British Rapidplay Championships 2017

18-19 November 2017

Limewood performance at the British Rapidplays

reviewed by Lumpy Kustud

photo: John Light, prizewinner

~~~~ John Light (he’s the one on the left) – Rapidplay prizewinner ~~~~

It was the Scarborough Six who re-assembled together with an extra recruit, making 7, to storm the British Rapidplay Championships at Ilkley.

Well, “storm” isn’t exactly how it turned out.  On the first day they were busily collecting more Nul Points than the UK gets at the Eurovision Song Contest.  In fact after 4 rounds the squad had amassed* 7 points between them.  Mathematicians among you will quickly realise this is an average of 1 point each.

On the first day as a whole, the quintet in the Minor had scored more points from playing each other than they had from playing competitors from outside the club.

John Light was the exception to the general performance on the Saturday.  He scored 3 straight wins from the first 5 rounds – the only member of the club to achieve better than half marks.

Things looked up a bit on the Sunday, in particular for Barry.  Having had a dispiriting time on the Saturday he found his form again on Sunday starting off with 3 wins and adding a draw in the final round.

John Light added 3 more wins to his overnight tally, taking him to 6 wins from 10 rounds and earning him a grading prize shared with 2 players some 50 or more years his junior – as can be seen in our photo above.

John’s nearest rival from our Minor squad was Philip May who ended with 4 points.  In the Major, Paul May scored 4½.

The Rapidplay website ( has a photo gallery of the various prizewinners.  The quality of the photos can be described in one word.  But I won’t use it here.

Chessplayers generally are not known for their smartness (Ken Marsden apart) but the standard at the Rapidplay seemed to reach new depths.  At least half the adults taking part looked as if they had called in on their way to dig the allotment.


*  from the Latin:  amo, amass, amassed