Saturday 14th March  – Under 9s Cheshire and North Wales team win the E.P.S.C.A Northern Zonals

So proud to announce that our under 9 team (mainly consisting of 7 and 8 year olds) won the EPSCA Northern Zonals and are through to the finals.  Well done to every player on your amazing achievement

Sunday 8th March 2020 – Under 11s Cheshire and North Wales team win the E.P.S.C.A. Northern Zonals 

Congratulations to all the members of the squad for such a fantastic achievement, 50/60 and a clear 1st place – we are extremely proud of you all.

Saturday 22nd January 2020 – Northern Chess Championships

Some of our prize winners from the Northern Chess Championships this weekend!  U12 Northern Champion from Manchester Grammar School and other winners from Cheadle Hulme School, Forest Park School and Forest Prep School.  Well done to you all.

EPSCA Rapidplay on Sunday 16th February 2020

Rehan Sachdev (CHS) winning Under 9A with 5/5.  Anirudh N came second with 4.5/5 in under 8’s and Lucas Chan scored 4/5 qualifying for the England trials.


1st Place – Manchester Grammar School – Hunain won 5/5 of his matches and was the under 11 champion, Lucas also won 5/5 of his matches and was the under 10 champion.

2nd Place = Cheadle Hulme School – Rohit and Rehan won medals for their excellent performances.


Rehan was the under 9 champion.

Rohit and Rahul won medals for great performances.

Cheadle Hulme school rapid play tournament Saturday 2nd November 2019

Many of our pupils competed against other pupils from local schools and chess clubs. We had some amazing results with Ben, James and Yashmit from Forest Prep coming 1st, 4th & 5th in the under 9’s category. We also had success with Cillian from MGS coming 3rd and Jessica coming 2nd in the under 9’s. Further success for Peter Fedotov, Aryan Sajid and Ethan Jia coming 1st, 2nd & 3rd in the Open category. Under 11’s also had a good day with Leo Chick coming 1st, and medals for Aryan Devarakonda and Aadam Shah.  Well done to all who competed on the day.

At the European Schools Championships in Krakow 2018 three of my students were representing England and one of them won the Gold medal in the girls under 11 – the first time England have won a gold medal at an international junior event in 10 years!

July has been a hugely busy month for me and the UKCC team as we have organised three Gigafinal events with over 2,300 children competing. I am delighted that my students have done well. Here is Laura Davidson after winning the U15 Girls section at the Northern Gigafinal.

Amrit Mishra also achieved a fantastic result with 5/6 in the gigafinals (unbeaten) – qualifying for the Terafinal as well. Amrit has only recently started working systematically on his chess and his progress has been a pleasure to see.

Many students also qualified for the Challengers for which I wish them every success.

July 2018

Good luck to all players competing at the British Chess Championships taking place at the end of the month. Last year Joe Birks became British U10 champion – will we have more champions this year? Good luck also to Leif Hafstad competing in the xtracion chess open.

June 2018 – Schools’ Success!

EPSCA (English Primary School’s Chess Association) hold an annual schools’ chess tournament where schools compete over three stages. Two of my schools have excelled this year – North Cheshire Jewish Primary School and Cheadle Hulme School. This is especially pleasing as schools from Cheshire & North Wales have not traditionally done well in EPSCA events over the years – which shows what a bit of hard work and focus can achieve!

The Cheadle Hulme School team in the green outfits were Rohit, Oliver, Gonzalo, Nikhil, Freddie and Aaryan. Having already experienced success at the AJIS (Association of Junior Independent Schools) event in November the team narrowly missed out by half a point on qualifying for the EPSCA finals by finishing fourth at the Northern semi-finals in Prestatyn. Although disappointed to miss out by such a narrow margin against much more experienced opponents, the team can take massive credit and confidence going forward into future events. Rohit in particular scored an extremely impressive 5.5 / 6 and is competing in the British Championship in July.

The North Cheshire Jewish Primary School were competing in blue and the team was Jacob, Max, Ethan, Solomon, Tani and Ittamar.  Having won the qualifier in Oldham, in the Sem final they were fourth going into the final round (with three teams proceeding) they lost their last match and unfortunately did not make the finals. However, with the rate of improvement being shown by these young players I predict further successes in the future.

Leif winning a prize at the Vienna Chess Competition for an excellent performance.

October 2016: Leif Hafstad has just returned from Russia where he was representing England at the World Youth Championships.

September 2016: This month I will be starting a local junior chess club in Cheadle.

I have just returned from representing England at the World Chess Olympiad in Baku. It was my third Olympiad for England and a great experience to play alongside the strongest players in the world!

August 2016: It has been a busy summer…..

British Championships

Congratulations to Laura Davidson who won the British U14 girls title (a year young). Joe Birks came 2nd= in the U9s ( a year young). Ethan Gardiner scored 4.5/6 in the U8 section narrowly missing out on 2nd place and Vedh Vinayak scored 3 in the U9 boys. I also achieved 2nd place in the British Women’s Championship.

Gibraltar Junior Chess

Congratulations to Cassie Graham who came shared the U16 top girls prize at the Gibraltar Junior Chess Festival Vienna Open Congratulations to Leif Hafstad who won the U14 top boys prize at the Vienna Open and gained 152.8 rating points with a 1913 rating performance!

European Youth Chess Championships

Laura Davidson and Giulio Sahinoz represented England at the European Youth Chess Championships in Prague.

July 2016: I have just returned from coaching at the European Schools Chess Championships in Greece. It was a great event and my students all worked extremely hard! Congratulations to Joe Birks who won the U8 Gigafinals with 6/6. Ethan Gardiner (U7) and Vedh Vinayak (U9) came 2nd in their respective age groups and qualified for the Challengers.

May 2016: Please see below for Megafinal Successes! May has also been an exciting month for me as I have become the Director of Women’s Chess in England; I am really hoping to make English chess a much better place for females.

April 2016: Congratulations to Joe Birks (U8) and Laura Davidson (U13) for winning the English Youth Grand Prix! winning £100 and a place representing England at the World or European Youth Championships!

Well done to everyone who attended the English Chess Federation Academy Weekend in April; I was coaching and really enjoyed seeing so many talented, enthusiastic players! (

March 2016: Cheshire and North Wales and Lancashire continue to do well at county level with Lancashire U9s winning their zonal ahead of Nottingham! Serjey Karjakin (Russia) won the Candidates Chess Tournament and will challenge Magnus Carlsen in New York in November

February 2016: Cheadle Hulme School took part in their first team competition at Bolton. They finished 5th and Ethan Gardiner was their top scorer and winner of a best game prize. A great experience and the boys enjoyed themselves. This was the first competition for everyone apart from Ethan!

Over half term I ran some training camps which were great fun; it’s great to have so many talented and enthusiastic young players!

I also did some training with the Cheshire and North Wales County Team followed by a simultaneous display.

Joe Birks became U8 West of England Champion with 6/6; a fantastic achievement!

February was also the month I got married to Alex Longson; a very strong chess player. Our wedding was chess themed and was attended by close friends and family including 2 Grandmasters and one international master.

January 2016: Joe Birks came 1st= in the U8 South of England Championships and Laura Davidson was the leading girl in the U14s. Harry Rafferty won the Cheshire and North Wales U8s with 5/5! Ethan Gardiner was the top U7. Ethan also did well in his first adult competition (Stockport Rapidplay) beating 2 experienced adults. Tim Lewis, Saatvika Mahesh, Joe Birks, Harry Rafferty and Ethan Gardiner also played in the Junior 4NCL. All Aughton st.Michael’s schools teams qualified for the finals of the EPSCA!

December 2015: Saatvika Mahesh became the top girl in the U12 London Junior Chess Championships and came 3rd=. Joe Birks came 2nd= in the U8s.

November 2015: I have just returned from training the England team at the World Youth Chess Championships in Halkidiki, Greece. This was an excellent trip for Team England. Everyone worked hard; it was a busy schedule of 11 rounds. Players began researching their opponents the night before, then had a one hour training session before the game, their matches then started at 3pm (and could last up to 5 hours!). When the games were over players went through their games with their coach. This was constant for 11 days with only one rest day. Although England didn’t win any medals; players always come back a lot stronger because of the intense training schedule. If your child is interested in playing for England please visit:

October 2015: Joe Birks won the Aughton St. Michaels ‘Kings’ (hardest section) with 5/5 and Maria Denisova also won the ‘Kings’ section at the Manchester Junior Chess Congress with 4.5/5. Excellent performances from 2 very talented young players!

I will now be running internal school tournaments to select the school teams and create school champions for 2015- Good Luck!

July – August 2015: Laura Davidson won the U12 UK Chess Challenge 2015! I began teaching Laura when she was 8 years old and she has won many competitions & trophies already! She will be competing in the British Championships & representing England at the World Championships in Greece in November.

Tim Lewis was part of the Middlesex U13 team which has recently won the County Championships! He will also be competing in the British Championships in a few weeks time and will be representing England at the U18 Glorney Cup later this month.

William Golding has come 1st= in the UK Chess Challenge U10 section. This complements his other successes this year which include getting into the U11 England Team (a year young!) and securing victories against players rated much higher than himself in the National Chess League.

Ethan Gardiner and Harry Rafferty have come first and second in the Cheshire and North Wales Megafinals.

Pupil Successes at Megafinals 2016.

County Champions

Maria Denisova (Loreto Preparatory School)
Laura Davidson (St. George’s Ascot)
Joe Birks (Lancashire)
Evie Mayer (Aughton St.Michaels)
Naomi Bearon (Aughton st.Michaels)
Kayla Donatien (Alderley Edge School for Girls)
Ethan Gardiner (Cheadle Hulme School)
Harry Rafferty (Chester)
Akshara Suresh (Loreto Preparatory School)
William Golding (Surrey)

Other Qualifiers

Jacob Epstein (North Cheshire Jewish Primary School)
2nd= Jenna Cousen (North Cheshire Jewish Primary School)
Vedh Vinayak (Surrey) – 2nd

Congratulations to everyone who participated and good luck to everyone in the Gigafinals!

Blue Peter 1996: I am with the world champion- Garry Kasparov! Watch the video: