Playing Hall

Taken by me on my phone

2023 - UK National Schools Chess Finals

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2023 - National Schools Chess Finals - Games, Venue etc.

The 2023 National Schools Chess Finals took place over 2 days at Studio 7 at the Kings Meadow Campus, University of Nottingham on the 29th-30th of June 2023.

The outside of the campus
(Not my photo - from the website... )

There were 5 rounds, at 50+10, held on a 6 Board, Team vs Team format - More stuff (including a round by round report about the leading teams done by I believe Neill Cooper )

Every board was live - (links at the link above) (or use )

Chief Arbiter was Julian Clissold, aided by Willow Hambel, Raejean Dupuis and Richard Buxton.

Hampton School won overall, with 4 wins and 1 draw.
Full results -

This was the playing hall:

This is my photo (feel free to use it) - Arbiters desk in the right - (also the cover photo)

Round 1:

My school were paired against a high ranked team (since we were seeded quite low), so everybody had a tough pairing. Somehow I scraped a draw (whilst everyone else lost).

Round 2:

We were paired against the bottom seeds, but I thought I was playing their best player, on Board 4?! A tumultuous game to say the least. I was pretty much lost, but some weird sacking and counterplay, and I got extremely lucky as my opponent accidentally moved the queen to the wrong square.

Round 3:

We were paired against a mid-table team. My opponent played a Kings Gambit, but my play and calculation proved wrong. And a silly missed chance in the end, lost this game terribly.

Time for a break from chess and time to look at the accomodation :-)

Most (or possibly all) schools stayed in the University accomodation in the main Nottingham University Campus, opposite the hospital.

It was pretty basic, but not too bad - decent bed, shower, toileteries and Tea/Coffee were all there along with good towels.

Breakfast was served in a large hall (which we went on a goose chase to find), went back, and with the help of another schools' teacher, found 30 minutes later. Somehow we were the first there, but the last to arrive at the venue...

It was much better than most hotels breakfast with lots of choice, there were the National Teams of Ireland, France and the Netherlands ( In a sport, I don't know which one) also eating there ( I mean it had to be good with national representitives. )

Here's a photo of the room :

(Again my photo - obviously... )

Back to some Chess now... :

In round 4 we were paired against our city rivals.....
Somehow we won 5-1 ( as they had a weakened team) , after losing the Regional final to them 3.5-2.5.
My game was thrown (almost) in the opening, but a error from my opponent, which I capitalised on, gave me the win.

Round 5:

I was playing someone who I had previously played in an event last year, who seemed to have changed their opening - having lost that encounter, I was hoping to to get one back. However, once I thought I was ok, things went terrible, as I lost due to Touch Move :-(

All in all - 2.5/5, decent, and I still gained rating.
Our school finished above our seeding - so we achieved something :)

Thanks for reading!!