IAPS Chess Tournament

26 Apr 2015

The first weekend of the Easter holidays saw 10 keen Witham Chess players head south to Aldro School in Surrey for the annual IAPS chess competition. After a couple of hours of motoring the boys were faced with their first tactical decision - what to spend their pocket money on at the service station? Their answer - sweets, sweets and more sweets!

On arriving at Aldro we were greeted by the tournament host, and shown the boys dormitory and other facilities. A late supper, and even later bedtime followed, before exhaustion eventually overcame excitement. But the boys were up again early the next morning, and eager to start.

After breakfast, everyone was given their new chess hoodies to wear, before going off to play the first day of chess – a tournament based on age. The boys looked great, and played even better! Every boy concentrated and produced their best, and we were rewarded with a pleasing set of scores, plus a win for Robert Tombs in the Under 11 section. After a long day, and a few more delicious meals courtesy of the Aldro catering staff, the boys had the evening to relax playing either football or table tennis.

On Day Two, the boys began a new tournament, split into four sections according to their scores achieved on Day One. Having played so well on in the first tournament, the boys were ‘rewarded’ with some tough new opponents, but they continued as they had started. They each played some tremendous matches and steadily notched up their wins tally. Special mention goes to Sam Beattie for the delight on his face after his first hard fought victory!

The afternoon heralded the highlight (obviously after the chess matches!) of the 'holiday' - a trip to Chessington World of Adventure. Having concentrated so hard on the chess, the boys were able to let off steam in the theme park. Blessed with a fine afternoon, they each chose their rides according to their ability – although a few had second thoughts after the ride had started! They crammed in as much as possible, before timing our return to perfection – just in time for evening tea. After eating, the boys took part in a 5 a side football competition, organised by Aldro sports department. We entered 2 teams, with 1 team coming second, before everyone relaxed again watching the England football match in the boarders lounge.

The last day of chess concluded the tournament begun on Day 2 – and the boys again played their best in increasingly tougher matches, including some against each other! By the end of play we had some fantastic results, winning trophies and medals; Robert Tombs came first in Section A, Rori Rodell came 3rd in section B, whilst in Section C Ewan Rodell came 1st, Sam Smith 2nd and Eshan Mehta 3rd.

Finally, presentations concluded proceedings, and the boys received a bonus prize – a box of chocolates to share on the journey home - for coming second in the best dormitory competition. A great end to an excellent few days away.

Well done to all the boys who participated – you were a pleasure to be with.

Mrs Smith and Mrs Tombs