Junior members of Watford Chess Club are celebrating success in local and national competitions.

Two youngsters topped their age-groups at the Hertfordshire junior championships held earlier this month in St Albans.

Seven-year-old Jeff Tomy won the under-11 event, winning four and drawing two of his six games against opponents up to three years older. Jeff, who attends Laurance Haines School in Watford, started playing chess at the age of three and has twice represented England in the world school chess championship.

Eight-year-old Divyesh Bansal started playing chess last year but won the under-nine event. Divyesh attends Nascotwood Junior School and this was his second success after being runner-up in his event at the London junior championships in December. Divyesh won five of his six games, drawing the other.

Adithya Pramod Paleri also took up the game a year ago. The eight-year-old has already won the English under-eight quickplay championship in December, being runner-up in the south of England under-nine championship in January and clinching the West of England under-10 title earlier this month.

Watford Observer:

Adithya Pramod Paleri holding his trophy

Adithya, who also attends Nascotwood Junior School, is poised to top the national rankings to be England’s top under-9 player.

Chris Byrne, the junior club’s organiser, said: "It’s worth stressing that Adithya and Divyesh began playing only a year or so ago.

"But youngsters with an aptitude for the game learn very fast and they, along with Jeff and Yueyang, are now taken deadly seriously by adult opponents."

The club, which meets on Tuesday evenings in central Watford, currently has 10 junior members with a number of other youngsters learning the game.

For more details, visit watfordchessclub.com.