A couple of months ago Ian Scott (the LSCA Coach) put together and then entered a team of Lincolnshire students into the Junior Four Nations Chess League (J4NCL). This is the elite league for junior chess in the UK. All the other teams are based at chess clubs or chess associations and have significant coaching programs and funding behind them. One club, for example, has over 150 junior players, many of the teams have weekly grandmaster coaching sessions. The Yellow-Bellied Knights were the only team of privateers.
It has taken Ian Scott 4 years to find suitable players and he also coaches three of the four team members. In September the team, accompanied by Ian Scott, went to Daventry to compete in the J4NCL. The weekend consisted of 5 games for each team member (3 games on Saturday, 2 on Sunday). Each game averaged between 1.5 and 2 hours. The standard of the opposition was significantly higher than the last time that a team from Lincolnshire had played in the league so the Yellow-Bellied Knights were up against it. Other teams that entered were representing Wales, Manchester, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire and Chess in Schools (a heavily funded national organisation) to name just a few!
David Scott who has just started the Sixth Form at QEGS, has been a regular on the chess circuit for a number of years and beat his first International Master last year at the London Chess Classic. On the Daventry weekend, he played board one for the Yellow Bellied Knights so was up against the top player of all the other teams they faced. He came away with two wins, one draw and two losses. David was incredibly focused and put in a level of effort and concentration that would put many experienced adult players to shame. Playing Board One is not just about being the best player but also about leading the team. The result was the team came second out of twenty-two teams. David was an absolute credit to himself and his school. The other team members come from Boston Grammar School, LSST and QEHS (Gainsborough).
We are very grateful to Ian Scott who organises, supports, coaches and funds the team himself. Below is the successful team with David Scott in the middle of the photo, third from the left). Coach Ian Scott is standing next to David.