ESCC: Another Magic Day for Zoe at the European Schools Chess Championships

Someone commented to me in an email that the reference to Magic seemed a little incongruous in yesterday’s blog. Read on to the end today and hopefully it will make some sense.

After Zoe’s successes over the first few days, she’d moved up to board 2, and so appeared in the live boards in a game vs the top seed, her highest-rated opponent to date in a serious game. I made an agreement with Zoe not to watch the on-line progress, but I know some of you were following her progress.

Her opponent avoided the main preparation from the morning, but Zoe had a surprise response up her sleeve which seemed to do the trick and so with some solid play Zoe gained a significant advantage in the opening. However, despite Zoe being a pawn up, her opponent played well to ensure that the game was heading for a draw, and as soon as the 40-move limit was up, a draw offer was made and accepted.

Marianne and Liza had already finished. Liza had been able to bounce back from her disappointment in round 3 to move on to 2/4, but unfortunately success was still eluding Marianne. The round start time had been moved forward to 3pm to avoid a potentially distracting air display in the town this weekend, so with the relatively quick games (<4 hours) all the girls were back at the analysis room in time to celebrate (their team mate) Asha Jina’s birthday and watch some of the display.

Ice cream lovers will be aware of the Magnum choc-ice on a stick. Well, in Greece this is known as a Magic and there are many variations of it on sale.


Zoe has been rewarded with one each time she wins (or draws against a high-rated player). Hence the first win earned a Classic Magic, the second (on 2 points) a Double Choc and this draw (playing as White) a White Magic. I wonder how far through the selection she will get by the end of this tournament?

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Andrew Varney

Andrew is an ECF-accredited chess coach and very active in coaching juniors in the Oxfordshire area on a professional basis. He attends Cumnor Chess Club when he gets a chance to take a break from coaching on Thursday nights. One of the books he recommends to his students is ‘How to Beat Your Dad at Chess’ but his own children are definitely beyond the point of needing such a reference!

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