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The Belfast 2019 London Junior Chess Championship Qualifier

On Saturday 5th October 2019 at Methodist College the Ulster Chess Union held the Belfast London Junior Chess Championship Qualifier - with some of the top young players in Ulster.

Always pensive about the first Childrens Chess Tournament of the Year - how many players would turn up?

This year although numbers werent great we had some of the top young players in Ulster including the current Schools Ulster Champion Kamal Taufik.

With six rounds and 30 minutes  each on the clock we had some great play with some close endgames. Just occasionally a quick move will lead to a blunder - our challenge is to get the students to slow down and consider more options and threats.

Many thanks to the volunteers James Fairley, Geoff Hindley, Ross Harris who give of their time to allow these tournaments to be run. Also a big thankyou to the players who support our competitions and create such a brilliant friendly atmosphere. Also to the teachers who advertise them at their schools.

We will follow the qualifiers to see how they do at the London Junior Chess Championships in December so watch this space. This tournament is one of the most prestigious competitions for young players and they will be facing the top players in the UK - what a brilliant opportunity - more details see :

As usual we had our brilliant puzzle competition. With 24 challenging problems. Heres some of the harder ones - see if you can solve them.... (solutions if I can work them out are at the bottom of this page.....

prob9 prob10 prob13
prob14 prob15 prob16

Primary School Puzzle Solving: Champion Dexter Harris.

Name Age Points Award
Dexter Harris U12 11 Gold
Karthikeya Karpagavinayagam U10 9 Silver
Ethan Cole U8 8 Silver
Blake Harris U10 8 Silver

Secondary School Puzzle Solving champion : Kamal Taufik

Name Age Points Award
Taufik Kamal U12 5 Gold
Umaiorubagam Karpagavinayagam U14 3 Silver

With only 6 players - we still played a swiss - half hoping that some late players would arrive. The risk was how many rounds could we get before we got an impossible round and we would have to do a manual draw and play players against each other more than once. The rules of the qualifiers stipulate that we must play 6 rounds.

Round 1


No Name                          Feder Total  Result   Name                        Feder Total

 1 Taufik Kamal                  U12   [0]      1:0    Blake Harris                U10   [0]  
 2 Umaiorubagam Karpagavinayagam U14   [0]      0:1    Dexter Harris               U12   [0]  
 3 Ethan Cole                    U8    [0]      1:0    Karthikeya Karpagavinayagam U10   [0]  
by Swiss Perfect (TM)

Ethan Cole is definitely a player to watch - at a young age and cable of focusing and playing winning chess. The two Karpagavinayagam brothers are set for some challenging games as they are in a group of very talented and competition prepared regular players. I mentioned this to their father who responded most wisely that its the journey thats important. Loosing is the way to develop and eventually win. Chess is one of those games where loosing is a way of learning. I played at School every lunch time and was fortunate to play a top player who beat me every game - I never beat him but was enthusiastic to play him... my chess improved very quickly. So players my advice is find a person who can beat you and play, play, play regardless of the result.....




Round 2


No Name                        Feder Total  Result   Name                          Feder Total

 1 Dexter Harris               U12   [1]      0:1    Taufik Kamal                  U12   [1]  
 2 Blake Harris                U10   [0]      1:0    Ethan Cole                    U8    [1]  
 3 Karthikeya Karpagavinayagam U10   [0]      1:0    Umaiorubagam Karpagavinayagam U14   [0]  

A close game between Blake and Ethan. Blake wins. Brothers Karthikeya and Umaiorubagam play and the younger brother wins. Its brilliant to see chess played in families. An educational study of the impact of Chess at Schools in Aberdeen noticed that an inadvertent result of encouraging Chess at schools had families playing  - parents, grandparents and siblings. Chess is a brilliant family game enjoyed by all ages.



Round 3


No Name                          Feder Total  Result   Name                        Feder Total

 1 Taufik Kamal                  U12   [2]      1:0    Karthikeya Karpagavinayagam U10   [1]  
 2 Ethan Cole                    U8    [1]      0:1    Dexter Harris               U12   [1]  
 3 Umaiorubagam Karpagavinayagam U14   [0]      0:1    Blake Harris                U10   [1]  

Kamal leads the tournament unbeaten with 3 out of 3.



Round 4


No Name          Feder Total  Result   Name                          Feder Total

 1 Ethan Cole    U8    [1]      0:1    Taufik Kamal                  U12   [3]  
 2 Dexter Harris U12   [2]      1:0    Karthikeya Karpagavinayagam   U10   [1]  
 3 Blake Harris  U10   [2]      1:0    Umaiorubagam Karpagavinayagam U14   [0]  

At round 4 we had a problem we had reached an impasse we couldnt do a legal draw. Much discussion then ensued between myself and James and Geoff. We printed off the cross table and organised a manual pairing. Looking at ensuring we could have everyone playing each other but allowing some pairings to repeat.



Round 5


No Name                        Feder Total  Result   Name                          Feder Total

 1 Taufik Kamal                U12   [4]      1:0    Umaiorubagam Karpagavinayagam U14   [0]  
 2 Karthikeya Karpagavinayagam U10   [1]      0:1    Ethan Cole                    U8    [1]  
 3 Dexter Harris               U12   [3]      1:0    Blake Harris                  U10   [3]

Kamal proves unbeatable. The quality of the games is excellent - we enjoy just watching and calculating and seeing some very accurate play. Also the problems this month at seriously difficult - you have tried the ones in this page you will know and myself and Ross have some challenges working out the solutions!! But hey thats part of the brilliancy of the game.



Round 6


No Name         Feder Total  Result   Name                          Feder Total

 1 Ethan Cole   U8    [2]      1:0    Umaiorubagam Karpagavinayagam U14   [0]  
 2 Taufik Kamal U12   [5]      0:1    Dexter Harris                 U12   [4]  
 3 Blake Harris U10   [3]      1:0    Karthikeya Karpagavinayagam   U10   [1]  

Kamal and Dexter the top players meet for the second time. Kamal makes a mistake and one mistake is all it takes for Dexter to get in and win the game. So we end with two winners on 5 points.




Place Name                          Feder Score 

 1-2  Taufik Kamal                  U12   5       
      Dexter Harris                 U12   5        
  3   Blake Harris                  U10   4        
  4   Ethan Cole                    U8    3        
  5   Karthikeya Karpagavinayagam   U10   1       
  6   Umaiorubagam Karpagavinayagam U14   0        

A brilliant days chess. Rather than keep to our timetable of 1 round every hour. We continued each round shortly after the previous round. The players tended to end their games before the time control. So we finished early - this was in agreement with the parents who stayed to the end.

Our Qualifiers (players in the sections above U12 do not need to qualify) and Champions:

U14 ChampionUmaiorubagam Karpagavinayagam
U12 Champion Kamal Taufik Qualifier
U12 Champion Dexter Harris Qualifier
U10 Champion Blake Harris Qualifier
U8  Champion Ethan Cole Qualifier



The Problem Solutions - elegent and beautiful - improve your game - solve problems everyday.

I do the 5 puzzles on as a free member.

Prob 6

1. Nb5

Prob 7

1. Bh8

Prob 8

1. Bh6

Prob 9

1. ... Nf3+
2. exf Qxf1
3. Bh3+ Kg1
4. Re1 Mate


Prob 10

1. Qg5 ... Qh6

followed by Qg7 Mate

Prob 13

1. ... Rc2+

2. Ka3 Ra1+

3. Kb4 Rc5


4. ... a5 Mate

Prob 14

1. Rd8+ Kh7

2. Rh8+ Kxh8

3. Qxh6+ Bh7


4. Qxg7 Mate

Prob 15

1. ... Rxf4

2. gxf4 Bg2+

3. Bxg2 Rxe1+


4. Rxe1 Qxe1 Mate

Prob 16

1. Bd3 Ng3

2. fxg3 Bc5+


3. Kf1 Qh1 Mate

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