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Sunday, 8 September 2019

New Recruits: Judith and Mark Heffer

We are very pleased to welcome Judith and Mark Heffer to the club, after their recent move into the area.

Judith and Mark, who are arguably the first ever married couple within the club, are currently graded 147 and 122 respectively.

Although they are new to the club, members may recognise the Heffers as regulars for the Herts u160 county side and on the regional tournament circuit.

Great to have you with us!

Saturday, 17 August 2019

Jaden Jermy retains Club Champion title

Congratulations to Jaden Jermy, who has once again claimed first spot in the Bury St Edmunds Club Championship. He sealed the tournament victory with a crucial final round draw against Zia Quader.

Jaden finished a full point clear of the field, with this draw against Zia being the only concession to his opponents across the five rounds of the event. While he was hoping to cause an upset, Zia can take comfort from the fact that this draw against Jaden is actually the only half-point scored by anyone in their games against Jaden in the last three Club Championship events. He'd only finished on a less than 100% score in 2017 due to taking a fourth-round bye.

Being embroiled in my own game, I didn't see anything of Jaden's game against Zia, but you can read a little more about Jaden's tournament performance in my blog from last week, and you can find the tournament cross table and round-by-round results here.

Jaden will be presented with the trophy in the next few weeks. I'm hoping to persuade him to annotate his favourite game from the event, which I will, of course, share here.

Congratulations again Jaden!

Thursday, 8 August 2019

Jaden Jermy Dominates at Bury St Edmunds Chess Club

As many of you may know, our junior superstar Jaden won our Club Championship when it was reintroduced in Summer 2017, and successfully defended his Club Champion title in 2018. With just one round to play in the 2019 event, he’s very much in the driving seat with four wins from four, and his nearest rival, Zia Quader, is a full point behind.

Zia, who joined the club in 2018, will be Jaden’s opponent in the final round. A draw will be sufficient for Jaden to retain the title, meaning Zia will need to win to claim the trophy.

I haven’t been fortunate enough to see much of Jaden’s games in the first four rounds, but he’s dispatched his opponents with apparent ease. In his round one game, a rare misstep saw him in trouble against Hugo Smith. But where Hugo failed to take his opportunity, Jaden didn’t need to be asked twice, and emerged with the full point. In round two, from what looked to me like a clearly drawn endgame, Jaden conjured a win against the super solid Jan Balogh. Jaden went on to defeat his erstwhile coach Bob Jones in the third round, and in round four dispatched the wily and experienced Alan Watkins.

In the four-week hiatus between rounds four and five of the club championship we’ve seen the release of the ECF’s summer grades and a 5-round rapidplay at the club, both with great outcomes for Jaden.

At the club rapidplay event, Jaden faced opponents including Jay Magpuyo (graded 140), Steve Lovell (153), James Pack (159), Mark Le-Vine (202) and Jan Balogh (168). Only Mark managed to take anything from his game with Jaden; a draw the result after a horrible time scramble for both players. Being busy with my own games, I only witnessed one of the games in any detail: the game against me. We reached an unbalanced position where I had a lead in development and held two pieces for a rook and pawn, but when the position became less concrete Jaden showed his superior understanding, finding plans to improve his pieces while I floundered. I eventually dropped a crucial pawn with a frankly shameful blunder, essentially handing Jaden the game. So, with 4½ from 5, Jaden once again finished on top of the pack. Congratulations Jaden.

Meanwhile, in the ECF’s grading list, Jaden appears with a new grade of 185, an increase from 178 in the January list. It’s amazing to think that Jaden’s first published grade of 95 was as recent at January 2016; his rise has been nothing short of meteoric. He is already well established as a formidable opponent in the top flight of the local chess leagues. By grade, Jaden is now 37th in England’s list of under-18 players, and eighth amongst under-15s. He is also Suffolk’s highest graded junior player.

With the final round of the club championship just around the corner, we’re eagerly anticipating a good fight in his game against challenger Zia. I’ll be reporting the result here in around a week's time.

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Club Championship 2019

Standings and pairings for the 2019 event are available here.

We are again running the Club Championship over the summer. Apologies for the late publication of dates.

It will be organised as a 5-round Swiss event, using Fischer Timing (75 mins + 15 sec / move). The event will run in one or two grading sections depending on entries. All games will also count as "Ladder" games.

We have set aside the following club nights for the five rounds:
Round 1:   23rd May
Round 2:   6th June (or before the next round by prior agreement)
Round 3:   20th June (or before the next round by prior agreement)
Round 4:   18th July (or before the next round by prior agreement)
Round 5:   15th August (or at or before the next club night, 29th August, by prior agreement)
The event is open to all club members holding ECF membership. Pairings for round 1 will be finalised "on the day" allowing you to simply turn up to enter. If you want to enter but would like to take a bye in the first round, please notify the organiser, Steve Lovell.

Entrants may nominate one round as a half-point-bye, and must do so before that round is paired. A second bye will be permitted, but this will be a zero-point bye. For the purpose of pairing, a player in the top half of the draw who has received a zero-point bye will treated as having scored a half-point.
Failure to play in three rounds will result in automatic withdrawal from the competition.

Members may also express an interest in playing as a "filler" if they know in advance they will not be available for sufficient rounds to fully participate. If both players agree, these games will be graded and also count as "Ladder" games.

Pairings and Flexible Dates of Play
Pairings for rounds 2 to 5 will be made available in advance as soon as the organiser can manage. Games for rounds 2 to 5 need not be played on the listed dates. However, if they are not to be played on the listed dates, the date of play must (a) be agreed by both parties before the date listed for the round and (b) be before the date listed for the following round (or for the final round, on or before the following club night).

Where not playing on the listed date, the agreed date of play should be communicated to the organiser, Steve Lovell, before the listed date. This allows a player present on the listed date to claim a default should their opponent be absent, though we will repair if possible. Players will be responsible for sourcing the necessary equipment (board, set, clocks, score sheets), though the organiser may be able to assist if help is required.

To prevent delay in producing pairings for subsequent rounds, where a game has not yet been played, it will be assumed to have been won by any player graded 20 or more points higher than their opponent, and otherwise to have been drawn. The players scores will be corrected retrospectively if required.

Notification of Results
Both players in any game must notify the result to the organiser, Steve Lovell.

(1) Direct encounter
(2) Rapid or Blitz Playoff, playing once with each colour
(3) Step (2) will be repeated until a winner is determined

The first tie break is the result between the players involved in the tie. If this is not decisive or not all the players involved in the tie have played each other, then those involved will play an all-play-all mini-tournament to decide the winner, with each pairing occurring twice to ensure a fair colour distribution. Those involved in the tie-break will decide between time controls of 25m+10s or 3m+2s (because these are easily set on a DGT 2010). If agreement cannot be reached, the time control will be decided by the toss of a coin. These games will take place at the earliest opportunity which is convenient for the players (and not necessarily all in one evening).