Controller: Mark Murrell
An excellent entry of 35 players embarked on the Essex Online Rapid Championship, enabling two sections – Open and U1600 – to play over seven rounds.
The Championships will be played on Monday evenings, starting at 7.00 pm, from 25 January to Monday 22 March. Note: the following Monday evenings are already taken for other events: 1 Feb (Blitz 3), 1 Mar (Rapid 3), 29 Mar (Blitz 4), so Rapid Championship games fit in on Mondays other than these dates. Players may also request playing on other dates or times by agreement with Controller and opponent (see Rules).
Each double round involves two games against the same opponent, one with each colour. A break of 15 minutes between legs is provided for which players can reduce by mutual agreement.
Players may seek in advance (the day before) half-point byes for both games in any double-round save for the last, up to a maximum of two double-rounds, or a deferment with the agreement of their opponent.
Schedule and Results
Pairings and Results for Rounds 1 and 2 are on the ECF League Management System at these links:
In the Open, four players won both games to form the leading group on 2/2: Jef Page, Ian Hunnable, Russell White and Jay Sharman, the latter producing the only upsets of the first double round when he twice defeated Tom Barton, the second when Tom blundered in a winning position. 17 players
The U1600 produced six double winners on 2/2: Lakshan Siddharth, Jaideep Cheema, Ruquyyah Rida, Aggarwal Shivan Paul Kukiewicz and Dia Harris. 18 players
The R1 and R2 games for each section are given in the game boards below; they’re the ones showing a game date of ‘2021.01.25’ and one pair of games in the Open dated ‘2021.02.03’.
Week 2, Rounds 3 and 4
In the Open, Russell White (2-0 v Jef Page) and Ian Hunnable (2-0 v Jay Sharman) were the only players to retain a 100% record after Week 2 (Rounds 3 and 4), now joint leaders on 4/4. Otherwise Martin McCall and Ashley Freeman both stayed in touch with the leaders – a point adrift, 3/4 – being the only others to win both games in Week 2.
Leaders after R4
=1 Ian Hunnable, Russell White, 4/4; =3 Martin McCall, Ashley Freeman, 3; =5 Dmitry Molostvov, Felix Todd, Julian Corfield, 2½. 18 players
In the U1600, Lakshan Siddharth beat Dai Harris twice to take the sole lead on 4/4. Shivan Aggarwal dropped a half in R4, but holds second on his own on 3½/4. There were, however, four other 2/2 performances in Week 2 by players who had dropped points in Week 1: Fraser Caves (3/4), Shiva Shrishti (3/4), Michael Buckingham (2/4) and Huzaifa Baig (2/4).
Leaders after R4
1 Lakshan Siddharth, 4/4; 2 Shivan Aggarwal, 3½, =3 Fraser Caves, Peter Kukiewicz, Shrishti Shiva, Jaideep Cheema, 3. 18 players
Pairings and Results
The Open and U1600 games for R3 and R4 have been added to the game board below (in each case, these are the games with a date ‘2021.02.08’.)
Week 3, Rounds 5 and 6
Two games against the same opponent, each at G20+10. On lichess.org – the first game to start at 7.00 pm, the second at 8.15 pm, or as agreed between the players. (Prior dispensation to play on other dates or times may have been approved by the Controller in individual cases.)
Pairings have been published at these links:
Week 4, Rounds 7 and 8
The completion of R7 marks half-way in the event.
In the Open, Russell White maintained a narrow lead at the head of the field with 7/8, but that bare fact hides the drama of R8. The Board 1 pairing was Russell against Ashley Freeman. The first game (R7) was drawn. In R8, Russell dropped a pawn, perhaps over-estimating his compensation. Ashley retained that advantage into a winning K+P ending. After 53 moves, both players were “playing on increments”, Ashley having 1m.05s and Russell 1m.41s. On the board, Ashley had a clearly winning position. But at this point disaster struck. We won’t dwell on the details, but it required two blunders to reverse the result. 54 a4? changed 1-0 to ½-½, whereas 55 b5?? threw it all away. Had Ashley won the game as he deserved, he would be in the joint lead with 6½/8 and Russell 6/8. It didn’t happen and Russell leads with 7/8 while Ashley drops to =3rd on 5½.
Meanwhile, Ian Hunnable made up lost ground after his ½/2 v Russell in R5 and 6, by beating Julian Corfield twice to move into second place. James Evans beat Felix Todd twice to share third with Ashley on 5½.
Open Leaders after R8: 1 – Russell White, 7/8; 2 – Ian Hunnable, 6½; =3 – James Evans, Ashley Freeman, 5½; 18 players.
In the U1600 competition it’s tight at the top with joint leaders on 6½/8 and joint 3rd on 6. Both leaders after 8 won both their games, Shivan Aggarwal beating Peter Kukiewicz twice and Ruqayyah Rida doing the double over Fraser Caves. This, however, hides the double change in fortunes as the joint leaders after R6, Lakshan Siddharth and Jaideep Cheema, both dropped a point this evening and both slip into joint third on 6.
U1600 Leaders after R8: =1 – Shivan Aggarwal, Ruqayyah Rida, 6½/8; =3 – Lakshan Siddharth, Jaideep Cheema, 6; 5 – Dai Harris; 18 players.
All the R7 and R8 completed games in both competitions have been added to the game board below – with thanks to Mark Murrell – these being the games with a date of ‘2021.02.22’.
There are six rounds still to play. Next rounds: 9 and 10, are on 8 March. Next Monday, 1 March, is taken up with Rapid 3 for which the Entry Form is now available.
Game board help: to flip the board, with Black at the top, click the square e7, with White at the top, click the square d2 (it’s the same square in both cases). Hover your pointer over the board and read the help label that appears to tell you what clicking each square does. (Not all squares are “active”.)