Rapid Chess update

League Cup Double as Kyan Bui wins inaugural John Philpott Trophy

Mark Murrell reports

Finchley Cup Final

Last Monday saw Chingford 2 and Wanstead 3 compete in the Finchley Cup Final, in the only extended board match of this season’s competition. As usual with our matches against Chingford teams, it was a rather tense affair and in the balance almost to the end of the final game to finish in the second leg of matches.

The Finchley Cup is a knockout competition for Clubs who have teams in Division B and lower of the North Circular League with first team nominated players barred from participating under the current rules. The first team had earlier won the equivalent competition for Division A teams having defeated Barking 1 in the final of the Lawrance Cup.

Both clubs strengthened their teams for the final. Gavin Hughes made just his third second team appearance for Chingford having only played in their first two league matches. For Wanstead Paul Bancroft came in for Paul Barclay and new member Alin Chirea-Florica provided Wanstead’s additional fire power in the absence of Keith Jones. Regulars Philip Staniland, Mark Murrell, Kyan Bui and David Smith made up the rest of the Wanstead team, reflecting all the players who had expressed an interest in playing. On paper Wanstead had a significant Rapid grading advantage, though many of the Chingford side are more dangerous than their ratings suggest.

Philip got the team off to an excellent start with an early win over Robin Oakley whilst Mark and Gavin exchanged errors and agreed terms before anymore could be played. Kyan increased the Wanstead lead only for Andrew Allison to get the better of David Smith. Paul and Alin drew their games to give Wanstead a point lead going into the second leg.

Second legs are notorious for turning matches on their heads and this started to live up to expectation. Mark paid the penalty for too airy an opening but Kyan did the double to keep the Wanstead lead but this was extinguished soon after when Robin got his revenge over Philip. All square with three to play. As the round progressed the match looked like being in the bag. Alin had a positional advantage with the white pieces and David had won material, though as usual Paul’s game could only be described as unclear. Alin converted to retake the lead but David’s opponent had created a passed pawn and a significant time advantage with Rose v Bancroft  in the balance.

Tie break of bottom board elimination was coming into play. A loss on 6 and a draw on 2 would have seen the scores level with Kyan’s double wins in danger of not counting in the tie break. As he entered his last minute David had the match play experience to offer the draw in a position where it was difficult for his opponent to make progress without risking entering a losing position. That was enough to give Wanstead the match on tie break. With both Peter and Paul playing for the win, it was Paul who broke through first to make the win decisive. A gutsy performance from Chingford who were in the match right to the dying minutes. Wanstead did just enough to regain the Finchley Cup by 7-5 from our opponents and to give the Club its second league Cup double.

John Philpott Trophy

The Finchley and Lawrance Cups were just two competitions where the game points won by members counted towards the inaugural John Philpott Trophy for the best aggregated performance across all of the Club’s rapid chess events. The battle for this new trophy started back at the end of the May with Bonanza Night, the club’s openings fixtures in the North Circular Summer Rapid League. In addition to the two NCCL Cup and the Essex Knockout competitions, points scored in our Rapid Championship, played in February, were also included. This season will also include the match results from our first international challenge match, in what is our 75th season, against Aix-en-Provence later this month, though they will not affect the destination of this trophy.

In his second full season, the first winner of this trophy, and a most deserving win at that, is Kyan Bui, who has led from the outset. In the Rapid Championship he finished 5th with a +13  grading performance (on his January grade) and in match play he had a success rate in excess of 80%. His rapid chess success over the year has resulted in +29 grading performance (on his July grade). John would certainly have approved of the effort to become the first name on a WWCC trophy; a first of many more I suspect. Well done Kyan!

Mark Murrell

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