Lightning Championship, 18 September 2012

Controller Ian Hunnable reports on this 10 second buzzer event

Reporting on last night’s event necessarily requires me to report on a personal victory. I was lucky enough to win all seven games; I use that term as, playing while controlling the event, I reckon can cost me anything up to 1½ points due to the distraction element. Moreover, examination of my schedule shows that I was fortunate to avoid being paired (computer pairing) against either Larry Marden or David Spearman and the reason for this becomes the feature of the tournament.

We once again got away late, which is something we need to work on. However, it was a good turnout of 24, including new competitors entering the contest at R2.

David Spearman, highest graded player, had a nightmare start after a first round win, with a draw (Michael Warden) a loss (Larry Marden) and another draw (David Smith), leaving him on 2/4. Larry Marden started with three wins, then lost to Istvan Lengyel in R4, so had 3/4. Meanwhile, I still had a clean score (including wins against Terry Whitton and Paul Barclay) as did Istvan Lengyel who listed Paul Barclay and Larry Marden among his first four scalps. Leaders after 4: Hunnable, Lengyel, 4/4; Marden, Whitton, 3…

The leaders were paired in R5 and was decided by Istvan’s blunder in capturing a knight on d5, allowing the recapture with a pawn to reveal a pinned knight on c6 which was lost to the pawn newly arrived on d5. Terry Whitton inflicted on Larry Marden his second loss in consecutive rounds, so Larry dropped back to 3/5, joining David Spearman on that score. Leaders after 5: Hunnable, 5/5; Whitton, Lengyel, 4; Staniland, Burt, 3½… (Spearman, Marden, 3).

My sixth round opponent was therefore Phil Staniland. We castled on opposite sides, but neither attack progressed very far due to the blocked position and only one open file. The draw was favourite until Philip blundered by placing his queen on the f-file where I could pin his bishop against it, winning the cleric. I had to give up the piece for two pawns in order to open the position, but eventually got the point. Terry beat Istvan while Larry won against David Smith and David Spearman beat Peter Nickals. Leaders after 6: Hunnable, 6/6; Whitton, 5; Burtt 4½; Spearman, Marden, Lengyel, 4…

I managed to complete the clean sweep by capturing Laurie Burtt’s king. Terry cemented second with a draw against David Spearman and Larry finished clear third beating Phil Staniland. The Prize List was completed by Laurie Burtt, David Spearman and Michael Warden finishing in a tie for 4th on 4½ points. The U129 grading prize was won by Kevin Sweeney with 4/6.

So the winner avoids playing his two highest-graded opponents due to their dropping points in the early rounds.

We had the pleasure of welcoming a prospective new member, Steve Rix, who joined the competition in R2 and scored 4/6 including wins against Devdoot Barman, John Keehner and David Smith. Steve will be a useful addition to the membership.

The other entrants in R2, with a view to avoiding a perpetual bye with Steve Rix’s entry, was a “composite team” comprising the dad’s of Devdoot and Alex and playing under the moniker “Two Dads” and alternating their participation. Since I had not indicated to the software any “avoids”, the Two Dad’s were paired in rounds 4 and 6 against their respective offspring. In both instances, the juniors prevailed.

Click here for the full cross table.

Ian Hunnable

19 September 2012

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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