Thursday, 4 June 2015

Coventry Individual Championship / British Chess Championship

This post is not specifically about the Coventry Chess Club, but a report on the first Coventry championship to be staged for some years, and news of an event which could be of interest.
Most will be aware that the 2015 British Chess Championship is fast approaching, and that it is being held at The Warwick University, from 25th July - 8th August.
To commemorate this, Mike Johnson kindly organised a Coventry Individual tournament, starting last year, whereby the eventual winner would qualify to play in the British Championship proper.
5 players entered; namely myself; Dave Ireland, alongside Joshua Pink, Tom Thorpe, Andrew Patterson and pre-tournament favourite, Paul Lam.
It was decided that we would all play each other twice, once with either colour, therefore giving each participate 8 games to play. The winner would become the Coventry champion for 2015, and, as mentioned, have the chance to play alongside the "big boys", at the British championship.
As always, the winner would be decided by the player who totaled the most points, in this case, out of a possible maximum of 8. Should 2 players tie the winning total, a playoff would decide the outcome.

Well, some months after the Coventry Individual started, I can report that this tournament is almost over.
There are only 2 games left to play, but these are academic as far as qualification goes, as the qualifier is already now determined.

The qualifier is Paul Lam, who has now completed all 8 of his games, and gained 6.5 out of 8 points (6 wins, 1 draw and 1 loss).
Paul is very closely followed by Andy Patterson, who so far has 5.5 out of 7 games played. Should Andy win his final game, he will join Paul in a tie for first place.
However, as far as qualifying goes, this is of no concern to either player, as Andy, by winning a Leamington qualifier some time back, has already secured his place at the "British" via a different tournament.
Therefore, the rules stipulate that the next highest player from the Coventry group is also eligible to qualify, regardless of if he surpasses Andy's total or not. As it happens, Paul secured qualification with a game still left to play, being well ahead of the rest of the pack.
Nevertheless, the Coventry Individual itself is not yet decided, and Andy could yet get into a playoff with Paul to decide who is "Coventry Champion".

The results are below

COVENTRY :Individual Championship

Paul Lam
Andrew Paterson
Dave Ireland
Joshua Pink
Thomas Thorpe

Paul Lam 1 - 0 Joshua Pink
Joshua Pink 0.5 - 0.5 Paul Lam
Paul Lam 1 - 0 Andrew Paterson
Andrew Paterson 1 - 0 Paul Lam
Thomas Thorpe 0 - 1 Paul Lam
Paul Lam 1 - 0 Thomas Thorpe
Paul Lam 1 - 0 Dave Ireland
Dave Ireland 0 - 1 Paul Lam
Andrew Paterson 1 - 0 Joshua Pink
Andrew Paterson 1 - 0 Dave Ireland
Dave Ireland 0.5 - 0.5 Andrew Paterson
Thomas Thorpe 0 - 1 Andrew Paterson
Andrew Paterson 1 - 0 Thomas Thorpe
Joshua Pink 1 - 0 Thomas Thorpe
Thomas Thorpe 0.5 - 0.5 Joshua Pink
Joshua Pink 0.5 - 0.5 Dave Ireland
Dave Ireland 1 - 0 Joshua Pink
Dave Ireland 0.5 - 0.5 Thomas Thorpe

The British Chess Championship is not just about determining the best players in Britain, there are many tournaments being held within the event that cater for all levels, (and ages) of players.
An event like this arrives in Coventry once in a blue moon, as chess tournaments of any kind in this city have been very rare over the years. The most recent chess congress in Coventry was 2 years ago, and before that, you have to go back to 2004 and 2005 to find the last ones that were held here. Prior to this, it was way back in the late 80's (yes, really!) when a tournament was last staged here, and it was a rapid play event at that !  
So, bearing in mind Coventry has had a grand total of 4 chess events in 30 years or more, this is a very rare chance for local players to be able to play in such a prestigious event. Such an opportunity to play locally at the British will probably not come along again for a very long time, so make the most of it. 
For all interested players, the web address is