We have decided to sponsor local chess player Jude Shearsby after hearing about his rise to becoming one of the West Midlands’ strongest competitors, even though he is only 13 years of age.
Known as ‘The Juggernaut’, Jude is currently in the top five juniors in England. At the British Chess Championships last summer, he scored an impressive 5/9 in the Open section, where he faced some of the British Isles’ strongest adults and juniors. The Midlands Counties Chess Union selected him as 2023 Midland chess champion.
Representing England in several tournaments a couple of years back, Jude played at the European Youth Championships, held in Slovakia and in Latvia. However, due to costs, he had to turn down a chance to play in the same tournament in Romania last September. In fact, Jude is also having to miss various events in England as he chases the coveted FIDE Master title.
Chess is an inexpensive activity to play casually, but for Jude to be competitive and play in big tournaments, he needs finance for travel, accommodation and entry fees.
Imagine being a rising Premier League footballer who is respected throughout the game…but not given a wage, expenses or even a lift to a match. How difficult would it be to play in away fixtures? European games? Representing your country on the biggest stages? All very tricky. That’s kind of the boat Jude is in. Only football has never struggled for money. Chess…well, unlike other countries, we don’t back our young prodigies.
For this reason, we have decided to get the ball rolling, backing Jude with £500. We hope other businesses will learn about Jude and consider providing some assistance too… he is a true credit to the West Midlands.