Hendon champions of Rapidplay League!

Wednesday 19 August, 2009

Despite some last night nerves, our rapidplay team overcame Dulwich to become the first City of London Rapidplay League champions, with a score of 10/11 match points!

Dulwich Hendon
1
Randall, Ryan
183s 1 - 0
Eden, Tomer
173
2
Jedrzejewski, Bartosz
140s 0 - 1
Ellis, Daniel
148
3
Seton, Marlon
- 1 - 0
Bennett, Michael K
-
4
DEFAULT
- 0 - 1
Pepe, Salvatore
118
2 - 2
Dulwich Hendon
1
Randall, Ryan
183s ½ - ½
Eden, Tomer
173
2
Jedrzejewski, Bartosz
140s 0 - 1
Ellis, Daniel
148
3
Seton, Marlon
- 0 - 1
Bennett, Michael K
-
4
DEFAULT
- 0 - 1
Pepe, Salvatore
118
½ - 3½

Due to the rule regarding defaults that are not notified beforehand, Dulwich have 1 extra point deducted from their total, so the final score is: Dulwich 1½ – Hendon 5½

Report by Adam Raoof

The Sharks had to recover some composure after last week’s shock defeat against nearest rivals King’s Head 2. In the 11th and final round (actually round two, postponed because of a tube strike) we faced a potentially strong team from Dulwich. Knowing that we needed at least a draw from this match, as KH2 would have a relatively easy evening against Hammersmith, the days before the encounter were nervy and anxious. Would we make the final leap from leaders to champions? Or would we fall at the final hurdle and hand the (virtual) trophy to our dastardly rivals (actually quite a nice bunch – Ed)?

Salvatore Pepe had the toughest evening; his opponent failed to show and he had to spend the next three hours watching! That took a lot of the pressure off the rest of the team, and quite clearly annoyed the nearby KH2 captain. All part of the plan! But Salvatore’s energetic contribution to the league has been vital, and had his opponent turned up, we felt sure the final score in their mini-match would have remained 2-0.

The next part of the game plan was to reinstall a very on-form Tomer Eden on Board 1, fresh from the British Championships and the Uxbridge International. Adam Raoof took a well-earned break and did the driving, and photography, and tried to motivate the team with cold drinks and encouraging hand gestures. Tomer did his best to contain a strong opponent on board one, and scored a valuable half a point when the match was in the bag.

Daniel Ellis fairly wiped out his opponent, who had recently had a decent score in the Loose Cannons / London Chess Centre Blitz. The first game saw Dan win a piece early, and grind his way uncharacteristically slowly to victory. The second game was a blitzkrieg of sacrifices and counter sacrifices as his unwary opponent chose the King’s Gambit with white. Ha! The game was over in a flash, and gave us the crucial point we needed to win the match AND the league.

Here’s the decisive game with a few notes by Dan:

[Event "Dulwich v Hendon"] [Site "London, UK"] [Date "2009.08.19"] [Round "2"] [White "Jedrzejewski, Bartosz"] [Black "Ellis, Daniel"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO ""] [WhiteElo "140"] [BlackElo "164"] [PlyCount "48"] [EventDate "2009.08.19"] 1. e4 e5 2. f4 exf4 3. Nf3 h6 4. Bc4 d6 5. d4 g5 6. Nc3 Nc6 7. h4 g4 8. Ng1 Qf6?! 9. Nd5 Qxd4 10. Qxd4 Nxd4 11. Nxc7+ Kd8 12. Nxa8 Nxc2+ 13. Kd1 Nxa1 14. Bxf4 Nf6 15. e5 Nh5 16. Bh2? g3 17. Bxg3 Nxg3 18. Rh3? Bxh3 19. Nxh3 dxe5 20. Nf2 Bc5 21. Ng4 b5! {Black wants to decoy the white bishop from its current post} 22. Bxb5 Ke7! 23. Nc7 Rd8+ {Without b5, the white knight can intervene on d5} 24. Ke1 Nc2# {Does the white king have any squares? Er...no!}

Smiles all around as we realised what had happened, and Dan was off to the bar for a whisky to celebrate.

Mike Bennett lost what was probably a drawn ending after a hard middlegame struggle in game one, a Dark Horse speciality Modern Defence, but really bounced back in game two in his other favourite opening, the Grand Prix Attack. Marlon offered Mike a draw when he knew the match was lost, but it was clear that Marlon was struggling to find some way to control the position, and with time and material in his favour, Mike played on and won.

We all adjourned to the nearest pub to play pool and have a drink to celebrate! Thanks to Hendon Chess Club for sponsoring the team to play in this event.

Final Standings

  • Hendon: 10/11 (60.5)
  • Kings Head 2: 9.5/11 (53.5)
  • Athenaeum: 8.5/11 (57.5)
  • Cavendish: 6/11 (51.5)
  • Mushrooms: 6/11 (48.5)
  • Kings Head 1: 5.5/11 (44)
  • Albany: 5.5/11 (43)
  • Battersea: 4/11 (34)
  • Hackney: 3.5/11 (38.5)
  • Dulwich: 3.5/11 (35)
  • Hammersmith: 2/11 (29)
  • Metropolitan: 2/11 (29)

Photos on Flickr »