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The rapid play club championship - how it was created

Posted on September 9, 2015 at 7:10 PM

June 2014 - Rapid Play Club Championship - the first thoughts


In June 2014 the idea was suggested at a club committee meeting that there should be an ECF graded rapid play club championship.  The idea was met with approval by the committee, with the provisions that it would be structured in a way other than players being left to challenge each other as desired, and also that a grading officer would need to grade the tournament. 


The idea was repeated at another committee meeting in September 2014, and again it had overall positive approval from the committee but then the idea went dormant. 


October 2014 - Proposed Fischer Tournament is discussed


In October 2014 it was noted by the committee that the digital chess clock was not getting much use at the club.  The committee discussed the idea that the club should create a new tournament with Fischer time controls to enable the digital chess clock to be used more often.  The committee were in agreement that ignoring Fischer time controls was no longer an option. 


The idea to use the digital chess clock was an interesting one, but it did raise a number of questions.  There is only one digital chess clock at the club, as well as the difficulties that some might have with the setting up of the clocks, and that some members of the club had expressed concerns that because time is added after every move, Fischer games could go on without limit. 


Andrew Davies:  "The aim is to build players confidence in using the digital clock and Fischer time." 


This key point made by Andrew Davies was the reason why the idea to have the digital chess clock tournament had the full support of the committee.  Players will gain experience from setting up the clocks and then playing under Fischer time controls.  For those members in any doubt about how long matches last, matches that take 60 moves will have finished within an hour. 


Whilst the club itself does only have one digital chess clock, the committee decided to still press ahead with the tournament.  With some of the members of the club having their own digital chess clocks, if they were brought into the club to be used during the tournament, this would not be such a problem.  There were however still questions about the tournament structure. 


October 2014 - Tournament structure is discussed


At the time of the original suggestion in June 2014, the suggestion of using the digital chess clock had not being mentioned, and it was thought that the existing analog clocks would be used for the tournament.  Therefore an all-play-all tournament would have been feasible.  The other main option was to run it like the standard play club championship as a Swiss tournament. 


An all-play-all with one digital chess clock would have been hard to fit in within the existing structure of the club.  A Swiss tournament would mean less flexibility for players to complete their games, as deadlines would have to be met.  The thinking to have the digital chess clock for the tournament, meant that the idea of having a group stage, was added in. 


February 2015 - Rapid Play is popular within the club


On Tuesday 3rd February 2015 the Shropshire Chess Rapid Play League came to Brewood Chess Circle for the first time.  Everyone at the club was introduced to competitive ECF graded rapid play competition against other local clubs. 


The evening was a huge success, with everyone from our club enjoying themselves and our visitors from Shropshire going away quitely but also hugely impressed with the way that we conducted ourselves.  We had also done well on the chess board, with every player getting some sort of positive result from the evening. 


The committee knew that this was the perfect time to set up the tournament.  At a committee meeting in February 2015 it was suggested that this new proposed tournament would replace the existing ladder tournament.  The ladder tournament had been part of the club culture since 1986-1987 but it had received very little attention in recent years. 


Up until now there had been two separate ideas that had developed independently of each other that were in the back of the minds of the committee.  Eventually some parts of both of the ideas were combined to create the tournament. 


Finally Andrew added on a couple of ideas of his own to encourage participation.  The first was that a bonus point would be awarded for each match played.  The second was to have a separate championship final group, and plate final group for those less successful early on. 


Andrew Davies then published the final tournament format explaning the details in the club's own May 2015 newsletter, given to those who attended the club on Tuesday 12th May 2015.  This was then reproduced on this website on Thursday 14th May 2015, and all there was left to do at the club's AGM on Tuesday 19th May 2015 was to say yes to the tournament.  Which we all did. 


Whilst the chess will be serious as it is ECF graded for rapid play, and is an internal rapid play club championship, the number of deadlines has been kept to a minimum and players will be allowed as much time as possible to complete their games. 


The aim is to encourage players to get used to the digital chess clocks and to Fischer incremental time controls, with participation in the tournament encouraged.  The tournament has took a lot of hard work to create, so we hope it will be a lot of fun to take part in. 


Tuesday 15th September 2015 - The tournament starts


Of course I do not know what will happen in the future.  Time to find out I guess.  Let the tournament begin. 

Categories: Internal Club Competitions

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