Welcome to the event, for those following on the website. The tournament was well set up for its second year at Leeds Metropolitan University, Headingley. Thanks to all who helped, notably Carlos Velosa and his team.
The weather held for most of the early part of the day, but rain returned in the evening. Manchester Utd came from behind to win 3-1 against QPR whilst Leeds Utd beat table toppers Crystal Palace 2-1. After recent adverse weather around the world, and in difficult times, it was great to see some splendid chess!
The event attracted nearly 300 players and some media inerest - Channel 4 came to the event to research a child genius program.
Now - down to the chess ...
The Under 11 Trial saw a brilliant result from Matthew Forster, who beat all the top players to score 5/5. Dominic Klingher and Thomas McClaren came joint second with 4.5/5. Special thanks must go to John Hipshon and Cathy Bowler, who ran the event (for the first time!) very smoothly.
In the Grand Hall (previously The Gandhi Hall) the Open proceeded smoothly too. Top players included Jonathan Hawkins, Pete Wells (a previous winner), James Cobb and Stephen Gordon, who is commentating on the London Chess Classic next week. Last year’s winner Gawain Jones gave his apologies as he is preparing for The London Chess Classic. A special welcome to the French WGM Sophie Milliet, who seemed to be enjoying the event (not perhaps as warm as Montpellier, though!)
Ultimately it was Stephen Gordon who came out on top after Day One with 5.5/6, only losing half a point with a draw against Jim Burnett, and with a fine win against Danny Gormally along the way. Sophie Milliet finished on a commendable 4/6 (vive l’entente cordiale!) James Cobb and Danny Gormally finished on 5/6. Jonathan Hawkins and Pete Wells finished on 4/6.
In other events, the Major is being lead by Phil J Olbison on 5/6; the Intermediate by Richard Desmedt on 5.5/6; and the Minor by the junior Karam Sangha on 6/6 - more details on Sunday will follow.
So the question is ... who’s going to win on Sunday? The forecast is not bad, perhaps a bit of fine drizzle. Good stamina often pays dividends to those who can be consistent over the eleven rounds of rapidplay chess.
Apologies for a slight problem on Round 6 after 29 minutes, as the internet live games failed. David Clayton and, notably, Steve Hughes have sorted it. Some photos will be forwarded to the website in due course. We are looking forward to an interesting second day
- Brent Kitson