Experions: Telex Championship Results!

Move Over Miss Harmon!

By Mike Basman, January 2021

Anya Taylor-Joy (aka Beth Harmon) is not the only chess celebrity to grace the silver screen.  From Parkside School in Surrey comes 9 year old Sammy Leakey, recent victor in the Wey Valley Telex Tournament and co-star in the film, Gretel and Hansel, a reworking of the classic fairy tale which was so successful it reached third spot in the US film charts last year.

In the tournament Sammy set a scorching pace winning his first 4 games, so a loss in the 5th game did not endanger his victory;  added to that, most of his opponents were 4-5 years older than him. Scroll to the bottom for full results.

Here is an example of his energetic style:-

White:  Sammy Leakey                                  Black:  Anon

Chess.com grade: 1162                                 Chess.com grade: 1149

  1. e4, e6
  2. Nf3, d5
  3. Nc3, Bb4
  4. dxc3, exd5
  5. Qe2+

The queen check is not the best attacking choice by Sammy, as black can now offer an exchange of queens.

Position after 5. Qe2+

6… Qe7!
7. Ne5, f6
8. Nd3, Be6
9. Bf4, Kd7?

The king move is a rather extravagant way to connect the rooks. 9 … Kf7 was much safer.

10. b4!

Sammy spots a tactical chance, which his opponent misses.

10… Nc6?

Automatic development is always dangerous against a tactician.

11. Nc5+!  This wins a piece outright.

Position after 9… Kd7?

11… Ke8
12. Nxe6, Nh6

Another punch drunk move by black.  The magic solution was still 12 … Kf7!

13 Nxc7+!  White is rampant; a rook falls to the knight fork.

13… Kd7
14. Nxa8, Rxa8
15. 0-0-0!

Sammy does not forget the need to complete development, rather than simply continuing the onslaught.

15… Re8
16. Rxd5+!

The recently mobilised rook comes crashing in!

Position after 12… Nh6

16… Kc8
17. Qc4

The tactics keep coming.  White has a pin up his sleeve by 18 b5 or even a deadly check mate after the variation 17… Qe1+ 18. Kb2, Qxf2 19. Qxc6+!! bxc6 20. Ba6 ++!

So black actually played

17… g5
18. Bg3, f5

This pawn surge gives black some respite – but not for long.

19. h3, f4
20. Bh2, Kb8

Position after 17. Qc4

Black is hoping to float his king to safety.  Now the bishop is shut out on h2.  But the bishop will not stay buried for ever.

Position after 20… Kb8

21. g3!  Qe1+,
22. Kb2, Rc8
23. gxf4, Na5

This spectacular discovered attack on the white queen is the key to black’s counter play.

But Sammy simply walks through the opposition with a discovered check of his own!

24 fxg5+! Rc7
25. Qxc7+, Ka8
26. Rd8 ++

Game ends with white two rooks, 4 pawns, and one king ahead!

Position after 23… Na5

Full Results

 Competitor123456Total
1. Sammy Leakeyx3133313
2. Advika Konala1x133311
3. Rohan Bhalla33x11311
4. Advait Bendale113x139
5. Pratyush Joshi1133x19
6. Nathaniel Schofield11113x7

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