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NICS Intense Rapidplay

Northern Ireland Civil Service (NICS) open their doors to celebrate their new start at Maynard Sinclair Pavilion. At the same time, kicking-off the new chess season with a one-day Rapidplay. More than that, begining a series of Rapidplays to culminate in a Grand Prix finale. A lot of firsts!
NICS Intense Rapidplay

Intense Rapidplay

The Intense Rapidplay is intended as the first in a series to be organised through the season at irregular intervals. A prize fund will be offered at each event with a portion of entrance fees being held back and offered as prizes at a Grand Prix event finale.

With the benefit of digital clocks (borrowed from the UCU), a time control of 20m + 5s could be set with the object of each game running down to a proper conclusion rather than timing out. In addition the goal was to organise 8 matches through the day - lending the tournament an "Intensity" compared to the usual 6-game one-day events.

Tournament Controller: David McAlisterAs it turned out, the tournament ran very smoothly with decent gaps between matches and a good lunch break. The final games ran out just after 4 o'clock with plenty of time to spare. So its likely that either games will be lengthened for next time, or even more games will be scheduled.

A varied field of 14 players entered the tournament with a strong representation from the NICS club itself. Ulster Champions Mike Redman and Michael Waters were there along with Junior Champions Robert Lavery and Karina Kruk. The host club appreciated the support from everyone who attended, especially those that made the early start trek from Cookstown.

4 games were scheduled for the morning session and clocks started promptly at 10:00 a.m. The organisers showed off their technical prowess by using the venue's computer equipment to display pairings and results on a large screen display rather than the customary paper scraps; this proved a terrific innovation and no doubt make the game transitions smooth and effortless.Round 3

After 4 games, everyone broke for lunch. Most made use of the catering facilities in the Whistles bar for refreshments and a fine meal from their Sunday menu. Players had most of the bar to themselves with a pleasant relaxed atmosphere.

The morning saw few surprises with the leader board sorting itself more or less by rating. A couple of surprises saw Drew Ferguson draw with John McKenna and Karina Kruk besting Ian Woodfield. Top seeds Mike Redman and Michael Waters met in round 3 with an inconclusive draw.

The afternoon games continued in a similar manner with results essentially following ratings. Players ranked close together drifted up and down relative to each other with results difficult to predict. At the top, the two Michaels retained clean sheets (apart from their earlier draw).

Rd 2: Drew Ferguson vs Alan BurnsRather than a tie-break, the controller offered the joint leaders a play-off game to determine the winner. Everyone gathered round to watch; no pressure at all, regardless of their champion status. As the clocks started to run down below the final minute, the tension was rising with Mike Redman appearing to gain a decisive advantage. Michael Waters made an error - moving into check. The game paused with the controller adding 2 minutes to Redman's clock and the game resumed. After an unknown amount of time had passed it was noticed that the clock had been inadvertently adjusted to give white an extra 2 hours rather than minutes. The controller then declared the competition drawn with both players sharing the honours.

Final standings and game results are in the Results Service

Winners: Mike Redman, Michael Waters (tie)
Grading Prize: Robert Lavery

Special thanks from the NICS Club go to Michael Waters for generously donating his prize to club funds. Thanks Michael

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