Coulsdon 3 too strong for Kingston 4

Kingston 4 v Coulsdon 3, Surrey League division 5 match played at the Willoughby Arms, Kingston on 4 March 2024

Coulsdon 3 came to Kingston with a nice blend of youth and experience, and in the end were a little too strong for the home side, running out 4-2 winners in a well-contested match. But it was close: the board 2 game could have gone either way until time pressure told on the Kingston player.

Brother and sister Venkata and Aahna Kilambi both scored wins for Coulsdon. Venkata on top board looked an especially fine prospect, and his rating is already daunting in the Minor Trophy – division 5 of the Surrey League and designed to be a training division (with no promotion or relegation). Venkata will soon be progressing into the main league, part of Coulsdon’s never-ending supply of strong juniors (we will try not to be too jealous). On the plus side for Kingston were fine wins for Leon Mellor-Sewell and Robin Kerremans, both making their club debuts. Leon asked whether he got a GM norm for his win, but I assume he was joking. He and Robin are great additions to the club.

Young Jaden Mistry lost on board 4 against Bartosz Wojtowicz, and David Bickerstaff was very unlucky to lose on board 2 against Anuj Venkatesh, blundering a piece in time trouble in a position that may have been winning. That made it 4-2 to Coulsdon, but the great thing about this division is that, rather than bemoaning the lost half-point and worrying about the danger of relegation, we can celebrate the fact that a dozen up-and-coming players had an evening of highly competitive but pressure-free (because no promotion or relegation) chess.

Stephen Moss