Report by Club Championship Controller John Swain
Drag Sudar (163) defeated FIDE Master and eight times Gambit Champion Michael Barnes (200) in round 4 to take sole lead with 3.5 points. Champion in 2018 Pete Mercs (184) emerged victorious against another former Champion Steve Hunter (167) so setting the stage for an exciting final round duel with Drag. Derek Padvis (123) also had a fine game, beating Mike Naylor (172) to set up a meeting with Michael Barnes.
Drag knew that a draw against Pete would secure him the title on tie-break if Michael beat or drew with Derek, but a play-off would be needed if Derek won since they had drawn their individual game in round 1. Nevertheless, Drag continued to play his normal aggressive style and defeated Pete. Congratulations to Drag on his first Gambit title! Michael, winning against Derek in a close encounter, had to settle for second place. John Huthwaite was outright third on 3.5.
Final scores were:
1st – Drag Sudar (163) 4.5 points out of 5
2nd – Michael Barnes (200) 4 points
3rd – John Huthwaite (150) 3.5 points
4th= Dick Edwards (125)
Pete Mercs (184)
Mike Naylor (172)
Derek Padvis (123) all on 3 points
8th= Florian Biermann (173)
Brian Hayward (140) both on 2.5 points
10th= Gary Hopkinson (129)
Steve Hunter (167)
Keith Roper (136) all on 2 points
13th– Graham Gibson (114)
Alan Groves (93)
Ken Heath (71) all on 1.5 points
16th Peter Gorecka-Marshall (137) 0.5 points
My thanks to all who played and made my first time as Championship controller a very pleasant experience. The time handicap system, inherited from Drag, who organised this event for many years, with the additional tweak of a five-second increment, seemed to work well.