Last night saw our 5th Annual Time & Point Handicap, our 5th new winner and a 5th increase in number of players taking part. Having started with 12 players in 2015, then 14 in 2016, 16 in 2017, 20 in 2018, we had 22 last night.
The first two rounds went much to plan with 6 of the top 10 winning both games, with the odd shock thrown in. Notably defending champion Rick Renegade was stumped in the 1st round as Nigel Gardner upset the form book. Phil Wright the No. 20 seed was catapulted into the lead with a 2nd round win which would be supplemented by a 2 pts handicap to add to his final tally.
Round 3 began to sort the “Men from the Boys” as No.3 seed Rich Wiltshir (the 2017 champion) was defeated by upcoming junior star Harry Gardiner who made it 3/3 together with Bart Fajfer (No 1 seed) and Simon Layhe (No 8) defeating No.2 Ola Titiloye. With Adam Fields and Kobus Nienaber making it 2/3, these two were in the leader board with their 1.5 pts handicaps.
Round 4 saw Bart paired with young Harry, while the other 100 per-center, Simon was paired against the 2017 champion Rich. Bart’s excellent time management saw him pile the pressure onto Harry who had to give way, having held a solid position until time ran short to give Bart the full point. On board 2 Simon added the scalp of the No. 3 seed to his list to keep up his superb 100 score. With Phil Wright beating the other contender with a big handicap he took his total to 4 pts. So after 4 rounds Simon led with his 4 pts plus 1/2 point handicap from Bart & Phil.
The round 5 pairings saw Bart with white vs Simon on bd 1 with Phil playing the highest graded player with 3.5 pts which was Neville Layhe. The top board game was very close until Bart engineered an attack against the castled king with a long range bishop and rook on the 7th as Simon’s king side pawns had been propelled down the board. Simon was forced to resign to leave Bart with a perfect 5/5. Meanwhile on board 2, Neville’s experience proved too much for Phil to halt his challenge for the trophy.
The final standings showed 1st place- Bart Fajfer 5pts; with a 4 way tie for 2nd between Neville Layhe 4+1/2, Simon 4+1/2, Nigel 3+1.5 and Kobus 3+1.5.
Congratulations to our top player Bart who made it a hat-trick of trophies with the T&P Handicap added to his Long-play and Rapid-play successes. Next year the handicap will be tougher !
Thanks to Les Hall and Rich Wiltshir for setting up the club, Mike Keenan for his assistance with record keeping, Karl Lockett the “clock-setter” and to all members for making it another superb club night !
Report by David Hulme – Club Events Organisor