Monday, April 03, 2017

An abundance of quickplays

The early Spring of 2017 has seen a concentration of fast time-limit chess events perhaps not seen locally since the late 1980s/early 1990s. I have already commented extensively on the Belfast Blitz and Bullet Championships, played on Saturday 4th March. The very next day the second of the NICS Rapidplay series took place at the Maynard Sincliar Pavilion, when usual attendance numbers were unaffected by the proximity of the two events. Modestas Razbadauskas edged out young Daniil Zelenchuk on tie-break.

Razbadauskas (right) deep in concentration playing against Mikhail Pavlov
(photo courtesy of Brendan Jamison)

The UCU had secured a prestigious venue - the Ulster Museum - for the Ulster Rapidplay Championship played two weekends later on Sunday 19th March. So it must have been disappointing for the powers that be that only 16 competed. Perhaps too many people were away for the St Patrick's weekend. Of course, you can only play those who turn up and Daniil Zelenchuk further enhanced his growing reputation by taking clear first in the Championship.

Zelenchuk (left) at the NICS Rapidplay prizegiving with Mark Newman
(photo courtesy of Brendan Jamison)

Just as March had three quickplay events, so does April. The third NICS Rapidplay in the 2016-7 Alan Burns Grand Prix is being held on the 9th April and the series concludes on the 30th April. Another of the Chess NI fundraisers that have enlivened the season also takes place on the last weekend in April - the Belfast Rapidplay Championships is on the 28th. Unlike the NICS - Chess NI double-header on the first weekend in March, this time players are guaranteed a rest day in-between. It will be interesting to see how many players will turn out on a Friday night - early entry numbers are encouraging. You can find further details of all these April tournaments on our Forthcoming Events page.

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