Allan Pleasants wins the 26th Dorset Rapidplay in ‘pleasant’ surroundings!

31 adults took part in the 26th Dorset Rapidplay Championship which was run alongside the Dorset Junior Chess Festival at the Merley Community Centre on Sunday 8th May 2022. Playing in the pleasant carpeted bar area away from the noisier main hall where the juniors were playing, and with all windows and doors open on a nice summer’s day, this allowed for comfortable playing conditions. The adults chose not to join in the impromptu football match which was held between each round just outside by the juniors, choosing instead to focus purely on the chess and some social chat!

There was an ample supply of refreshments with the kitchen kindly manned by Lucy, her daughter Emmie and late substitute, Cherry Zou. For the first time in the tournament’s 26 year history, there was no free lunch but all hot & cold drinks plus biscuits were free and there were also snacks such as cornish pasties, sausage rolls and cakes at a modest price! This allowed for a reduced entry fee of only £10 payable on the day whilst maintaining a good range of prizes.

Steve Peirson also deserves special praise for quietly yet meticulously helping out with the tournament’s organisation, controlling and draw for each round. We were not made aware of any disputes so we would like to thank all players for their sporting, friendly behaviour.

On to the chess…

The new slightly faster time control of 15 minutes plus 5 second increments was introduced this year which allowed for a later start, more exciting games (and a few time scrambles!) yet finishing at its normal time.

Rapidplay Wallchart

There was a strong field with no less than 8 players rated above 2000 and all matches were very competitive. As shown on the wallchart above, any one of 5 players could have won the tournament going into the final round and all 4 veterans still had a chance of picking up the Veterans trophy.

1st and joint 2nd prize winners…

After a good win in the final round, Allan Pleasants (Weymouth), pictured above, is to be congratulated for coming 1st in the tournament, becoming the Dorset Rapidplay Champion, winning the Dorset Rapidplay Championship Cup with an excellent 5½ out of 6 score and collecting £60. Allan has now won the Championship 5 times including 3 times in the last 5 years to go outright 2nd in the all time list behind Bruce Jenks who has won it 8 times!

Keith Gregory (Fareham) and Mike Duggan (Poole) also played well and came joint 2nd with 5 points winning £30 each. Mike (left) and Keith (right) are pictured above. Keith – the camera is over here!

Peter Anderson (Ringwood), in the forefront of the playing room picture above, was perhaps the unluckiest player not to pick up a prize, coming 4th outright with 4½ points.

Other prize winners…

The Under 2000 rating prize was won by Richard Smith (Poole), pictured above, with 4 points winning £20. Richard had a tremendous tournament and was in contention of winning the tournament up to the last round.

The Under 1860 rating prize was won jointly by Richard Ursell (Highcliffe), Mark Potter (Dorchester) & Peter Wilcock (Wimborne) with 3½ points, each winning £7. Richard (left) and Mark (right) are pictured above collecting their prizes.

The Under 1800 rating prize was won by Nathaniel Cleland (Wimborne), pictured above, with 3½ points, winning £20.

The Under 1750 rating prize was won by Thorsten Meyer (Bournemouth), pictured above, with 3½ points, winning £20.

The Under 1700 rating prize was won by Paul Jackson (Bournemouth), pictured above, with 3 points, winning £20.

The Under 1600 rating prize was won by Dan Ursell (Highcliffe), Jonathan le Grange (Dorchester) & Matthew Curtis (Winchester) with 1 point, each winning £7. Dan (left), Jonathan (right) and Matthew (in a separate photo) are pictured above with Nikki Forster (Dorset Junior Chess Festival Organiser) in the background looking like she is either falling off her chair, making a mad dash to avoid being in the photo or about to perform the New Zealand haka ritual!

The Veterans Cup winner was Rob Halse (Highcliffe), pictured above, with 3 points (no monetary prize).

Quiz Question Time

Can you work out who has appeared most in the photos above? It’s not me!

Next Year’s Rapidplay Championship

We plan to run the 27th Dorset Rapidplay Championship next year, the only questions are:

  • Where – Greyfriars or Merley?
  • What time of year … March, April or May?
  • Do we revert back to an earlier start time with a slightly longer time limit?
  • Do we bring back the free lunch and a slightly more expensive entry fee?

Please let me know what you think.

We would like to thank all players who supported this year’s enjoyable Championship and hope to see you again next year.

Martin Simons – Dorset Rapidplay Organiser – 11th May 2022

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