The current top ten players in the club grand prix are:
Games played in the club championship, Tony Locke rapidplay and the NECL league/knockout count for points in the grand prix. Where points are equal percentage score is used as a tie-breaker.
In the last month, no games have been played in the club championship. In the Tony Locke Rapidplay there are a number of players who have not played all their first four games yet so the current standings are not clear. Nathan, Svein, Clive, Mark, Nadia and Zahra have all played more than one game and are currently unbeaten.
In NECL Division 2, Colchester A are in 1st place having won three matches and drawn one. Colchester B are in 8th place (a win and two losses) - but have played the three teams currently at the top of the table. In Division 3, Colchester C are in 1st place after winning two matches, drawing two and losing one - though they have played more games than most teams; Colchester D are in 3rd place with three wins and one loss. In the NECL Plate, Colchester have reached the final where they will play Maldon B.
In the first match of the new year, Colchester had a comfortable win in the semi-final of the NECL Plate competition. Fielding what was probably the strongest team the club have put out this year there were wins on boards 2-4. Javier, playing his first match of the season, had a slightly better position in the endgame but did not have enough time on the clock to find a win (if there was one) and had to force a draw by repetition in a rook and pawn endgame.
|NECL Plate semi-final|
|Brd||Col||COLCHESTER A||Result||BADDOW B||Col|
|1||b||Javier Ruano Marco (e189)||½||½||Michael Spurr (152)||w|
|2||w||Ian Gooding (183)||1||0||Steven Robinson (118)||b|
|3||b||Matt Stemp (e165)||1||0||Tony Rawlins (93)||w|
|4||w||Mike Wagstaff (148)||1||0||David Gold (70)||b|
Colchester C have played three matches this month - the first was a draw against Braintree C.
|NECL Division 3|
|Brd||Col||COLCHESTER C||Result||BRAINTREE C||Col|
|1||w||Clive Bellinger (138)||½||½||Greg Mantle (134)||b|
|2||b||Martin Harris (121)||½||½||Ollie Martin (105)||w|
|3||w||Simon Denney (114)||1||0||Peter Copsey (89)||b|
|4||b||John Duff-Cole (87)||0||1||Alan Rutland (67)||w|
Colchester B had a very close match against Chelmsford B - one of the strongest teams in Division 2. Clive drew after a quiet game on board 3, Martin went for a material advantage of a pawn but this ended up being insufficient compensation for the positional weaknesses that resulted from this. There was an interesting game on board 1 where Alex obtained a better position but then had to play very carefully following, a probably dubious, piece sacrifice. He found a series of strong defensive moves and returned some of the material at the right time to dissipate his opponent's attack and start a decisive one of his own. Mike's game went to a rook and 3 pawn vs rook and 2 pawn endgame which was drawable but in time trouble it was not easy to find the drawing line.
|NECL Division 2|
|Brd||Col||COLCHESTER B||Result||CHELMSFORD B||Col|
|1||w||Aleksander Orava (148)||1||0||Egor Latypov (145)||b|
|2||b||Mike Wagstaff (148)||0||1||Ed Porter (143)||w|
|3||w||Clive Bellinger (138)||½||½||John Constantine (125)||b|
|4||b||Martin Harris (121)||0||1||Peter Brander (110)||w|
Maldon C fielded a stronger team than they had in the match earlier this season against the D team. On board 1, Martin Harris played a higher-graded opponent and was probably a bit tired in his second match of the week. Simon beat Doug Mothershaw - who had beaten him in the Maldon C v Colchester D match earlier in the season. Simon again showed his predilection for sacrificing material. His knight and pawn sacrifice may have have been unsound but was difficult to play against and an error by his opponent allowed him to finish the game off. Brian got into early positional difficulties meaning he used up too much time on the clock. John Duff-Cole had a return to form, comfortably beating his opponent who turned up late and made some quick moves resulting a poor positonal start which John was able to capitalise on.
There were issues in the match caused by incorrectly set digital clocks - if you need advice on how to use digital clocks or on how to check they have been set up correctly please speak to Nathan or John.
|NECL Division 3|
|Brd||Col||MALDON C||Result||COLCHESTER C||Col|
|1||w||Malcolm Savage (137)||1||0||Martin Harris (121)||b|
|2||b||Doug Mothershaw (115)||0||1||Simon Denney (114)||w|
|3||w||Frank Sealey (103)||1||0||Brian Remmer (109)||b|
|4||b||John Perfect (90)||0||1||John Duff-Cole (87)||w|
CRGS are the only team to have beaten the D team so far this season, but the C team ran out comfortable winners in their 3rd match of the month. Clive drew on board 1 against a higher graded opponent. On board 4, it was good to see Denzel Gonzales winning in his first graded match. Martin played one of his sharper openings and won with a classic sacrificial attack. Martin missed a few mating chances to win more quickly but the game was still wrapped up within 18 moves. Simon unleashed a bolt from the blue against a seemingly solid set-up against Peter Harris that completely tore the position apart. After losing his first NECL match, Simon has now won four games in a row; including all who have played 3 or more games, he is currently in 12th place in the NECL player of the season rankings (80%) - one place ahead of Mohammud Jaufarally (75%). Nathan Barnes is currenly in 1st (100%), with Aleksander Orava (88%) in joint 4th and Svein Kjenner (83%) in joint 8th. Ian Gooding and Clive Bellinger have also scored more than 60% having played 3 or more games.
|NECL Division 3|
|1||w||Jeremy Hadcock (149)||½||½||Clive Bellinger (138)||b|
|2||b||Shivan Hirani (102)||0||1||Martin Harris (121)||w|
|3||w||Peter Harris (76)||0||1||Simon Denney (114)||b|
|4||b||Lakdinu Peries (82)||0||1||Denzel Gonzales (e80)||w|