The main playing hall
The third 4ncl team and second individual
rapidplay took place at Harben House DeVere
venue in Newport Pagnell last weekend. The team
event had 27 teams and the individual had 74
players. The organisers generously agreed to
allow any players playing in the team event to
have free entry to the individual. The time
limit was 10 minutes plus an increment of 5
seconds a move.
top seeds in the team event were Pride &
Prejudice comprising GMs Mark Hebden, Tony
Kosten and Aaron Summerscale as well as IM
Thomas Rendle. Second seeds were NACCPO 1
comprising GMs Gawain Jones and Keith Arkell, IM
Lawrence Cooper and one of Englandís most
promising juniors, Brandon Clarke. After that
there appeared plenty of talented teams
including the Youth team of Yang-Fan Zhou,
Callum Kilpatrick, Sam Franklin and Subin Sen as
well as strong Barbican, Bristol and Cambridge
University teams. Metropolitan Police also
included GM William Watson in their team.
Congratulations to Barbican 1 who won the team
event and defeated both their nearest rivals
NACCPO 1 and Pride & Prejudice. Over the years,
Barbican have often defeated teams rated well
above them and this event proved no exception.
Despite the late withdrawal of GM Jonathan
Parker the team of John Cox, Matthew Piper,
Peter Poobalasingam and Rafe Martyn finished a
game point clear of the field despite trailing
NACCPO by a game point going into the last
round. Whilst Barbican had a convincing 4-0
victory NACCPO struggled to a 2-2 draw with
Bristol and even this score flattered them. It
was just enough for NACCPO to gain second place
ahead of Pride & Prejudice though.
For those wondering what
stands for it is The National Alliance of
Childhood Cancer Parent Organisations. My
association with them stems back to when I
worked at RAF Stafford and one of my work
colleagues had a son who became ill with
leukaemia. Although he made a full recovery, I
have kept links to the charity and although my
fund raising days are virtually over now I still
keep in contact and use the charity name where
possible to give them some free publicity and
hopefully increase their public profile (hence
this shameless plug!).
The highest individual scores in the team event
were Matthew Piper of Barbican with an amazing
8.5/9, Victor Jones of RSI with 7.5/9 and the
following players all scored 7, William Watson
who represented Metropolitan Police, Keith
Arkell & myself from NACCPO 1, Sue Maroroa from
NACCPOís U175 team, Aaron Summerscale of Pride &
Prejudice and Yang-Fan Zhou of the Youth team.
Yang-Fan Zhou who also finished 3rd= in the
||Pride & Prejudice
Click to see the team cross-table and further
details of the event.
The individual event appeared to be between the
three GMs Gawain Jones, Mark Hebden and Keith
Arkell. As was the case in the team event,
though, results didnít run according to grading.
Mark Hebden raced to 5/5 whilst Keith lost
ground with a defeat to David Buckley in round 3
and Gawain started with 1.5/3. Mark then lost
ground losing to Thomas Rendle in round 6 and
Craig Pritchett in round 7. Thomasís outright
lead was short-lived though as defeat to Keith
Arkell in round 7 left several players in the
joint lead on 6/7. Keith defeated Craig whilst
Tom defeated Yang-Fan to leave Keith & Tom joint
leaders on 7/8 with Keith downfloating to Alexei
Slavin with black and Tom facing James Sherwin
with white. While early draw offers from the
leaders were rejected Tom went on to win
comfortably to reach 8 whilst Keith had a hard
fought draw ending in perpetual leaving Keith on
7.5 and Alexei on 7 along with Mark Hebden and
Click to see the individual cross-table.
Whilst I think the event has the potential to
become very popular and successful it is clear
that improvements can be made in future years.
For example, having the matches split over two
rooms with initially pairings only available in
one room was a problem, but fortunately Claire
Summerscale was kind enough to remedy this.
I should point out that Claire Summerscale, Mike
Truran, the captains and the arbiters did
everything they could to limit the disruption
and I am confident that the event will become an
established and successful part of the
tournament calendar, which I look forward to
playing in again in the future.
Matthew Piper v William Watson
I should also mention that the live coverage of
the top two matches was a welcome innovation and
allowed those not at the venue to witness all
the blunders, thrills and spills as they took
place live. The venue and playing conditions
were also good with several internet terminals
available outside the room where the top three
matches were accommodated.
Nicholas Thomas (above
right) of NACCPO 2 mated with bishop and knight
in the team event.
(right) Matthew Piper
scored an amazing 8.5/9 faces GM William Watson.
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