Eleven-year-old John Leay produced a stunning performance to finish joint runner-up of Lichfield Chess Club’s championship.
John Moughton Leay scored four wins and a draw in his six games and got within two moves of beating the club’s top player and tournament winner, Richard Westwood. Richard’s grade is 191 which is British Championship standard, whilst young John’s grade is still a novice level 75.
Acknowledging the skills of his young opponent Richard said he was on the verge of resigning. “I was embarrassed to get the win” he said.
Club secretary David Short said that as one of the lowest graded players in the club John enjoyed a big time advantage over some opponents, but despite the handicap system it was still rare for a low-rated player to finish amongst the leaders of the club championship.
Earlier this season John won his first two league matches for Lichfield. Joint runner-up with John was club chairman, Peter Collins.