There was a smaller entry than usual this year of just 10 players due to several factors including the EFL deciding to schedule a championship playoff game on our 1st Tuesday, featuring some team from Rushcliffe. Nevertheless the event reached an exciting conclusion.
After week 1 Peter Mercs and Florian Biermann led the way on 2.5 points after drawing with each other in round 3. Just behind them, on 2 points, were Michael Naylor, Drag Sudar & Gary Hopkinson. Gary had caused the only upset so far, beating Mike in round 1.
The scores after round 3 were:
2.5: Florian, Pete
2.0: Mike, Drag, Gary
1.0: Felipe, Mark, Graham
In round 4 Drag caused a major upset by beating Florian after playing an opening he’d never used before, and Mike also caused an upset by beating Pete. The final round pairings were Florian (2.5) v Mike (3), Drag (3) v Pete (2.5) and Richard Edwards (2.5) v Ken Heath (0) (after a mistake in the pairing process; Dick should have been paired v Graham Gibson (1)). Dick beat Ken and waited to see if he would feature in a playoff.
Drag again caused an upset by beating Pete and giving himself hope of retaining the title he won the last time it was played for in 2019. Florian and Mike played out a double edged game and, as both players dipped below 1 minute left on their clocks, Florian missed an opportunity to reach a rook + 3 v rook + 2 endgame that he couldn’t lose. However he allowed Mike to swap off the rooks and his bishop was better than Florian’s in the endgame, so Mike won and became club champion on tie break after having beaten Drag in round 2. Congratulations to Mike on his first Gambit club championship.
4.0: Mike, Drag
2.5: Florian, Pete, Gary
2.0: Felipe/Marian (Marian 2nd week sub for Felipe)