Five Gambiteers took part in the Championship congress: Florian Biermann & Drag Sudar in the Open section; John Huthwaite in the U155; Graham Gibson & Ronnie Watson in the U125. The U15 & U12 championships took place on Sunday, not involving any Gambiteers.
Florian gave Jonah Willow a huge scare in round 1 before finally losing after getting into time trouble. He and Drag met in round 4 and the game swung back and forth from being in favour of one to the other. Florian, again in time trouble, missed a chance to win Drag’s queen and later a possible mating net, and Drag emerged the victor. Florian responded by winning his final game, against Francis Bowers, to finish on 2 points out of 5. Drag also won his 5th game, against Daniel Broughton, to also finish on 2 points. The winner of the 6 player all play all was Jonah on 5/5, followed by Charlie Grainger on 3 (including a 1st round 1/2 point bye), who beat both Florian & Drag. Daniel finished joint 3rd on 2 points (including a full point bye in round 1) after losing to both Florian & Drag. Last was Francis in spite of his 1st round win over Drag.
John scored 2 points in the U155. He beat George Murfet in round 1 but lost to eventual winner Michael Lambert in round 2. After a 1/2 point bye in round 3 he could only draw with Ray Sayer and then lost to Dushan Malimage .
Graham missed out on a chance to finish joint 1st by losing to winner Bob Abrahart in the final round after he appeared to be winning. In the earlier rounds he beat Arunja Mendis & Alan Johnson and drew with Alexandra Arlachova but lost to David Dunne.
Ronnie had a full point bye in round 1 and then beat Alexandra and David. On Sunday he lost to Bob but could still have finished 2nd had he beaten Chris Fraser in round 5. Unfortunately Ronnie misread the start time of the final round and turned up late, losing by default. You had to feel for him.
The turnout of about 25 players was lower than the average of 44 of recent years. The number of entrants to the Championship and U155 sections was roughly half of previous years. This was partly, but not entirely, due to some NCC regulars choosing to play in 4NCL’s division 4 south. The U125 section used to average about 15 players but only 8 played last year with a similar number this year. This is largely due to the introduction of the U15 and U12 championships which has attracted about 15 players in both years.