On Tuesday four Copthorne children ranging between the ages of 8-9 set off to Great Walstead to compete against 12 other teams in the final round of the U14 Butler Chess Cup. Despite their youth, Copthorne held their own in both their chess playing and general attitude. They were not fazed by the age and size of their opponents, and played each game with their usual flare and confidence. The first round was against Rydon A team; Copthorne won 2, drew 1 and lost 1. This kept us top of the region and subsequently we played Windlesham in the next round. Unbeknown to Copthorne, they were about to play against four county players of which three play for England. Although we were beaten in all the matches I believe the children gave them a good run for their money. Despite their loss Joshua, Jamie, Freya and Emma took it with good grace and were pleased to come 2nd overall. The Butler Cup has been running over several months and Tuesday’s final was the culmination of the effort from other Copthorne chess players who could not attend this final leg due to other school commitments. These children deserve equal praise; Harry, Andrew and Sarena. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Jonathan Tuck as his boundless enthusiasm and guidance has clearly helped put Copthorne on the Chess map, so to speak. There are now 23 children who play chess in the Prep School afterschool activity with a good strong group coming through pre-prep.

Copthorne’s chess future looks very bright indeed.