Huge Turnout for Girls' Chess Tournament at Ellen Wilkinson

Competitors at event included two world class players

Eunice Hng and Emmanuelle Hng (back row left, two Woman FIDE Masters with other competitors
Eunice Hng and Emmanuelle Hng (back row left, two Woman FIDE Masters with other competitors

June 25, 2024

84 girls and women from primary school to university graduates competed in a chess tournament this weekend at Ellen Wilkinson School for Girls.

This Sunday (23 June) saw the second ‘She Plays To Win’ (SPTW) free-to-enter competition hosted at the school in Acton. The home side fielded a team of 15 who were representing Ealing Borough in the Secondary School category. In addition, there were five girls from the Ealing Cadets (Ealing Chess Club Junior team) participating in the Primary School category.

Eunice Hng and Emmanuelle Hng, two Woman FIDE Masters (WFM), competed in Sunday's tournament. This is the official title given by the International Chess Federation (FIDE) exclusively to women chess players and is the third-highest ranking after the woman grandmaster and the woman international master titles. Unsurprisingly they dominated the entire tournament giving a masterclass to the other competitors.

In the Secondary and Primary categories, after battling through five rounds of chess over four and half hours, the top six players scored exactly the same number of points. The principal arbiter went through to the fourth round of tie breaking to decide the eventual ranking.

The tournament was officially English Chess Federation (ECF) rated, and it was offered to students and parents free of charge. Free ECF rated chess tournaments are few and far between, with most charging £35-50 per entry.

Prize winners at the tournament at Ellen Wilkinson School
Prize winners at the tournament at Ellen Wilkinson School

Dr Rupa Huq, who served as Ealing Central and Acton’s MP until the calling of the election, was impressed by how hard the girls fought in each round. She also gave a speech and handed out the prizes to the winners.

The organisers were keen to thank Dr Neville Rowden (Secretary of the Ealing Chess Club) and Mr Mark Robinson (Ellen Wilkinson Chess Academy Coach) for assisting saying that without their input, the tournament could not have run so smoothly.

The Ellen Wilkinson School for Girls, a state non-selective secondary girls’ school, has been working closely with the Chess in Schools and Communities to provide free weekly after school chess coaching sessions to students since the start of the current school year. It will continue to work with Mr D'Costa (International Master) to host more chess tournaments to encourage more girls to get involved in playing chess.

The Ellen Wilkinson School for Girls aims to host the second Ealing Secondary School chess tournament in 2024-25.

SPTW is a chess charity founded by Mr D'Costa (International Master and England Women's International team coach) to promote chess among girls.

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