Gawain Jones | November 22, 2011 12:21

British Rapidplay Champion!

 

After the mad dash following the European Championships and then 4ncl, I took it fairly easy. I made my debut for Wood Green in the London League on Wednesday, defeating Tiruchirapalli Venkataraman in a long battle that went down to mutual time trouble. The team didn’t have as much trouble and we’re currently 11-0 up with 1 adjournment!

On Friday Sue and I travelled up to Leeds for the British Rapidplay. A pleasant meal at the Arts Café Bar (http://www.artscafebar.com/), highly recommended by the way, and then a fairly early night before the gruelling marathon that is 11 rapid games (30 minutes each with no increment). The tournament was played at the Leeds Metropolitan University, a new venue and a welcome return to Leeds.

We were rather surprised on arrival, to see that only four GMs were registered, Pete Wells, Matthew Turner, Nigel Davies and myself. Clashing with the Bundesliga meant reigning champion David Howell and Stephen Gordon were away there while strong IM Richard Palliser was playing the Finnish league. The Saturday saw a race develop between me and Matthew Turner. We drew our round four encounter, a fluctuating battle where he sacrificed a piece for an attack and I returned it to regain the initiative. However I missed a tactic and ended up in a rook and pawn endgame a pawn down but drew comfortably.

I finished off the Saturday with a victory against Nigel Davies using the Classical Dutch even if my opening went a bit wrong. White Rose captain, Rupert Jones, is a local and he recommended a nearby Thai restaurant. Unfortunately it was fully booked when we arrived but we made a late night booking for 10pm and adjourned to a nearby bar to sample the local beer! The beer and meal were excellent although the lack of taxis meant it was around midnight when we finally got back to the hotel.

Slept, packed and breakfasted, the tournament restarted at 9.30am on the Sunday morning. I managed to convert my round 7 and 8 games but Matthew kept up with me and we both had 7.5/8 with three games to go. However in round nine he had to face Nigel Davies with black and had a pretty quick draw and I managed to overtake him defeating Mike Surtees (the inventor of Revolutionary Opening Theory or R.O.T.). The last couple of rounds are a real test of stamina but I managed to win both games and finished with 10.5/11, a point and a half ahead of Turner who drew his last two rounds. The only IM in the field, Stephen Mannion-Burns, came third with 8/11. Sue played a tough field but managed 50% with a last round win and was not unhappy with her performance. You can find a full crosstable here (http://www.chessnuts.org.uk/ny5/kitson.php?sectionid=971)

Thanks should go to Brent Kitson and the other organisers and arbiters who ran the tournament smoothly and to the University for a pleasant venue. I hope they manage to keep it in Leeds as I much preferred playing here than Halifax the previous year. If I’m not busy I’ll return next year to defend my title and hopefully lots of other strong players can join me!

Below I’ve added a selection of my games. My strategy for the tournament was to keep ahead on time and hopefully not make too many mistakes. This meant my play was perhaps not of the highest quality but I succeeded in never dropping below around five minutes, without any increment this is rather important. Good friend Pete Wells played some great chess but unfortunately just took too long about it and twice had to agree draws in winning positions while also blundered a rook in terrible time trouble in another.

My next rapid tournament will be in Warsaw for the European Rapid and Blitz in December. I played it last year but was really exhausted as it was straight after the London Classic Open but this time around I have at least a couple of days to recover.

Games – Deciding which games to put up I notice I’ve chosen my last four rounds; by then I’d managed to get in the swing of things a bit.

Parson-Jones, I was rather pleased with this game. A curious situation where we hadn’t exchanged any pawns when he resigned but my attack down the h file will be too strong.After the mad dash following the European Championships and then 4ncl, I took it fairly easy. I made my debut for Wood Green in the London League on Wednesday, defeating Tiruchirapalli Venkataraman in a long battle that went down to mutual time trouble. The team didn’t have as much trouble and we’re currently 11-0 up with 1 adjournment!

On Friday Sue and I travelled up to Leeds for the British Rapidplay. A pleasant meal at the Arts Café Bar (http://www.artscafebar.com/), highly recommended by the way, and then a fairly early night before the gruelling marathon that is 11 rapid games (30 minutes each with no increment). The tournament was played at the Leeds Metropolitan University, a new venue and a welcome return to Leeds.

We were rather surprised on arrival, to see that only four GMs were registered, Pete Wells, Matthew Turner, Nigel Davies and myself. Clashing with the Bundesliga meant reigning champion David Howell and Stephen Gordon were away there while strong IM Richard Palliser was playing the Finnish league. The Saturday saw a race develop between me and Matthew Turner. We drew our round four encounter, a fluctuating battle where he sacrificed a piece for an attack and I returned it to regain the initiative. However I missed a tactic and ended up in a rook and pawn endgame a pawn down but drew comfortably.

I finished off the Saturday with a victory against Nigel Davies using the Classical Dutch even if my opening went a bit wrong. White Rose captain, Rupert Jones, is a local and he recommended a nearby Thai restaurant. Unfortunately it was fully booked when we arrived but we made a late night booking for 10pm and adjourned to a nearby bar to sample the local beer! The beer and meal were excellent although the lack of taxis meant it was around midnight when we finally got back to the hotel.

Slept, packed and breakfasted, the tournament restarted at 9.30am on the Sunday morning. I managed to convert my round 7 and 8 games but Matthew kept up with me and we both had 7.5/8 with three games to go. However in round nine he had to face Nigel Davies with black and had a pretty quick draw and I managed to overtake him defeating Mike Surtees (the inventor of Revolutionary Opening Theory or R.O.T.). The last couple of rounds are a real test of stamina but I managed to win both games and finished with 10.5/11, a point and a half ahead of Turner who drew his last two rounds. The only IM in the field, Stephen Mannion-Burns, came third with 8/11. Sue played a tough field but managed 50% with a last round win and was not unhappy with her performance. You can find a full crosstable here (http://www.chessnuts.org.uk/ny5/kitson.php?sectionid=971)

Thanks should go to Brent Kitson and the other organisers and arbiters who ran the tournament smoothly and to the University for a pleasant venue. I hope they manage to keep it in Leeds as I much preferred playing here than Halifax the previous year. If I’m not busy I’ll return next year to defend my title and hopefully lots of other strong players can join me!

Below I’ve added a selection of my games. My strategy for the tournament was to keep ahead on time and hopefully not make too many mistakes. This meant my play was perhaps not of the highest quality but I succeeded in never dropping below around five minutes, without any increment this is rather important. Good friend Pete Wells played some great chess but unfortunately just took too long about it and twice had to agree draws in winning positions while also blundered a rook in terrible time trouble in another.

My next rapid tournament will be in Warsaw for the European Rapid and Blitz in December. I played it last year but was really exhausted as it was straight after the London Classic Open but this time around I have at least a couple of days to recover.

Games – Deciding which games to put up I notice I’ve chosen my last four rounds; by then I’d managed to get in the swing of things a bit.

Parson-Jones, I was rather pleased with this game. A curious situation where we hadn’t exchanged any pawns when he resigned but my attack down the h file will be too strong.

PGN string

Mannion-Burns – Jones, a smooth positional win from a Bb5+ Sicilian that soon resembled a Ruy Lopez.

PGN string

Jones-Surtees. Here Mike’s creative play in the opening never really paid off and I soon had an overwhelming position.

PGN string

Shaw-Jones Return of the Benko Gambit!

PGN string

                            

Jones-Burnett. My last round encounter was a little nerve wracking as I knew a draw would get me the title but I wanted to match David Howell’s winning score from last year.

 

PGN string

                                        

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Gawain Jones's picture
Author: Gawain Jones

Gawain Jones is an English chess player and grandmaster.

Chess.com

Comments

sligunner's picture

English GM on the up-and-up... should be playing in London next week.

Bob's picture

Please note: you have posted most of this article twice.

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