Midlands Grand Prix; I ran a successful coaching morning in Leicester and I’m pleased to say that out of this Paul Colburn, a strong club player, has since become an accredited coach and begun coaching in Leicester. Paul Findlay has resumed coaching and also attended an East Midlands Grand Prix event. I am trying to get these two excellent teachers of chess to link up. FM Christopher Dunworth has returned to the East Midlands and I am hoping he will resurrect Derbyshire Juniors; he and I have set up an East Midlands Chess Festival for juniors on June 15th/16th (see attachment).

The EPSCA U11 England trial held in Liverpool had several Midlands juniors competing. Jonah Willow, a Year 5 from Nottingham, and Jacob Boswell (Staffs) qualified for places in the England U11 squad and both deserve our heartiest congratulations and support.

Early last year the ECF appointed me as Manager of Coaches (England). My work here, devising a new system requiring coaches to be qualified as opposed to accredited, has taken up a lot of time. Another professional organisation asked me to produce a new online magazine for children. The first issue will be out this month and much of the work for the second issue is already in place. I will keep all counties informed as soon as I have a definite date for the first issue. Finally the ECF recently invited me to coach at the World Schools Individual Championships in Greece from May 6th to 15th. This was an incredibly strong junior event with 600 juniors of all ages from 42 Nations taking part. England’s final total score was just 44% and we achieved just one prize, and that in the under 7 section. Linked here are all the results from a coaching perspective.

David Levens