London Team Rapidplay April 2012: Report and Results

The London Team Rapidplay returned with a fun twist on Saturday, the 28th of April 2012 at Imperial College. The event was changed by consensus a day beforehand to take advantage of the eight teams we had entering – by turning it into a 7-round All-Play-All instead! In addition, drink (coffee, tea, juice and water) and snacks (an assortment of biscuits and chocolate) were free to all participants throughout the day to encourage a fun day out which was had by all. In fact the control desk was asked several times throughout the morning how much a particular item cost and were taken aback when reminded that they were free! A few notable strong players also had us convinced by their repeat business that particularly strong doses of caffeine must be worth at least 300 FIDE points! ūüėČ


Stephen Wood, Imperial College Chess Club president and Grandmaster of Caffeine

The venue was across the hall from last time in the smaller but prestigious Union Dining Hall, which meant that we were less likely to have any noise disturbance from upstairs (now offices instead of the gym!) and downstairs (the nightclub instead of the pub!). Set-up in the morning did not go without incident however as we discovered most of the plug sockets in the room didn’t actually have power – an assumption we had carelessly made! Fortunately in the chess club’s storeroom an extension lead (much obliged, Electrical Goods Appreciation Society!) was found and used for the day. In addition, the kitchen in the back of the Union Dining Hall meant that no longer did we have to run across to main campus to fill up our water jug when the downstairs bar wasn’t open, so everything evened out in the end in time for a prompt start!

The tournament hall, also featuring Kanwal Bhatia facing Nikunj Sinha in the foreground, both former Imperial College Chess Club presidents!

The timetable was adjusted and the time control for the tournament shortened to 20min/10sec per move (down from 25min/10sec per move) to accommodate the extra round, and the action immediately got under way. Barbican stated their claim to dominance with a commanding 4-0 victory over Imperial College while the Southampton University Aardvarks fighting for a 2.5-1.5 victory over the Magic Mushrooms to start their day off with a bang.

Lunch time came after the first of two rounds, at which point there were some notices up giving people directions to the nearest places to obtain sustenance for the afternoon. Oh, and the bar also happened to open at noon!

One of the maps was also promptly added to by an unidentified chess player, who may or may not also have been a member of Hendon chess club. We have our list of suspects…

It seems that there was at least one close call or upset per round, with Athenaeum almost being held to a draw by Beckenham & Charlton in round three, who beat the Magic Mushrooms in round 2! The biggest upset so far, however, occurred in round four when Athenaeum were stunned by a determined Magic Mushrooms side, who took the victory by a narrow 2.5-1.5 to continue their late assault on the leaderboard.


John Cox, the spearhead of the super-strong Barbican side

Things really heated up in round six – two potentially crucial matches were to be played. Athenaeum taking on Barbican in addition to Imperial College trying to secure a top-3 place with a resurgent Magic Mushrooms determined to leave their mark on the tournament – and they did! Imperial College went down 3-1 to fungal fury as Athenaeum showed a valiant effort but unable to pull out the result they needed as they went down 0.5-3.5 to Barbican in the match of the day, which secured Barbican’s first place with one round remaining.

The Southampton University Aardvarks are spotted giving their evaluation on the game of the fifth member of their team…

Second place, however, would be decided in the final round with the clash between Athenaeum against Imperial College! Athenaeum went into the round with a 2.5 game point lead which meant that a draw would secure second place for Athenaeum. Meanwhile, the Magic Mushrooms had an opportunity to vault themselves into third place if they could overcome a determined West London team who had white on odd boards. Unfortunately they were unable to pull this off, going down to West London 3-1 which means they ended up equal on points with the slim 1 game-point margin separating them and giving West London the edge in a tie-break. Imperial College and Athenaeum’s game went down to a final board with draws on one, three and four – but president-elect for next year Sam Porter able to show some finesse in an opposite coloured Bishops plus Rook end-game to secure a dramatic 2.5-1.5 win for Imperial College!

The keepsakes and prizes – a plaque-engraved DGT 2010 for the champions and a pair of analogue clocks with similar plaques for the runners-up and 3rd place teams

In what was a very enjoyable day for everybody involved, Barbican took the honours of first place but not without some scary moments along the way – and the race for second and third places was decided only in the final round with Imperial College able to summon up an edge over the defending champions Athenaeum.

Working out the positions of each team – not be confused with choreographed dance

It remains for us to thank everybody to popped along and made the day an incredibly enjoyable social event, and that we hope to see you again soon! Many thanks to Alex Holowczak for arbiting, David Welch and Adam Raoof for assistance with equipment, and Stephen Wood and the Imperial College Chess Club for help with set-up and running the event throughout the day. Last but not least, thank you to all the wonderful groups of players who came for a great day out (well, indoors away from the rain!) and made the event the success that it was!

Below you will find the complete team lists for each team as well as the round-by-round team results and the final standings.

John Sargent, London Team Rapidplay Organiser

TEAM LISTS

(Descending grade order based on average of the top 4 players – R=Rapid, S=Standard where Rapid was not available. Please also note, players could play out of grade order as long as this was cleared with the organiser and controller prior to the start of play)

Barbican (203)
Cox, John (233R)
Sands, David (213R)
Taylor, Peter P (187S)
Regan, Natasha (178R)
Bhatia, Kanwal (176R)
Barron, Luke (134R)

Athenaeum (189)
Thorarinsson, Pall (204R)
Farkas, Daniel (204R)
Gray, Mark (188S)
McAleenan, Charlie (161R)
Leanse, Martin (139R)

Magic Mushrooms (171)
O’Kelly, Rory (185R)
Rios, Jorge (169S)
Fenwick, Hugh (166R)
Chamberlain, Mark (163R)
Wilson, David (157R)

Beckenham & Charlton (171)
Peiris, Gayan (196R)
Morris, David (176S)
du Toit, Reenen (164R)
Heard, Andrew (146R)

West London (170)
Harnett, Robert (189R)
Jezierski, Colum (168R)
Campbell, Russell (165S)
Kane, Robert (158R)

Imperial College (166)
Navarro Cia, Miguel (207S)
Porter, Sam (164R)
Pattni, Kishan (149R)
Wood, Stephen (145S)
Sinha, Nikunj (122R)

Battersea (163)
Staples, Daniel (182R)
Edwards, Richard (161R)
Stokes, Paul (155R)
Franklin, Ben (154R)

Southampton University Aardvarks (148)
Tambini, Jasper (175R)
Fowler, David (155R)
Slater, Tom (137S)
Mallon, Gunnar (125S)
Hewitt, Rob (102R)

ROUND-BY-ROUND RESULTS

Round 1
Beckenham & Charlton 1-3 Battersea
Magic Mushrooms 1.5-2.5 Southampton University Aardvarks
Athenaeum 3-1 West London
Barbican 4-0 Imperial College

Round 2
Battersea 1.5-2.5 Imperial College
West London 1.5-2.5 Barbican
Southampton University Aardvarks 0-4 Athenaeum
Beckenham & Charlton 2.5-1.5 Magic Mushrooms

Round 3
Magic Mushrooms 2.5-1.5 Battersea
Athenaeum 2.5-1.5 Beckenham & Charlton
Barbican 3-1 Southampton University Aardvarks
Imperial College 3-1 West London

Round 4
Battersea 2.5-1.5 West London
Southampton University Aardvarks 1.5-2.5 Imperial College
Beckenham & Charlton 1-3 Barbican
Magic Mushrooms 2.5-1.5 Athenaeum

Round 5
Athenaeum 3-1 Battersea
Barbican 3.5-1.5 Magic Mushrooms
Imperial College 3-1 Beckenham & Charlton
West London 2.5-1.5 Southampton University Aardvarks

Round 6
Battersea 1.5-2.5 Southampton University Aardvarks
Beckenham & Charlton 1-3 West London
Magic Mushrooms 3-1 Imperial College
Athenaeum 0.5-3.5 Barbican

Round 7
Barbican 4-0 Battersea
Imperial College 2.5-1.5 Athenaeum
West London 3-1 Magic Mushrooms
Southampton University Aardvarks 0-4 Beckenham & Charlton

FINAL STANDINGS

1. Barbican (14 MP / 23.5 GP)
2. Imperial College (10 MP / 14.5 GP)
3. Athenaeum (8 MP / 16 GP)

4= West London (6 MP / 13.5 GP)
4= Magic Mushrooms (6 MP / 12.5 GP)
6= Beckenham & Charlton (4 MP / 12 GP)
6= Battersea (4 MP / 11 GP)
6= Southampton University Aardvarks (4 MP / 9 GP) 

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