4th Bridgend Junior Rapidplay Tournament
Sponsored by the Lions Club of Bridgend
Despite the alternative attraction of the FA cup final, there was a good turnout of 27 for this friendly event. Andrew Trickey and the Lions club had done a lot of preparatory work and in addition to providing the venue and free entry, this year there was a free buffet for all those who turned up.
The Bridgend Chess Club have benefited considerably from providing the chess expertise at the event, with a number of juniors joining their club, and over half of the players were able to play with ratings, many of these the first time they have appeared on the list. The standard of play in both the U16 and the U12 events was far higher than in the previous three events, and the U16 tournament was won for the first time by a Bridgend player.
Upsets started in Round 1 with Thomas Davies playing splendid chess to beat the second seed Alex Bullen. My mistakenly referring to him as ‘George’ has unwittingly created a new nickname for the winner. In round 2 the top seed Alex Wills was beaten by 7-year old Ben Thomas who had chosen to play in this rather than the U12 event. In the next round Ben threw away a winning position against Matthew Bold, who went into the lead by just managing to mate Ben’s lone king with seconds to spare. Matthew was in turn beaten by Damon Davies who had earlier conceded a draw to Linton Fox. In the last round, Damon held his nerve playing soundly to beat Alex Wills, whilst Matthew beat Alex Bullen, This left Damon, I understand the player in EG with the largest improvement in rating this year, as undefeated winner of the Clive Rickard trophy on 4Ѕ
!st Damon Davies 4Ѕ
2nd Matthew Bold 4
3rd Linton Fox 3Ѕ
Alex Wills, Adam Howell, Ben Thomas, Alex Bullen, Nathan Trickey 3
Michael John 2Ѕ
Sean Day, Thomas Davies, Joseph Setchfield, David Webster, 2
Adam Eagle, 1Ѕ
Jay White, James Whelan Ѕ
In some ways this was even more closely fought. Alex Freeland was returning as defending champion, and disposed of a likely challenger 4th seed Harshith Maruthireddy, in round 2, but was then defeated (I’m told for the first time) by Daniel Wilmot-Stoyle who took the lead on 3 points. In round 4, Daniel was beaten by Philippe Rogers who now lead on 3Ѕ. The last round pairings saw Philippe v Alex, Daniel v George Treharne, who had won 3 games on the trot after losing to Philippe in Round 1. If Philippe failed to win, the tiebreak, favoured Daniel.
Until late in the game, Philippe outplayed Alex, at one stage being a piece for a pawn ahead. When in the ending he saw that George had beaten Daniel, and found Alex fighting hard to make the most of limited opportunities, he offered a draw, which would have won him the trophy. Only a win was enough for Alex so this was turned down. Then tragedy struck. Philippe picked up his king forgetting for the moment that he needed to prevent Alex’s h-pawn queening. Too late he realised what he had done, and with no way the king could do this, the deserved win suddenly became a sad loss. The tie-break favoured Alex over George, who was thus able to retain the John Basini Cup by the skin of his teeth.
1st Alex Freeland (sps 12) 4
2nd George Treharne (sps 10) 4
3rd Philippe Rogers (sps 12) 3Ѕ
4th Jonathan Bold (sps 11) 3Ѕ
Harshith Maruthireddy, Daniel Wilmot-Stoyle 3
Mattew Lloyd Brothers, Thomas Payne, Henry Lewis 2
Katie Treharne 1
Thanks also to Lauren Davies and Samina Trickey who acted as fillers in this event, playing against the players who had the bye.
It was clear from final results that those who played regular club chess and had grades were generally stronger than their opponents. This should be an incentive for parents to get interested children involved as early as possible with a chess club which can give them experience of that kind.
Certainly junior chess in Bridgend has flourished as a result of the Lions supporting this event, and I wish their project to start a primary schools league every success.
John Thornton (controller)