The MK Phoenix 4NCL Rapidplay team was Peter, myself, Femi and Mac, in that order, and in that order we stayed throughout the 7 rounds.
first round saw us drawn against Barbican 1, boasting Matthew Piper (242), John
Cox (233), Jonathan Rogers (213) and Isaac Sanders (a mere 199). We duly scored
zero, and so got paired against Bucks Juniors (average grade 135) in round 2.
Somehow Femi lost, against Tom Maddox (from MK club!), even though I told him to
be careful, but the rest of us won, so 3/8 (all is decided on game points, not
match points, although perhaps not all, as you will see).
3 paired us against CSC 5 (they had 6 teams, so well done them), who must have
boasted the highest range of grades in the tournament, ranging from David Okike
(215) to Alan Bright (estimated zero). I drew against Paul McKeown, Femi and Mac
won easily, and Peter managed an excellent win against David. So that’s 6.5/12,
just over 50%. At this point, Peter noticed that Mac’s grade was being shown as
178, even though his rapidplay grade is only 154, and board order is being
determined by rapidplay grades. So what, you might ask? Well, that would bring
our average grade to 176, rather than 170, and there’s an under-175 prize. So a
quick chat with Neville Belinfante, plus evidence from the ECF grading website
on my iPhone, and the correct information was agreed.
4 paired us against CSC 2, whom we also beat, this time 3-1, Peter unable to
repeat his previous round play against Peter Sowray, although Femi managed to
win a hopelessly lost position when his opponent missed Femi’s mate threat. But
9.5/16 saw us up against RSJ in round 5, average grade 217 (Alan Merry 229 on
board 1, Paul Talsma 201 on board 4), so that’s 9.5/20.
6 was against Leeds University Old Boys, who outgraded us every board, but we
still managed a 2-2 draw, with (modestly) my finest game for some time, and we
go into round 7 on 11.5/24. A “look at the old scoreboard” showed that the only
U-175 team above us were West is Best, who seemed to have come from nowhere to
score 14/24. This was later explained as being due to a triangular match over 2
rounds at the bottom, from which they scored 8/8. However, the result of that
was that they were playing Guildford (average grade 240!) in the last round, so
we were pretty sure that they would do what we had done against Barbican and RSJ
(which they duly did).
before the match we decided we needed 3 points against Oxford to get to 14.5.
Things did not start well, when I lost horribly. But Femi had another excellent
win, and Peter persuaded his opponent to sac a rook unsoundly, while Mac had a
plus, but ended up in a drawn bishops of opposite colour ending. So 14/28, and
it’s all on tie-break ... which is on match points … and we had 4 wins, 1 draw,
and 2 losses, whereas West Is Best had 4 wins and 3 losses. So a fine U-175
victory – followed up the following day by my winning the individual U-175
scores in the team tournament were Peter 3/7, Richard 3.5/7, Femi 4/7, Mac
3.5/7. So everyone contributed to the overall performance, and of course all
enjoyed themselves as well.
updated 7th October 2013
Copyright @ 2001-13 Adrian Elwin