A fairytale finish for the Portelli family from Żurrieq as masters Timothy and Isaac secured top spot in the under-10 and under-8 categories at this year’s Junior Chess Championship.

The competition, organised by the Malta Chess Federation (MCF), was held last week at Stella Maris College in Gżira where junior chess is on the up thanks to the efforts of College director Brother David, a keen chess enthusiast himself, and members of the MCF.

Matthew Bugeja was runner-up in the U-8 tournament. Second place in the U-10 went to Michael Farrugia, who had a great run, while Gabriel Grima finished third with 3/5 points.

‘Eternal rivals’ Jamie Farrugia, Adrian Cutajar and Gabriel Farrugia were involved in a gruelling three-round title decider on the last day of the competition in the U-12 category.

At the end, Jamie Farrugia’s cool nerves won her the day as she beat her rivals in time-troubled Blitz games to win the U-12 title. Gabriel Farrugia was second ahead of Cutajar.

In the U-14 category, the overall winner was Jean Pierre Xuereb. He won four out of five games. Julian Camilleri and Max Depasquale were second and third respectively.

A special mention goes to Matthias Parnis for his good showing on his debut, Benjamin Zammit for his quick mind to resolve difficult chess puzzles during the break time and Tristan Vella and Rafel Grima for their positive attitude.

Stephen Farrugia, on behalf of the MCF, thanked the participants and their numerous relatives for their continuous support as well as Brother David, of Stella Maris, for hosting the competition.

Farrugia reminded the participants that success requires effort and in chess, the key is studying.

Raymond Azzopardi, the tournament director, distributed the prizes to the winners.

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