Grandmaster can’t beat young chess prodigies

Fran Taylor

A Grandmaster was held to a draw by two local youngsters at a Tunbridge Wells Chess Club tournament at Salomons on Sunday October 9.

John Emms from Hildenborough, a former captain of the English Olympiad team, played a simultaneous match against 31 young players from 15 different schools in the Tunbridge Wells area in an event sponsored by Savills.

Isabel Webb, 12, and six-year-old Matthew Lieu held him to a draw and received cups in recognition of their efforts.

John, who did not lose a game in the same event last year, is heavily involved in supporting junior chess and coaches at a number of local schools.

The Grandmaster is also the No 1 board player for Tunbridge Wells’ first team, who were runners-up in the County Championship last year.

“The standard of chess was very high and entertaining to watch in a wonderful environment,” commented Robert Jacobs, Head of Office at Savills Tunbridge Wells and a member of Tunbridge Wells Chess Club.

Andrew Daniells, Chief Operating Officer at Salomons, which provided the venue free of charge, said: “It was fantastic to see so many youngsters taking part in such a challenging event.

“We hope that it encourages them to continue playing the game, and perhaps one day some of them may return and play this event at Salomons as Grandmasters themselves.”

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