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

Club Championship – Round 2, 24 October 2017

The Draw has been published for Round 2 of the Club Championship. Follow the link:

Club Championship R2 Draw

The draw can also be viewed as a popup from the Planner – when you get there, click on the Round 2 entry listed under 24 October.

Games to be played 24 October 2017 – unless dispensations granted for another date. Two dispensations were granted, one of those games is now being played early.

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)

It’s Writtle again…

Tuesday, 26 September, Wanstead House

Essex Rapidplay Knockout Final.






John Hodgson 191C r (W, B)



FM Andrew Lewis 211A s (B, W)


David Spearman 188B r



Russell White 194C r


Steve Rix 177C r



Ivan Myall 178B r


Terry Whitton 172C r



John Moore 190D r


Larry Marden 160B r



David Millward 166A r






Wanstead A entertained defending KO Champions, Writtle, in the Final of this year’s competition. Skipper Paul Barclay had to cope with the late withdrawal of his top Board, IM Artur Sygulski. Larry Marden was on hand to step in as the late reserve, but all the other players had to move up a board.

With this handicap, it is easy to look on the outcome as inevitable, yet the team that took the field was still competitive.

Writtle, one has to accept, have the ‘winning habit’ and though having lost the toss, took the lead in the first round by 3½-1½, having won their two Whites and held Wanstead to draws with the black pieces.

In the second half, Wanstead staged a fightback and came close to matching Writtle’s first half results. David Spearman and Terry Whitton secured wins with Wanstead’s two Whites. Had Larry been able to repeat his first half draw, the match would have been a tie, even after the operation of both tie-breaks, necessitating a replay. But it didn’t happen. Larry lost his game and Writtle were home with two games to spare. Those games were the two Wanstead wins, but a Round 2 score of 3-2 was insufficient and Writtle retained the Sims Cup with 5½-4½ overall.

So once more, it is congratulations to Writtle!

For the first time in an Essex competition, games were screened live on the ECA website. The top three boards in each round were played on the sensory equipment. While there was a hiccup with the set up in Round 1, which delayed appearance of the games on screen, all the games have been captured and are available for PGN download. The Round 2 games were broadcast without problem; they can still be played through on screen as well as being downloaded in PGN. Of these games, the one to look out for is David Spearman’s Round 2 win against Russell White. Links below; you will find the links for the PGN downloads below the game board.

KO Final games, Boards 1-3

Planner 2017-18 update

Planner 2017-18 v2 is now available.

FIXTURES Planner 2017 Overview v2

Club Championship 2017-18 – Round 1

The DRAW is published for Round 1 of the Club Championship 2017-18. Link below.

There have been a few changes to the Club Championship Rules, which are linked below.

Remember, all points scored in the Club Championship count towards the Roy Wagstaff Memorial Shield. Current standings can be found from the Statistics menu – link to stats below.

Club Championship R1 Draw | Club Championship Rules (pdf) | Stats menu