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

Rapid Championship Regained

Whitton-Hunnable R6, Black to move. See full report for continuation.

Mark Murrell reports:

In an impressive undefeated performance Ian Hunnable, has won the Rapid Championship for the second time. With a score of 5½ out of 6, Ian improved slightly on his 2010 performance in the inaugural event and whilst controlling the all-day tournament as well.

In the nine years of the competition only David Spearman has achieved multiple titles though Ian is the only player to have won with and without time increments. The 2011 event saw the introduction of the current time control of all moves in 20 minutes with 10 seconds increments changing from a flat 30 minutes in use for the opening event.

Prize List

1st – Ian Hunnable, 5½/6; Rapid Champion
2nd – Mark Murrell, 4½
Grading Prize – Nigel White 90, 3/3 – Performance 119 (+29).

For Mark’s full report and the Tournament pages (round-by-round pairings and results) follow the links:

Mark’s report (pdf) | Tournament pages

News Round-up

Blitz Championship

John Hodgson Masterclass

The New Year activities opened on 2 January, when 22 members contested the Blitz Championship. John Hodgson put on a masterclass of Blitz Chess, in winning with a clean score of 7/7, two points clear of his nearest rival, Steve Rix, second on 5/7.

Grading Performance prizes went to Kyan Bui (+36 =164 off a starting grade of 128) and Philip Staniland (+14 =172 off a starting grade of 158).

Blitz Championship tournament pages

Club Championship

In Round 5 of the Club Championship, Manuel Perez Carballo defeated leader-after-four, Vladimir Parols. Manuel now shares the lead with David Spearman on 4½/5.

Round 6 is played on Tuesday 30 January, except for members who have been granted dispensation to play on another date.

Club Championship pairings and results

Wanstead win the Lawrance Cup

W&W 4½-3½ Barking

The first trophy of the season was won in the North Circular League team Rapid Knockout for Division A teams, the Lawrance Cup. On Tuesday, 16 January, the Club defeated Barking at home 4½-3½ in a thriller. The first round was shared 2-2, though Barking held the tie-break advantage. Matters were so close as the contest neared its conclusion, that a replay was on the cards, before Steve Rix shaded his game against Peter Jaszkiwskyj to clinch the Cup.

Match details

Wanstead lead NC Division A and reach Finchley Cup Final

A successful North Circular evening, Thursday 18 January, saw the Club defeat Chingford 1 in Division A to take the lead in the Division and reach the Final of the Finchley Cup – the NCL team Rapid knockout for Division B teams. The Finchley Cup match was an all-Wanstead affair

W&W 1 5-2 v Chingford

FC4 3-7 FC3

Mark’s Report

Links: Planner | Statistics Home

It’s a tie


Handicap Blitz Grand Prix 1 – 7 November 2017

The first in this season’s Grand Prix series saw a pulsating struggle which ended with Lightning Champion, Mark Murrell, tied with Steve Rix on 5½/7.

It was four rounds before a clear leader emerged, in the shape of Mark Murrell on 4/4, followed by Philip Staniland, Vladimir Parols and Charlton Siddo, all on 3. Steve Rix at this point had 2½. The chasing pack were happy to see Charlton take a half off Mark in Round 5, but Steve was still a point behind Mark, whose lead on 4½/5 was cut to half a point over Vladimir, 4.

Everything went back into the melting pot in Round 6, with Steve (3½) beating Mark (4½) to join him in the lead. However, more joined the party with Charlton (3½) beating Vladimir (4) and David Spearman (3½) inflicting on Philip (3) his third defeat in successive rounds, having started with 3/3.


So at the start of the last round, there were four players on 4½/6: Mark, David Spearman, Charlton and Steve paired together in that order. Steve (Group 1) had to concede 6 minutes to Charlton (Group 4) – Steve 5 mins, Charlton 11 mins – but did so successfully, fully expecting that this was enough to win outright. Not so. With the time handicap in his favour (10 mins v 6 mins) Mark scored a notable victory over Club Champion, David Spearman and remained top of the heap jointly with Steve, a point clear of the chasing pack.

Leading scores: =1 Mark Murrell, Steve Rix, 5½/7; David Spearman, Charlton Siddo, Terry Whitton, 4½. 19 entries. Full details in the tournament pages, link below.

All points scored are carried forward to the Grand Prix aggregate; four more events in the series. While playing in all events is likely to be essential to win the GP, each event is a stand-alone contest with its own prize fund, so members who did not play in HBGP1 can still enjoy the remaining events.

HBGP1 Tournament pages | Download: cross table (pdf) | More HBGP1 pictures (pdf) | HBGP rules

News roundup…

Lightning Championship – 3 October: Congratulations to Mark Murrell on his first success in this event, scoring 6/7 with a grading performance of 189. Mark’s five wins included success against first teamers Ian Hunnable and Vladimir Parols and a draw with Club Champion, David Spearman and with Philip Staniland. David Spearman came second with 5½, followed by Ian Hunnable, Terry Whitton, Philip Staniland, 4½. 18 entries. Full details link below.

Lightning tournament pages

Fixture changes… Planner update: There are a couple of fixture changes: i) Essex League 4th team, v Loughton 2, originally 26 October has been rearranged, at Loughton’s request and will now be played 11 January. ii) North Circular League, 3rd team v Barnet Eliz. 2, originally 2 November, is postponed, new date to be confirmed (29 March offered). Both changes are charted in the online Planner, and the Loughton 2 change, (but not yet the NC2 change, as it is not yet confirmed) in the downloadable “Murrell” (link below).

Statistics menu Planner | “Murrell” download (pdf)

Club Championship, Round 2 – 24 October: A semi-upset for defending Champion, David Spearman, held to a draw by Laurie Burtt and a good result for Jean Mara with a win against Mark Le Gassicke, otherwise no upsets, but there are four games still to be played, so still some scope… Find latest results in the Club Championship page or from the Planner.

Club Championship page (access via Stats menu any time) | Statistics menu Planner

Recent match results: i) 23 October – NCL2 1½-4½ loss to Barnet Eliz. 1; ii) LL1 loss 2½-5½ to Wimbledon 1, two games adjourned; iii) LL3 loss to Newham (we believe the score was 2-6, but details to be confirmed).

Statistics menu Planner

Handicap Blitz Grand Prix 1: The first of the 2017-18 Handicap Blitz Grand Prix takes place on 7 November in the Clubroom. This is the event with a time handicap: each game has a total of 16 minutes, with the stronger player getting less time, the weaker player more time. Five events over the season, with points aggregated over the series to find the Grand Prix winner, but each event can be taken separately and has its own prize fund, so members need not play in every event. Rules via the link below. Entries for 7 November to Mark Murrell (click this email link). Please register your intent to play so that the pairing software can be populated with player records.

Handicap Grand Prix Rules | Entry link: Mark Murrell

U120 Training: Next session, Tuesday 31 October, in Roding room using the Smart board. Looking further ahead, the two sessions after that, in November are planned for Thurs 16 Nov and Thurs 30 Nov. Keep up with planned dates, using the Planner; all the U120 Training dates are shown in the extreme right column of the Planner, highlighted in yellow – can’t miss ’em!

Statistics menu Planner | Download: Training reports (pdf) t

Current season Club data: Remember: as circulated to all members, the main menu system above, is now in archive as we no longer have Administrator access to the website. The exception to this is the Statistics area linked from the ‘About’ menu (or link below). All current data is disseminated through front page posts like this one, with the main information of activities accessible from the Statistics menu. Use the Planner for an overview and looking ahead, use the stats pages for match information – results of past fixtures and dates for future fixtures for each team, with separate pages for standard games and rapid games. The plan is that we will be starting up a new website where we have full control when this site will remain as archive.

Statistics menu

Lightning Championship – 3 October

The Tournament pages for the Club Lightning Championship – 3 October 2017 – have now been published – link below.

This is the one played to a 10 second buzzer.

Entries are currently running at 14 and are listed at the link below. Members intending to play are encouraged to respond to Mark’s circular email so that we can populate the tournament software and save time on the evening. It’s quicker to take a player out than put one in, so we would rather hear that you’d like to play, on the understanding that if it turns out that you are not able to make it, just lest us know and we will remove you.

If you cannot be there, you can still follow events online in the Tournament pages, which will be updated with results and pairings throughout the evening when the event is in play.

Lightning Tournament pages (plain screen)

John Hodgson Rapidplay Champ

Burtt-Marden from R4

There were 14 entries for the Rapidplay Championship, which represents the lowest level of the series. However, there was no lack of quality with our two strongest players, John Hodgson and David Spearman both present and a selection of other first team players.

But it was Mark Murrell who made the early running and was the only player on 2/2, at which point he jokingly suggest that the tournament should be terminated! But the contest continued, with close running the order of the day. After three rounds, there were three players on 2½ – John Hodgson, David Spearman and Steve Rix, and another three on 2 points, Mark Murrell Larry Marden and Laurie Burtt.

The top two games, Hodgson-Spearman and Murrell-Rix were drawn and Larry Marden made it a leading quartet, by beating Laurie (see picture).

Murrell-Rix from R4

So the start of Round five of six saw four leaders on 3/4: David Spearman, Steve Rix, Larry Marden and John Hodgson. Murrell-Whitton (each on 2½/4) was the next pairing with Nigel White also on 2½ having a fine tournament. But this is where the close-order drill ceased. John Hogson defeated Larry Marden while Spearman-Rix shared the point.

So at the start of the last round, after three rounds of a shared lead, John Hodgson had edged ahead. Here he defeated Mark to secure an unchallenged first place. John’s winning margin was accentuated by both players who started the round =2nd on 3½ losing and falling out of the prize list, Steve Rix to Larry Marden and David Spearman to Paul Haddock, the shock result of the day – no fluke, well played Paul!

Congratulations to John, Rapidplay Champion on debut! As a result of the last round carnage, there was a triple tie for 2nd on 4 points between Larry Marden, Terry Whitton and Paul Haddock, a fine result.

Prize List: 1st John Hodgson, 5/6; =2nd Larry Marden, Terry Whitton, Paul Haddock, 4.

Grading Performance prizes were awarded to Nigel White (+31) and Kyan Bui (+16).

Link to Tournament pages