Letchworth chess players go head to head with best in the south – with one reaching national final

Letchworth's Abigail Lloyd with her third-place certificate from the southern gigafinal of the Delan

Letchworth's Abigail Lloyd with her third-place certificate from the southern gigafinal of the Delancey UK Schools' Chess Challenge. Picture: Stephen Lloyd - Credit: Archant

Three young chess players from Letchworth have tested their skills against the very best in southern England – with one of them qualifying for the national final.

Abigail Lloyd, Hilary Bexfield and Luke Garner took part in the southern gigafinal of the Delancey UK Schools’ Chess Challenge in Twickenham on Sunday – having qualified through success at their club heat in Letchworth and then the Herts county finals in May.

Highfield School’s Abigail Lloyd achieved third place in the girls’ under-14 section, securing her a place in next month’s national terafinal against winners from northern England and Scotland.

Her dad Stephen told the Comet: “We’re all extremely proud that Abigail’s done so well – and she should be proud of herself too.”

Hilary Bexfield from St Francis’ College and Luke Garner of Fearnhill School also performed well against strong competition, winning three and 1½ out of six games respectively in the girls’ under-13 and boys’ under-14 sections.

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More than 40,000 pupils took part in this year’s chess challenge, with only four per cent of them reaching the gigafinal stage.

This was the third gigafinal in which Abigail and Luke have competed, and the second for Hilary. All three are members of the Letchworth Junior Chess and Go Club.

The club meets at the Central Methodist Church Hall in Norton Way South on Thursday nights. To find out more about it, see letchworth-go.org.uk.

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