The County chess championship, The Surrey Team. Ziyad Ali, Greenshaw High school

The U1450 (a chess rating which indicates a player’s strength) county chess championship is an annual tournament where the winner of the division plays in the national finals. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic the tournament last year was cancelled, however this year Surrey has a brand-new team and is competing for the division title against the other 3 county teams. I spoke to the team captain David Flewellen about the team and how he feels about how the past 2 matches went and how he feels about the future prospects of the team. When talking about the team he described it as “a brand-new squad with a mixture of a few players with decades of experience, combined with a group of newer players with virtually no experience of competitive county chess.” This is David’s first time as the Surrey captain, but as a player on the squad myself I believe him to be extremely proficient both when playing in and organising matches. He says, “the challenge has been to build a decently strong squad of players able to win county matches.” Despite this “challenge” David has managed to get 12 players including himself who he believes have a fighting chance of winning.

“To date we’ve lost one match against Essex, mainly due to a lack of players.” After the first match David worked on getting some stronger players to raise Surreys chances of victory which seemed to have paid off in their match against Kent; David credited the players saying the “reinforced full squad scored many vital wins” resulting a 6-6 draw. “Our next match will be against Middlesex, a team that has lost both their matches to date, and if we’re able to win that match, we’re definitely back in contention to win the Southern Counties Chess Union U1450 division.” David stated that “as this team gains experience, and the optimal board order becomes apparent, we’ll find ourselves very handily placed to improve on our previous results against Essex and Kent when we host them in February.” Despite Essex seeming to be the favourites to win the division winning both of their matches David said “with some luck, a good result against Middlesex in the final round could see us win the division.”

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