Duo staying in check for national glory

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BURY Knights Junior Chess Club members Mario Saenz de Villaverde and Anita Somton have fought their way through to the National Finals of the UK’s largest and most prestigious chess tournament.

Competing against more than 60,000 children from around the country, nine-year-old Mario Saenz de Villaverde and eight-year-old Anita Somton, both from Bury St Edmunds, as well as former Knight member 14-year-old Emilia Jewell from Ingham, have won local, regional and national rounds to reach the last 300 qualifiers.

They will all now continue their quest for national glory when they play in the Terafinal of the Delancey UK Schools Chess Tournament, to be held in Loughborough in mid-August.

Competing in Derby last weekend against some of the strongest youngsters in the country, Somton won the Under-8 girls section, scoring an amazing five and half points out of six with five wins and one draw.

Saenz scored five in the Under-9 boys section, losing only to the eventual winner, while Jewell won four games and drew two, to finish second in her group.

Both Saenz and Somton are members of the Bury Knights Junior Chess Club , which celebrates its 20th anniversary this September, Emilia is a former member, who now plays regularly for the adult Bury St Edmunds Chess Club.