With COVID restrictions easing ever more, the Jersey Chess Club were delighted to be able to host the Jersey Chess Open competition, which this year was held in the Long Room of the United Club, located on the picturesque outskirts of Jersey's Royal Square.
This annual chess competition is steeped in history with the first ever Jersey Chess Championship being held in 1936. Excluding the World War Years and 2021 due to COVID, this competition has run every year without fail.
While the Club welcomed more than 30 avid chess players to participate in the Open this year, they were delighted to host the inaugural Women's chess competition with nine eager female players competing to be the first ever Jersey Women's champion.
Monika is pictured top left as Jersey's first ever Women's Chess Champion.
And the inaugural competition did not disappoint, with a hugely memorable and climactic finish thanks to Jersey's two star female players; Monika Ashbrooke and Lula Roberts, who finished on 7.5/8 and drew their first play-off match. They won 7 matches out of 8 only drawing with each other in the league resulting in an exciting end to the first ever Jersey Women’s Championship.
It is worth noting that Lula, who came second in the competition has only been playing chess for 18 months and has since been selected for the all Women's team to compete in the upcoming 44th Chess Olympiad in Chennai, India later this month.
What Lula has achieved in the past 18 months is incredible. She is a real star in the making and one to watch. We must also mention Rachel Ruddy, who finished in a very close third place. Rachel scored 6/8, and only lost to Monika and Lula, so you can see how incredibly close this competition has been.
Even though Rachel placed third in the competition, this won't dampen her enthusiasm, as she has also, thanks to her strong play, has been selected to join Monika and Lula in the all-female chess team competing at this year's Chess Olympiad. NB ; Rachel was also the top female player in the Jersey Open Championship, finishing ahead of Monika and Lula.
This year, the Women's team is also represented by some very young chess players. Out of the five competing in the upcoming Chess Olympiad, three of the players are aged 18 or under; Yasmin Forbes (14), Daisy Carpenter (16), and Jem Gurner (18).
SaSo are absolutely delighted to have been able to sponsor the Club and the inaugural Women's competition and wishes all the contestants luck in their future games, especially at the Chess Olympiad!