Ali Roy – the 2007 winner
Chess Scotland is pleased to announce that this year's winner of the Cherie Booth QC Award for the Scottish Girl Player of the Year is Ali Roy.
Ali's main achievements as a player during the period of the Award (September 2006-August 2007) were British Under 12 Girls Champion, British Chess Association Under 12 Girls Rapidplay Champion, Scottish Girls Champion 2006+2007 and Scottish Under 1500 Champion.
Ali who is 12, plays for Carrick Chess club and was unbeaten in seven of her league games which proved an important factor in helping Carrick move up to division one for the first time in thirty years.
Aside from playing chess, Ali has developed and applied her skills as a coach in her school and chess club. She has also helped run competitions at her club.
Many of Ali's exploits have excited media interest both locally and nationally. On seeing her photo in the press, she received a personal letter from Scottish Parliament, MSP Cathy Jamieson wishing her future success. She has been honoured with a "Scroll of Appreciation " from Maybole Community Council to mark her contribution to the quality of life in Maybole and bringing recognition to Maybole through media attention in her involvement with National and International chess achievements. She has done radio interviews promoting girls chess and has been involved in contributing her games to Scottish Chess Magazine and helped towards the CS Junior website.
To fund many of her tournaments Ali has sold her own home made tablet (with special help from her Gran) and has also worked in the local charity shop.
On a sadder note there was a chance that Ali may not have been contesting for player of the year. In January Ali unexpectedly announced she didn't want to play chess anymore. Moving to secondary school she discovered that being a chess player could encourage negative reactions too. Hopefully in the future when Ali matures she will be able to raise the Image of Chess by turning her negative experiences into positive ones to help others.
WFM Amy Officer – highly commended
Last year's Award winner, Amy Officer also caught the judges' eyes this year.
Amy's main achievement as a player since achieving the Fide Master title was becoming British Chess Association Under 16 Rapidplay Champion. She was captain and board 1 of the Scottish team that won the Faber Cup. She was also captain and board 1 player for the Scottish Under 18 Girls' Team that participated in the European Youth Team Championships in Subotica, Serbia.
Amy is 15 and continues to play chess at local and international level despite the pressures of GCSE Higher Exams.
Amy plays for Carse of Gowrie Chess Club, coaches the beginner players and is a committee member.
Amy coaches at Hillside Primary School and has supported and encouraged the players at a number of junior tournaments. In August 2007 Amy was approached by Perth High School to set up and run the Perth High School Chess Club.
Amy is a junior representative of the Chess Scotland Council.
Amy was the sole junior presenter at the CISCCON International conference held in Aberdeen in August. She co-presented a paper ‘ Introducing Chess into the Curriculum Through the Medium of Problem Solving' in the main auditorium to an audience of chess organisers and players from around the World. This resulted in a great deal of media interest and a few local and national newspapers ran articles on the event. The Scotsman ran a two-page article highlighting Amy's involvement in the presentation. As a result of her presentation, Amy was offered a job teaching chess at a private chess school in Australia. She intends taking up this offer in her gap year from school.
Amy has continued to actively raise money for chess during junior tournaments by creating and selling chess puzzles. Money raised at the Perth Congress was used to provide prize money for juniors who scored well. Money raised at the Glenrothes Congress was used to defray tournament costs.
She has participated and passed in the Course for Arbiters making her the youngest qualified Arbiter in Scotland. She has also been involved in arbiting tournaments.
Amy continues to run the CS Juniors website which she designed and launched in 2005 and has received almost 10,000 hits. She the author of the majority of the reports and she continually updates the pages with new information.
The judges would like to thank everyone who took time to nominate a player for the Cherie Booth QC Award. They also thank every girl who took part in chess events in Scotland throughout the Award period, who in a real sense are all winners!
IM Keti Arakhamia-Grant, WFM Elaine Rutherford and IM Stephen Mannion