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Champion checks out classy rising county chess stars

By Somerset Standard  |  Posted: February 14, 2013

(From left) Damian Paduraru, of Oakfield Academy, won the U11 category, Almos Juhasz, of Selwood Academy, triumphed in the U10 group and Oliver Hawker, of St John's School, came second in the U8 section

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The first-ever Somerset Primary Schools chess tournament was recently held at St John's School in Frome, with more than 40 children taking part.

British chess champion Megan Owens, pictured, was a special guest at the competition, which featured three age categories with 15 Frome schools being represented.

Owens, who lives in Frome, has been British junior champion for ten years in a row and has represented Wales at World and European championships.

Organiser Sally Somers said: "Megan is a remarkable local inspiration, not least to all girl players, of which Poppy Pinkster of St John's school was the only representative – a statistic that many of us wish to see improve.

"Overall, the day was a huge success, with a nicely- relaxed atmosphere, and everyone enjoyed the marathon day of chess as well as the football in between games in the playground.

"Thank you to everyone involved in organising the day, which we hope will become an annual event."

The St John's PSA ran a refreshments stall, selling cakes, scones and soup kindly created and donated by parents of St John's chess players.

There were some very strong performances from Frome players. Oakfield Academy's Damian Paduraru won the U11 category and Almos Juhasz of Selwood Academy took the U10 honours. Both boys have been competing at a high level for some years.

Oliver Hawker of St John's, who only started attending school chess club in September, came second in the U8 category. In third place was his Year 3 friend and rival, Tim Durojaye.

Schoolmate Jacob Roberts played the eventual U8 winner in the first round and was the only player to take a point from the champion.

Frome players just missed out in the hotly-contested U9 category, with all pupils scoring well.

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