The Sean Marsh Chess Column
Grand Prix leads change hands!
The fourth event in this season’s North East Rapidplay Circuit was held at The Touchdown, Hartlepool, on 13th October. Approximately 40 players competed, split into the usual three sections.
The Minor section was dominated by Victoria Crompton,a very young lady from Cheshire. She won her first four games before losing her fifth round game to Gary Clarke. However, she recovered well to defeat StanJohnson in the final round. Graham Matthews and Ron Ratter shared second place. Incidentally, next time you see Ron, ask him to tell you his story about catching polar bears - it’s worththe entry fee alone!
‘Dangerous’ Dave Richardson was on great form again in the Majorand he shared first place with A. Dilley.They drew with each other in round two but beat everyone else. FredWilkinson and David Ross shared third place, one and a half points behind thewinners.
The Openwas, as usual, the smallest section. It started off with nine players, but a first round loss was enough to send one competitor home. Oh well, that meant that nobody could then get a bye and the tournament became almost an all-play-all, with each player missing out just oneother. It was an interesting selection of players. Your correspondent raced toan early lead with three straight wins and ended up with 5/6 (four wins, two draws) to take clear first place. David Eggleston and Jonathan Hawkins both played well all day and shared second place with three and a half points.
The day’s play changed the leaders in two of the three Grand Prix circuits.I now lead the Open with 16.5 points, leapfrogging over former leader Bret Addison (12.5) who was not at this event.
Dave Richardson’s first place hoists him into the Major driving seat with 12.5, just ahead of Bernie Price (12).
Graham Matthews still leads the Minor circuit, with 17.5 points, a point ahead of Ron Ratter.
Thanks to Graham Marshall and his trusty crew, this series of tournaments keeps going from strength to strength.
The next junior tournament in our county is the35th Cleveland Schools’ Chess Association event at the Southlands Leisure Centre, Ormesby Road,Middlesbrough on Sunday 18th November.
There are categories for all ages from Under-9 to Under-18, with trophy prizes in all sections.
Be there - or be square!