Gambit 2 will remain in division 1 next season, even though they ended up 7th last season, because the LMC has somehow allowed Grantham 2 to be relegated to division 2 even after finishing 5th, 4 points ahead of Gambit 2. Grantham easily has both the strength and numbers to comfortably field two highly competitive teams in division 1, so…
Gambit 1, 3, 4 & 5 will be in divisions 1, 3, 4 & 5 respectively, as expected from their final positions last season.
Gambit finished 2nd in this year’s CWANG. We were equal 1st with a combined Mansfield / RB team going into the final round but they pulled ahead to win on 29.5 points to our 26, with Ashfield on 24, a combined Nomads / Beeston team on 11 and a combined Central / Gambit team last on 9.5 points.
CWANG Round 1, and members of the winning team: Nick London (RB), Jon Tait (Mansfield), Jim Burnett (Mansfield) & Marcel Taylor (RB)
Mike Barnes came from behind to emerge the winner of the Lightning event. In round 3 he was defeated by Pete Mercs but recovered to win his final 3 games, although he was lucky to win in round 5 against Graham Gibson, who missed a guaranteed draw. Graham also gave away a draw to Drag Sudar in round 1 when clearly winning.
In 2nd place was Pete Mercs who, after beating Mike, only drew with Drag before losing to Derek Padvis, but then beat Mick Harper in the final round.
Joint 3rd were Drag and Mike Naylor, who met in round 5 with Mike punishing a poor move by Drag before losing in the title decider to Mike Barnes.
Final Scores (out of 6):
4.0 Sudar, Naylor
3.5 Padvis, Hayward
3.0 Harper, Jennings, Roper
2.0 Tassi, Huthwaite
Congratulations to Mike Barnes for winning Gambit’s first graded Rapidplay Championship, played out over 5 rounds during the season. Graeme Jennings and John Tassi were joint 2nd on 6.5/10 points. In each round the opponents play two games against each other, one with each colour. Full Results:
1st: M Barnes 9
2nd: G Jennings, J Tassi 6.5
4th: B Hayward, M Naylor, J Swain 6
7th: R Edwards, J Huthwaite 5
9th: D Sudar 4.5
10th: C Grainger 3.5
11th: D Padvis 1.5
12th: K Heath 0.5
This was a tough season for most of our members, malady with 3 of our teams finishing in relegation places. However there were some notable individual results.
The best 4 wins of the season were:
Graeme Jennings (159) v Nigel Birtwistle (196) and Richard Truman (180)
Onos Kofi-Ofuafor (167) v Robert Richmond (192)
Ken Heath (72) v Alberto Rodriguez (116)
The best draws of the season were:
Tom Adams (ung) v Alex Posazhennikov
Alan Groves (88) v Graham Neil (122)
Rob Ensor (124) v Owen Hunt (154)
Derek Padvis (127) v Matt Smith (160) and John Harrison (151)
Keith Roper (137) v Anita Somton (165)
Charlie Grainger (139) v Alex Combie (171)
John Tassi (142) v Steve Prior (190) and Glenn Halfpenny (176)
John Huthwaite (148) v Zoltan Tardi (181)
Drag Sudar (152) v Steve Prior (190) and Peter Mercs (180)
Mike Naylor (164) v Jim Burnett (197)
Graeme Jennings (159) v Peter Mercs (183)
Onos Kofi-Ofuafor (167) v Mike Barnes (203)
Several league rule change proposals were passed at last night’s well attended rules revision meeting, but probably the most interesting one for players will be the option for teams to mutually agree to use increments in league matches from next season. Teams will be able to agree to play all moves in 75 minutes (60 in div 5) plus 10 second increments. This is a welcome and logical step forward from the introduction this season of all moves in 90 minutes (75 in div 5) as clubs obtain more digital clocks.
Rule C7 has also been greatly simplified, focusing entirely on the 20 points tolerance when determining board order, with the administrative aspects of how temporary grades may be assigned next season to be covered by hopefully ‘user friendly’ LMC guidelines.
Congratulations to new club champion Mike Barnes (left, with club president Alan Groves).
Mike had to work hard to win the title after slipping to a first round draw against a dogged Peter Gorecka-Marshall.
The only shock result in round one was Peter G-M’s draw with Mike. In round 2, Drag Sudar laid a trap which John Swain fell for, leaving Drag on 2 points alongside Pete Mercs and Tom Adams with Mike and Peter G-M on 1.5 points.
In round 3 Peter G-M beat Drag to join Mike in 2nd place behind Pete M who had beaten Tom. Round 4 saw Mike finally wear down Pete M, while Drag missed a chance to win a rook in his draw with Tom.
Drag made up for this in round 5 with a nice win over Pete M while Tom beat Peter G-M and Mike beat Brian Hayward. Mike was worse than Tom in the final round but fought his way back to win and take the title. Drag managed to beat Brian and finished 2nd on 4.5 with Pete M third after beating Mike Naylor.
The club championship is held at the end of the season over 2 weeks with 3 rounds in each week. Games are 25 minutes per person +/- a time handicap depending on differences in grade. This year 16 club members took part.
After several weeks of delay, the LMC has rejected Gambit’s appeal and will not penalise Ashfield 1 for using Dong against Gambit 2 when he had neither an August grade nor an assigned temporary grade (he did have a January grade but that doesn’t count according to both rule C7 and the instructions issued to clubs last September by the records secretary).
The LMC has mishandled this case at every stage from start to end. For example, there was never a proper face to face meeting between the 5 members who could vote (the other 4 couldn’t vote as the matter directly involved their clubs), therefore not all of them got a chance to hear directly from the records secretary how and why rule C7 had been administered throughout the season, and so they could not possibly have made a fully informed decision.
So Gambit 2 have joined the 3rd and 4th teams in being relegated this season.
On the bright side we’ll be competing for 3 clocks next season!
Meanwhile, after week 1 of the club championship, Peter Mercs leads the other 15 competitors with a perfect 3/3, closely followed by Mike Barnes & Peter Gorecka-Marshall on 2.5 points, and with 4 players on 2 points. Peter played really well to take a draw off Mike in round 1 and then exploited a bad move by Drag to beat him in round 3.
Gambit 2 played their final match of the season against relegation rivals WB 1, knowing that a draw would keep them up, regardless of the pending LMC decision. WB 1 finally got their act together and brought a strong team. Things began well when Steve Hunter won an exchange against Ross Murphy but then he allowed an attack and his position collapsed. Onos was outplayed by Shabir Okhai. Graeme Jennings played an uncharacteristically poor opening which Richard Truman punished. Mike played nicely against Robert Richmond until he allowed a bishop to get trapped. Drag, after a poor start, recovered to have the best side of a draw versus Robert Taylor (Syston’s, not Ashfield’s), but after missing a mate in one he over pressed and Robert defended well even when short of time and Drag eventually lost. Although it was always going to be a difficult match, nobody expected a 5-0 thrashing.
This result means that Gambit 2 will be relegated unless the LMC remains consistent with decisions already made this season, and rules that Dong was ineligible for Ashfield 1 v Gambit 2. If the LMC rules otherwise, Gambit will eagerly await the LMC’s detailed explanation.
Steve Hunter won the major section of the Nottingham Congress for the second time, recipe cheapest having previously won it in 2012. Going into the final round he was a full point clear and needed a draw to win outright, sick link which he achieved, dosage but it looked tricky for a bit.
Pete Mercs won a 5th share of the U185 grading prize after a very interesting and hard fought last round draw v a 194.
9 Gambiteers took part (and John Swain was one of the arbiters). Scores:
Open: Pete Mercs 3, Charlie Grainger 1.5, Mike Naylor 1
Major: Steve Hunter 4.5, Drag Sudar 3, John Huthwaite & Peter Gorecka-Marshall 1.5
Inter: Mick Harper 1.5
Minor: Maggie Gretton 2.5