Something for the weekend

1 November 2020

There was plenty to occupy chess players this weekend – a full-blown 5-round Hull 4NCL congress and a less formal Saturday blitz event for U1450s (U100 in old grades) organised by Sylvan Clarke. Happily it was possible to take part in both events, as some players did.

Hull 4NCL online – Fri 30 Oct – Sun 1 Nov 2020

This attracted 178 entrants. Remarkably for 4NCL events it included a section for U1400 grades, a very welcome variation from the usual pattern of the lowest section being for U1500 or even U 1700.

Surprisingly, there seemed to be few players from the Leeds club circuit. The lists revealed 2 players from Limewood, 1 from Alwoodley and 1 from Rose Forgrove. That’s in the whole congress, not just one section.

Paul Johnson, leading the Limewood contingent, was in the Open where 16 entrants were graded more than 100 points above him. His starting rank was 23rd in the line-up of 53 and he finished at 19th position with 3 points from 2 wins and 2 draws – losing only to that young prodigy Sam Turner.

Highest scorer of those well-known to Limewooders was Sylvan Clarke – having a busy weekend. In the U1400s he gained 3 wins and a draw to end with 3½ points. He started at position 11 in the opening ranks and rose to position no 8. Admittedly his opponents were not quite of the same calibre as those facing Paul Johnson. One of Sylvan’s victims, though, had been part of the Bude Surfers team that trounced Limewood in the National Clubs Championships back in June. Revenge is sweet, even if it had to be exacted by a proxy.

Forgrove’s Dominic Gallagher had bravely entered the Open when he could quite properly have opted for the U1700, 2 sections further down. He was heavily outgraded in all 5 games but still managed to win one of them.

Interesting feature of the event was that it used WhatsApp as the preferred main means of rapid communication between Organisers/Arbiters and players. It was used intensively and worked brilliantly, allowing all kinds of problems and queries to be sorted very quickly.

U100-U1450 Rapidplay – Sat 31 October 2020

Fitting snugly in the gap between Rounds 2 and 3 of the Hull tournament this month’s competition attracted a fuller selection of local players. There were Limewood and Alwoodley members and a first appearance from Rose Forgrove. A lively session produced the following worthy occupants of the winners’ podium:
1st: Sylvan Clarke
2nd: Ivor Timmis
3rd: Rashpal Potiwal
Next event in the series: Saturday 28 November at high noon.