Friday, 2 August 2019

Tony Locke Rapidplay

The club's internal rapidplay championship (Tony Locke Rapidplay) was held on Thursday 30th May. The competition was won by Nathan Barnes with a score of 5/5 (his third consecutive win). Felix, John, Phil and Craig tied for second with 3/5. Seven players took part.

In round 1 the three highest graded players Ian, Nathan and Felix all won. Round 2 saw Felix beat Ian to move to 2/2 and Phil picked up his first win of the evening against Colin. John successfully nullified Nathan's attack in a complex position but at a significant time cost which meant he could not hold onto the deserved draw in a completely level endgame.

This meant that round 3 would see the only two players to win both their first games would play each other. Nathan won a pawn in the middle game and agressive play won the game soon after. The finish to this game can be seen below. John was unlucky not to pick up a half point in round 2 and had the chance to pick up at least that in round 3 but an error in a won position meant a 2nd loss against a higher graded opponent. Phil won his 2nd game in a row to join the chasing pack on 2/3.

[Event "Tony Locke Rapidplay"] [Site "?"] [Date "2019.05.30"] [Round "3"] [White "Barnes, Nathan"] [Black "Schnell, Felix"] [Result "1-0"] [WhiteElo "150"] [BlackElo "142"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "4rrk1/7p/1q2pbp1/1p6/p2PQP2/P1P1NR2/1P5P/4R1K1 w - - 0 1"] [PlyCount "9"] {[#]} {White is a pawn up but with all the major pieces still in play the game isn't won yet.} 1. Ng4 Bh4 {OK, Bg7 was a bit more solid.} 2. Qe5 $5 {No better than the simpler Re2 but gives scope for Black to go wrong.} Rf5 $4 ({ The rook on e1 was safe} 2... Bxe1 3. Nh6#) (2... h5 $142 $1 {The only move that keeps Black in the game.} 3. Nf2 $16 {White still has the pawn advantage.} ) 3. Nh6+ Kf8 4. Nxf5 Bxe1 {Black allows the mate finish.} (4... gxf5 {The best move, according to the computer, but Black is still completely lost.} 5. Qh8+ Ke7 6. Qxh7+ Kd6 7. Qxh4) 5. Qg7# 1-0

Round 4 saw the top two seeds play. Clearly having a bad evening, Ian made several errors in the opening and lost quickly, though the resignation was perhaps slightly premature the position was lost. John was playing his 3rd higher-graded opponent in a row and this time converted his early advantage to pick up the result his play in the earlier rounds had deserved. Craig won his first game of the evening and, due to the small number of players, Phil had a bye to move into sole 2nd place with 3/4.

Going into the final round, Nathan was in the lead with 4/4; Phil was in 2nd with 3/4 and there were then four players a point further back. Craig took advantage of a blunder by Ian to win a rook, John beat Colin to join Craig on 3/5. Phil found the right defensive moves in a complex position, but like John in round 2, used up too much time against Nathan who took advantage and had a definite edge in the middle game when Phil's flag fell.

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