British Rapidplay Chess Championships 2011

Report - Day Two

- from Brent Kitson via email

Chess Lovers ---

The fog has stuck here in Leeds (Sunday) and what with internet server problems, which delayed this final report, the 25th Anniversary event nevertheless strode through its second day (and over the hurdles) at the Leeds Metropolitan University, Becketts Park.

The Junior British Rapidplay kicked off in the Jubilee Room. The Under-12 winners were the brilliant Zheming Zhang and Callum Brewer, who each landed 4.5/5 points. Ashwin Kalyana took the Under-16 title. The One Day Rapidplay was won by Phil Watson with 4/5. Thanks to all the parents and guardians who supported the junior players fantastically in all events.

Hot food aplenty was served at noon in the university food court on the campus. In the Open, GM Gawain Jones  continued his winning ways against David Walker, Stephen Burns-Mannion IM and then Mike Surtees. GM Matthew Turner could only draw against Nigel Davies GM in round nine.

Gawain secured his Open victory after his defeat of Peter Shaw and went on to equal GM David Howell's 10.5/11 points score with his victory over Jim Burnett. David Walker drew with GM Matthew Turner in round eleven.

So GM Gawain Jones is the British Open Rapidplay Champion 2011,with 10.5/11 and GM Matthew Turner is second with 9/11.

Gawain commented after the event, "Yes I was tired after 11 rounds,and after being pipped by David Howell in 2010, it was good to win it". With his fiancée, WIM Sue Maroroa, by his side, Gawain said he'd appreciated the hall and campus facilities, and looked forward to returning, and hopefully defending his title, in 2012.

The event continued to be broadcast through until 4.45 pm despite two of the internet servers not working. David Clayton managed to keep his back up computer feeding live games. Andrew Walker, our webmaster will, I'm sure, fill the website with lots of photos in the coming days.

In the other main events Graham Bates took the Minor with 9.5/11, Andrew Bak dominated the Major with 9/11 and Paul Talbot took the Intermediate with 8.5/11.

A successful event thus concluded. Thanks to all the players who took part. A big thank you to chief arbiter Dave Welch and his controller team, plus  to all who made  the event happen, notably the British Rapidplay Organizing Committee, Carlos Velosa and his set-up team, Adam Raoof of the ECF who presented the prizes and WellMet Conferencing with Kelly Allen, who helped host and manage the venue.

The full cross table results will follow in due course from Jon Griffiths of  "Chessnuts". The bookstall provided by Chess Direct had a good event too, and kindly  provided us with 14 free book prizes.

PGNs of most of the top board Open games are accessible here. Photos of the winners will follow from Carlos Velosa in the coming days via the photo gallery. Thanks to Ihor Lewyk for his photos too. I'd hope that Mark Crowther and Malcolm Pein can analyse these games in more detail. Thanks to TWIC for its continued support. 

Looking forward to next year , the tournament secretary called  for private sponsors and the ECF to help the BRC develop this popular rapidplay event further. Adam Raoof, ECF Director of Home Chess kindly said he would pursue further support for 2012, despite some promised funding not materialising this year, and in consideration of major planned changes in Spring 2012 to ECF membership.

Despite a time of austerity, with challenging times for funding chess ahead of us, as well as some concurrent events in Germany, Brazil and Scandinavia, which clashed with the event, the organizers still  provided some additional £700 of reserve funds towards securing over £4500 winning and grading prizes for all main events.

 The British Rapidplay again proved its popularity by attracting well over 300 entrants. We look forward to the next 25 years, and look to new people helping, arbiting,and playing chess.We need to promote weekend rapidplay chess even more, with perhaps new media initiatives and marketing opportunities, particularly at this  new venue.

John Hipshon,a new junior arbiter from Leeds, Nigel Webster and Ihor Lewyk, who helped in the main hall and Leona Sharp, a new young  helper (who of her own accord got involved with notices, computer Powerpoint communications, and organizing) all did very well, and show that the younger people (relative to me at least!) are part of the future.

Dates for 2012 were discussed and the organizers look to returning to Leeds L.M.U. in November 2012.

Many thanks again to all chess lovers!

B.Kitson, BR Chess 2011

Report - Day One

Dear chess lovers

The 2011 British Rapidplay Chess Championships got off to a good start today at Becketts Park Campus, Headingley, Leeds. The chess events took place in the main Ghandi Hall and the Jubilee Room, thanks to the BRC and WellMetConferencing (Kelly Allen). The new venue seemed to please the faithful chess players who'd come from all over the UK. Well over 300 were playing today in these green and pleasant university surroundings.

The event set-up went well, thanks to Carlos Velosa and his set-up team. Dave Welch and his arbiters had a busy first day too ... thanks to them as well. My gratitude also to the Treasurer and the President of the British Rapidplay, Steve Burton and Mike Dow, who sorted out all the grading cards and late entries.

In the Junior chess, the England Under-11 Trial went very well. The joint winners were Koby Kalvannan of Surbiton Chess Club and Francesco Bernardini of Aces Chess Club, who each scored 4.5/5 points. Harry Croasdale of West Bridgford Chess Club won the Under-16 one day event with 4/5 points. Thanks to Adam Raoof of the ECF, who kindly gave out the top prizes,and also to Neville Belinfante, David Levens and John Hipshon for running the Junior sections.

In the majestic wood-panelled main hall, the big events, which span over two days, got off to a fine start on a fine, mild, sunny morning (and despite some delays on the M1 motorway) and the chess tournament proceeded on time.

In the Minor, Angelica Dean of Three C's Chess Club turned in a terrific 5.5/6 performance to lead the first day.
In the Intermediate section, three players are tied at the end of Saturday's play -
Noel Boustred (Gosforth), Vladimir Boutramovics (Woking) and Costin Constantinescu (St. Andrews Hull)

In the Major, Andrew Bak (Bradford), Mark Whitehead (Rochdale) and Raymond Wynarczyk (Northumberland) lead with 5/6 points

The Open had Grandmasters Peter Wells, Nigel Davies, Gawain Jones (fresh from his recent fantastic European showing) and Matthew Turner amongst the field. Gawain started off very well, but was well held by Matthew Turner (the live games are of course on this website).

Peter Wells slipped up when he lost a game on time, despite having a winning advantage. David Walker of Durham took advantage of this and finished with 5/6 points at the end of Day One. However, it was Gawain and Matthew that lead the way with 5.5/6 points at the end of a solid day's chess.

So Sunday beckons and, while England went down to Australia in the Four Nations Rugby League and Manchester City continued to top the Premier League ... who will win through on Sunday at the 2011 British Rapidplay Chess Championship?

A full report on Sunday's events will follow. Stay tuned too on the web (thanks again to David Clayton & Andrew Walker)

- Brent Kitson, BRC Secretary