Philip May at 1st Cornwall Knockout

The 1st Cornwall Online Knockout tournament was held at the end of May.

The Cup competition was won by Bude’s very own GM, John Nunn.

The Plate competition was won by Limewood’s very own Philip May.

Philip was invited to write for us about his experience in the congress and here is his account.

Cornwall 1st Online Knock-out Tournament 2021

During the covid pandemic Cornwall Chess Association has supported their county chess players extremely well with a variety of online competitions and matches. Many were open to previous Cornish residents and club players. I lived in Cornwall between 2004 and 2015 and was a member of several clubs. This was not the first time I played in Cornwall Online, and I rather unexpectedly won a £15 prize in a Plate competition set up for losers knocked out in round one of the main event.

A preliminary round was held to reduce the entrants to the main competition to exactly 16.

Some very strong players included John Nunn GM (2560) (who our Paul Johnson played in last year’s National Clubs Championships), Andrew Greet IM (2446) and Petra Nunn Fide Master (1958) (who Paul May played in the Nat Clubs event).

I was paired with Lloyd Retallick (2029) and whilst I survived for 45 moves, my destination for the loser’s Plate competition was never in doubt!

However due to some withdrawals I was put back into the main competition only to face another very strong player Chris Fegan (2119). Again the outcome was never in doubt and I was checkmated after 42 moves , with a subsequent return to the Plate where players over 1900 were excluded.

The draws for the rest of the competition fortunately went rather easier for me:
~ Quarter Final: Philip May (1415) v Maria Evdokimova (1396). 1 – 0
~ Semi Final: Lloyd Russell (1179) v Philip May(1415). 0 – 1
~ Final. Philip May (1415) v David R Jenkins(1572) 1 – 0

None of my games can fairly be described as “best”, but the most interesting game was the Final.

It was full of blunders and mistakes, and could easily have gone either way. David played a Benko Gambit in response to my d4, and held advantage into the middle game. The end game went my way with a passed pawn advantage and a resignation at move 59. The game can now be played through, warts and all, here in the members’ games section.

The main tournament was won by John Nunn, no surprise there, but he had to work for it, with Robin Kneebone (1950) holding him to a draw and only losing after a Blitz decider.

Our vastly experienced Cornish organiser Ian George is to be congratulated for setting up an interesting format of tournament that gives opportunity for us to play the strong players as well as those at our own level.

The draw for all rounds was unseeded and whilst Lichess was used, grade references are ECF Online. Games were 20 min with a 10 sec increment.

It was good to play “in Cornwall” again and to compete with at least one protagonist I knew from my time in the County.

Philip May