STEVEN Jones became the first Basingstoke player to compete in the top section of the British Chess Championships, writes DAVID GRAHAM.

Jones who recently won the Joe French Cup as the Basingstoke Individual Champion travelled to Torquay and compete in the nine day competition against the strongest players in the country competed in this section including Grand Masters, FIDE Grandmasters, Grandmasters and many of the highest graded players in the country.

Despite being one of the lower graded players Jones held his own for the most part throughout. He scored a very creditable four points out of the nine rounds played. This included two wins and four draws with just three losses.

The competition which was won by Michael Adams who retained his title.

Basingstoke Juniors were well represented in the South of England Championships (Giga Finals).

All sections were played over 6 rounds.

At Under-7 Boys Gavin Wang came second with five points and possibly may have qualified for the National Finals.

His brother Owen Wang scored a very creditable four points in the Under-9 section.

Both the Wang brothers have re-located to the Southampton area.

Also at Under-7 Boys with Gavin Wang was Sid Dixit who had a good tournament finishing with 3½ points.

His brother Vir Dixit held his own and finished with three points in the Under-9s Boys section.

Edison Brown tends to always get above 50 per cent in congress play and again clocked in with 3½ points in the Under-8 Boys groupings.

In the Under-9 Girls Eva Yazaki started well winning her first two games.

However that was as good as it got and despite a few very close games finished on the two points.

The hardest section of all and most competitive was the Under 12 mixed.

The Basingstoke Junior champion Jay Negargar had a decent tournament and finished with three points.

Jenna Fyfe had a solid tournament and scored a creditable 2½ points.

Basingstoke Chess Club meets every Wednesday at the Bridge and Chess Club in Sherborne Road from 7pm.

New and old members welcome.