Rapidplay Championship, 24 March 2012

Marden makes it a hat-trick of successive top finishes but fails to retain his title.

Three-way tie for first but David Spearman lifts the trophy for the first time.

Tournament controller Mark Murrell reports

In an unorthodox Swiss tournament from the outset played over 6 rounds of 20 minutes per player games with 10 seconds added from the start, David Spearman is the new and third Rapid Play Champion thanks to his early wins, despite only having drawn with fellow final leaders Larry Marden and Philip Staniland (who managed to avoid a head to head encounter between themselves).  Together these three amigos shared the prize fund for a placed finish; pushing the stand-in controller out of the prizes when he eventually succumbed to Philip Staniland in the penultimate round having survived encounters with Messrs Marden and Whitton.

In what was trailed as an expected close competition, so it proved with a mere 4½ points being enough to win this year’s tightly fought championship contested between 12 men and 2 ladies on a balmy summer’s day, causing four entrants to take the sun instead.

Larry Marden has top scored in every year of this young competition, losing out also on tie break to Ian Hunnable in the inaugural championship.

The U140 grading prize was shared between David Smith and new member Naomi Wei each on 3½ points.  Naomi had particularly tough competition having drawn Larry Marden in the first round “outbooking” him to secure a well earned draw and as it turned out ruin Larry’s hope of retaining his title.

Paul Barclay and Terry Whitton proved to be more wily opponents for Naomi though at the outset Paul was outsmarted by Peter Nickals, who peaked to early.  Terry Whitton, always in the hunt having kept Philip in the stalls early on and having only lost half a point (to the controller) by lunch came off second best to Messrs Spearman and Marden in the afternoon.

Click here for the full cross-table.

About johnu175
I am John Philpott, a keen chess player, belonging to Wanstead & Woodford and Insurance Chess Clubs, and a former long-standing match captain of the Essex U175/U180 team and the Wanstead National Club team. I also hold many administrative posts, including ECF Company Secretary and Financial Controller, although I am looking to wind these down following my retirement to Mersea Island.

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