Northumberland rapidplay championships

This event was held in Jesmond on Sunday March 16th 2014 and involved five rounds at 30 minutes per player per round. Three Tynedale members took part. Gary Murphy was seeded twelfth of twenty in the Open and had a day of mixed fortunes. He started well, drawing with Clive Waters (201), before losing to Kyril Fomin (175) and Martin Seeber (158). Then he really got into his stride, beating Chris Wardle (161) and Zheming Zhang (175) to finish on a very respectable 2.5 out of 5.
In the Major (under 160) Peter Crichton was seeded 5th out of ten. He started well, beating Gary Clarke of Consett, then getting a fine draw against young James Moreby (155) and another against Geoff Harrison (132). Then the gas ran out rather as he lost to Bob Mitchelson of Barrow, graded 155, and to Max Turner of Berwick, graded 128, to finish on 2 out of 5.
In the Minor, Steve Larkin was seeded 2nd of 25 entrants. He started well enough, beating Peter Blackmore of Cockermouth, then drawing with James Pharaoh (117), despite blundering a queen to the latter! However, the afternoon session was an unmitigated disaster as he lost to Fred Stobbart (111), John France (122) and Johnny Wall (47) to finish with a distinctly modest 1.5/5.
Overall the event was well supported, with a fine range of age and ability, and ran without a hitch. I recommend next year’s event, particularly to our speed merchants, without reservation.

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