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Thirty years ago England had the second best world chess team, silver medallists in the biennial Olympiad behind the golden Soviets led by Garry Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov.

Now, England again has serious contenders, albeit with a wide disparity of decades.

In the global rankings for under-nines (yes, they exist) Shreyas Royal of Woolwich, London, is rated 1,966 and is No4 behind an American and two Ukrainians. Last Saturday he held his own in the strong DeMontford Bell Kings Place one-day open where the £1,000 first prize went to the three-time British champion David Howell.

Another nine-year-old, Denis Dupuis, had the only 100 per cent score with 6/6 in the Minor. This represents good strategy by the English Chess Federation, because today’s promising nine-year-olds are the 12 to 13-year-old masters and grandmasters of tomorrow. They learn fast from computers, which are stronger than any human coach.

At the other end of the age spectrum, England’s all-GM squad are the No3 seeds behind the US and Germany in the senior over-50 world team championship at Dresden, which has its final rounds (7.30am start!) this weekend and is viewable, live and free with move by move computer commentary, on www.chess24.com.

Puzzle 2272

White mates in three moves (by Fritz Giegold, Basler Nachrichten 1975). Just a single forced line of play, but still a test of ingenuity.

Click here for solution

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