Chessnuts @ Swiss Rapidplay – Wed 13th April

Wow, what an evening it was at The Mals Club for our 3rd night of the club’s Swiss Rapidplay tournament, covering Rounds 5 & 6 of the 8-round event.

It was a record turnout for those taking part in an internal event as 26 members went into battle, despite several absences due to holiday season, taking the overall numbers competing to 36 so far.

Round 5 saw the top two seeds go head to head on board 1, as Karl Lockett ruined the only 100% scorer’s (Martin Burns) record to move to 4.5 pts ahead of Martin, Simon Layhe and Jarek Czyz all on 4 pts. There were no great surprises in Round 5, with the highlight from the club’s point of view seeing three recent recruits including an “all-ladies pairing” on board 13 as Vicky Kelsall gained success, and 12 year old Joe Hignett playing his first ever “graded game” achieving a draw.

Between rounds, our visitors from interviewed the two ladies – Vicky & Milena Hignett while setting up a “Hand and Brain Blitz” game with the assistance of David Lambton and Martin Frisher as the “brains”. See video link below.

Round 6 saw underdogs Jarek Czyz and Simon Layhe defeat the top two seedings and move into the lead of the tournament with scores of 5/6 with both games watched by many spectators. Lukasz Michalek defeated the tournament controller – David Hulme on board 3 to move into joint 3rd with Karl on 4.5 pts. A group of five sit just behind these with 4 pts each and will hope to be contention. This group includes James Marshall, David L, No 1 seed Martin, Harry (No 3 seed) Gardiner, and No 20 seed Nigel Gardner who has beaten four of the top 10 players in an outstanding effort to date.

The final night is yet to be determined as an earlier one was postponed before xmas due to the Covid situation, and promises to be an exciting climax to the competition.

Many thanks go to non-playing Steve Ballantyne for keeping track of all the scores to allow the tournament controller to play in the competition, and to youngster Harry Gardiner who sets up the club (boards, sets and clocks).  And a special final thank you to Nicky from Chessnuts for coming to The Mals and promoting our club.