Controller: Mark Murrell
An excellent entry of 38 players embarked on the Essex Online Rapid Championship, enabling two sections – Open and U1600 – played over seven double-round weeks, 14 rounds in all in each tournament.
The Championships were played on lichess.org on Monday evenings, starting at 7.00 pm, from 25 January to Monday 22 March.
Each double round involved two games against the same opponent, one with each colour, with a break of 15 minutes between legs which players can reduce by mutual agreement.
Congratulations to Russell White the first Essex Online Rapid Champion with a score of 12/14. Russell was never out of the lead, being chased closely by Ashley Freeman and Ian Hunnable, neither of whom could take more than half a point off him (though Ashley missed a win in their first game, which returned to haunt him) and Russell preserved a half point lead from Game 6 onwards, briefly widening it to 1½ points for one game. Ashley finished 2nd on 11½ – that agonising half point adrift – and Ian came 3rd with 9½.
Russell we have known as a fine player for a good many years. Ashley might be a new name to most, but he is a returning player, having been active in the North Essex League some 25 years ago. He gained strength during the tournament and when OTB chess returns, will be an asset to Club and County alike.
Congratulations to Jaideep Cheema the first Essex Online U1600 Rapid Champion. The championship went down the wire with Jaideep and Shivan Aggarwal tied for first going into the final round (14). They met in round 5 when honours were even. Shivan, leading at the start of the last two games, was held to a draw in each, being passed by Jaideep in the process, and had to be content with second on 10½. Third place was taken by Ruqayyah Rida, on 9.
A marathon undertaking by Controller and players alike. Only one pair of games was not played, in the last week of the U1600; a total of 250 games in all – 126 in the Open, 124 in the U1600. So well done to all the players and a big vote of thanks to Mark Murrell as Controller, who not only ran the show quietly and efficiently throughout, but came up with the format in the first place. While there is an Essex Online organising committee, the other two members – Ian Hunnable and Tom Barton – were both playing in the Open, so Mark’s marathon effort was single-handed.
There is one outstanding pair of games in the Open and we will shortly be adding the finishing cross tables (with official tie-break positions, which cannot be reflected in the ECF LMS tables – links below). All the games are given in the game boards further down this page, together with downloadable zip files of the PGNs. These will be updated when we have the final two games.
Schedule and Results
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”.)
Download: Open games to Round 14 inclusive (zip)
Download: U1600 games to Round 14 inclusive (zip)