Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Brighouse Rapidplay turns 20

Round 1 of the Brighouse Rapidplay gets underway with the tournament's eventual winner, Ben Hague, sitting on the left of the table nearest the camera
Today Halifax’s Adrian Dawson reports on the 20th edition of the Brighouse Rapidplay tournament which took place last Saturday. By way of an appetiser I'd like to offer readers a tasty morsel of an endgame from the final round of that tournament to get their juices flowing. In the position below White is a pawn up in a simple ending and should convert to a win easily enough if he can figure out how to get his king past the Black barricade. What is the simplest and most clinical way to do this? The solution is at the end of this post.

White to play from Shapland vs. Mahoney,
Brighouse Rapidplay 2011 - Round 6

Hebden Bridge's Matthew Parsons (right) had a difficult
start to the day but bounced back with a strong finish
Saturday saw Brighouse celebrate the 20th anniversary of their highly successful Rapidplay Chess Tournament, which is “Open” to all-comers and was once again well attended by both local players and players from further afield. All in all 39 players competed, 19 of whom represented clubs from Calderdale or play for one of the Calderdale teams in the Yorkshire League.

The outright winner was Ben Hague (rated 229) from Oldham who scored an excellent 5½/6. Ben has now won the competition for three consecutive years and his patronage is widely appreciated. Second and third places went to local players Phil Watson (203) and Dave Shapland (180) of Hebden Bridge who both scored 5/6. Phil picked up the second prize on the tie-break mechanism of totting up the sum of the players’ round-by-round scores. Despite missing out on the prize money this result was an excellent achievement by Dave Shapland as he was seeded 6th in the draw.

Hebden's Nick Sykes (left) deployed his
trademark Schliemann variation of the
Spanish Opening successfully in round 1
 There were four grading prizes distributed. Dave Firth (169) from Huddersfield won Grading Prize ‘A with a score of 4/6’; Eric Davies (118) won Grading Prize ‘B’ with the same score. Grading Prize ‘C’ was won by young Peter Hepworth (101) from Huddersfield also with a score of 4/6. This was a tremendous achievement for Peter who will, no doubt, go on to achieve more such results with his attacking play. Grading Prize ‘D’ was won by John Light (76) of Leeds with a score of 3/6. Further results and photos can be found on the tournament website.

The Brighouse Chess Club extended it’s gratitude to the Salvation Army who hosted the event at their Citadel in the centre of Brighouse. The competitors were grateful to Bill Bardelang and Bruce Bendall for running the event so successfully and also to the event’s Director, Ronnie Grandage.

In addition to Adrian’s report I’d just like to make special mention of the other Hebden Bridge player’s who participated in the event. Matthew Parsons made an excellent recovery after a disappointing start to the event and scored 4/6. Nick Sykes conversely started off like a speeding bullet with 3/3 but then lost his remaining games to finish on that score. Dave Sugden scored 3½/6 and Terry Sullivan scored 2½/6.

I’d like to sign off by giving Dave Shapland’s best result of the day in his round 2 match against Barnsley’s Andy Drabble.




Puzzle answer: 1.a4+! the point being that if Black captures the proferred pawn with 1…Kxa4 then 2.Kc4 deploys that most deadly of endgame tactics, zugswang! Black is compelled to play his only legal move 2…f5 whereupon 3.exf5 will lead to a straight forward win for White. Black could instead retreat his king with 1…Kc6 for example but then the White king will also advance, or White will play 2.b4 and the king will infiltrate with decisive effect.

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