Another May Bank holiday, another chess completion!

Qualifiers from the school tournament travelled to Hodgson Academy in Poulton near Blackpool for the Lancaster area Megafinal.

Students from all over the northwest, including one interloper from Yorkshire last year, gathered to pit their chess skills against each other. The standard was extremely high as Lancashire has a formidable reputation in chess circles at the moment. The entry for the competition has reduced by a third in comparison with just a few years ago, resulting in the combatants being the very best players in Lancashire.

The competition was brutal. Two qualifiers from BRGS were newcomers to the competition, and were fazed at first, but Sithu Han and Matthew Kirengi, both managed to win games and have now gained the experience to be real contenders in the future.

Other more experienced players like Chris Bretherton, James Ellis and George Platt gained good points but not quite enough for the next stage, though James and George were awarded prizes for being second in their age group.

Uber-experienced players Ben Atueyi and Angelica Fitzpartick played extremely well and both qualified for the Gigafinal, which pools winning players from the whole of the UK, except for the London area.

Ben won all but one of his matches, but Angelica (Y8) is to be congratulated as she had to compete against two England team members, one a Y10 and the other a sixth former, and nearly beat the younger of the two!

The Gigafinal will be held in Derby in July and we anticipate similar success to last year when Ben qualified for the Terrafinal; we hope this year that Angelica will join him.