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Chess success at St Edward's Academy in Leek

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: May 20, 2014

By Belinda Hargreaves

From the left, Libby Sherratt, Emma Scotchford, Beth Wooliscroft and Sian Jones.

From the left, Libby Sherratt, Emma Scotchford, Beth Wooliscroft and Sian Jones.

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A team of female chess players are proving themselves queens of the game.

A team of girls representing St Edward's Academy finished in equal third place in the English Chess Federation (ECF) Under 19 Girls Team Chess Championship.

This is only the second year that the ECF has run team tournaments for girls.

The competition started in January with the Northern and Southern semi-finals each offering three qualifying places in the national final.

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St Edward's entered two teams in the under 19 section of the Northern semi-final as well as three in the under 11 section.

The under 19 'A' team finished in second place, only half a point behind Royal Grammar School (RGS) in Newcastle-upon Tyne, and the B team finished fourth and thus almost qualified for the finals as well.

The finals were held over the first weekend of the Easter holiday at St Catherine's School for Girls in Bramley, Surrey.

Sian Jones, Bethany Wooliscroft, Emma Scotchford and Libby Sherratt travelled down by train, accompanied by Sian's mother and by their chess teacher Colin Abell.

Mr Abell said: "They faced very stiff competition; the top board of one school is the current English ladies champion and another school had a Czech international player in their team.

"The St Edward's girls were the youngest team there but showed great resilience and played some excellent chess to finish in joint third place at the end of the weekend.

"They were also the highest placed northern team, thereby gaining revenge over RGS.

"As well as the chess the girls were able to enjoy some of the boarding school facilities, including excellent meals, use of the school swimming pool and the chance to befriend the school cat.

"The tournament was won by Nonsuch School, a highly selective state school from the edge of London.

"Second was Abbey School in Reading, a fee paying school.

"St Edward's were joint third with Burnt Mill Academy from Essex. RGS were fifth and Kings Chester sixth – they are both private schools."

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