News 2015 English Schools Team Problem Solving Championship - Solving


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English Schools Team Problem Solving Championship - Solving
Written by Brian Stephenson   
Article Index
English Schools Team Problem Solving Championship
Round 1
Round 2
Round 3
Round 4
Round 5
All Pages


Before the start I explained that teams could hand in their solutions early if they wished and that time spent would be used to break any ties. I then advised them strongly that if they did this, they should check their answers carefully as I wouldn’t be handing their answer sheets back for second thoughts. Not all of the teams took this advice. Phill warned the teams about talking loudly and inadvertently giving answers away to other teams.

Round one was meant to be easy, and so it almost proved. First up were The Abbey School in just four minutes and a perfect score. Second up were Hampton, a minute later and also with a perfect score. Third up were Westminster, but they got the first one wrong. Fourth up were King’s School, Grantham in ten minutes but with no mistakes. Last to finish were Portsmouth High, who got just one wrong and took 19 minutes.

I was pleasantly surprised to note that the room was very quiet. I suspected that it was quieter than the room in which they were actually playing chess.

The ‘mates in 2’ in round 2 were more challenging. Even so, Hampton handed in in just 7 minutes. Sadly for them, they got the third one wrong. Grantham, Westminster and The Abbey School took longer and got full points. Portsmouth took 15 minutes, but only got the first one right.

The third round, the selfmates, is where Grantham started to pull ahead. They were the only team to score full points, and took just 22 minutes. Hampton and Westminster handed in earlier, but each dropped a point on the second problem.

The fourth round, the helpmates, saw Grantham maintain their perfect score and they handed in in 25 minutes. All the other teams took full time but dropped points, with Westminster just missing the second solution to the third problem.

Nobody handed in early in the fifth round and nobody got full points. The top score came from Hampton, but it wasn’t enough to catch Grantham up and so King’s School Grantham won by 8.5 points, scoring 70 out of 75. A very worthy effort. Their teacher afterwards admitted that they had been preparing by solving chess problems, so their first place was well-deserved. The last I saw of them, as everybody left Imperial College, they were headed towards King’s Cross Station, to pay homage at platform 9¾.

The detailed results table is below. The columns shaded in green record the time taken. The problems set, and their solutions, can be found in the following five pages. After that there is a selection of photographs taken at the event by Phill Beckett.

King's School Grantham5551055527555225.05.05.0255.05.00.03070.0114
Hampton School55555507545185.00.05.0305.05.02.53061.590
Westminster School055755522545152.55.02.5305.00.00.03054.0104
The Abbey School Reading555455516543222.50.00.0305.00.00.03049.5102
Portsmouth High School5051950015001240.00.00.0300.00.00.03016.0118

Last Updated on Sunday, 26 April 2015 13:16
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