Secondary Schools rapidplays

ECF Secondary Schools Rapidplay Chess Tournament 2018
Sunday 23rd September 2018 at Eton College, Berkshire

Winners – RGS Guildford A
2nd – Gonzaga College, Dublin A
3rd – Hampton School A
Plate winners – Heathside Prep School

It’s a day out at Eton College – with a tour included for adults. It’s 48 teams of six from 37 schools from right across the country (and even an international element) – dozens of games of chess all going on at once. And somehow, it all comes together with such amazing speed. Volunteer schools bring sets, boards and DGT1000 clocks and the whole thing gets set up in minutes and then we’re off, always slightly late but never mind, and five rounds later everything disappears even faster than it was set out. Of course, it’s not mysterious and is a result of much organisation from Neill Cooper, a man who makes the Duracell bunny seem lethargic.

2018 was my fifth visit to the Eton Rapidplay. The first time we came, my school had only five rated players and only two who played regularly. Forever our board three has been known as the ‘death spot’ – they are usually playing against someone much stronger and get crushed even when the team wins. 

A great feature of the tournament is that you have some of the strongest junior chess players at one end of the room and some who have never played with clocks at the other end. The first couple of rounds can be very one-sided; the team returns beaming from turning one school over, not realising perhaps that it means their next match may pit them against a team who will do the same to them. Before long it has evened out and rounds three to five see some very competitive chess played – at all levels.

Team chess can be a great leveller. Before a round starts, a team of older teenagers can be seen grinning with the anticipation of victory as their nine and ten-year-old opponents sit down in front of them. Then they discover that there are some very strong nine and ten-year-olds and, crushed 6-0, they retreat to the team room with bruised egos.  Well, it gets them used to it when they are adult players I suppose.

It’s never easy being the team manager at Eton. My A team revel in telling me which opening they are going to play in advance – it usually involves an early g4 – displaying such levels of hubris that I know I’m going to be saying “I told you so” in 20 minutes time.  On a couple of occasions, the final match has been critical and I have to stress out quietly while a player breezily plays through an endgame a pawn down.

Now we have more than twenty rated players and I have to play a careful political game of who to leave out.  Everyone loves the Eton Rapidplay. The atmosphere is very friendly and it is the most laid-back tournament I have been to. The chess is competitive but, being rapidplay, the top players aren’t too worried about their rating and aren’t afraid to experiment. Parents chat with teachers, teachers chat with other teachers (probably about education) and the children get on famously. It signals the start of the chess ‘season’ and a chance to introduce your new players to school chess. Everyone keeps coming back – I see a lot of the same faces each year – and they bring more and more players. That has to be good.

Many congratulations must go to the winners for the second year in a row, RGS Guildford, who have built a formidable chess team, Gonzaga College – the ‘international’ element from Dublin and Hampton, both recent winners, who came second and third respectively. KEGS were just half a point behind them – if only James hadn’t played the Grob …

Report by Tim Worrall

No Grade Grade Total 1    2    3    4    5   
1 RGS Guildford A          1105 24.5 16:06.0 20:05.5 03:04.0 09:04.5 02:04.5
2 Gonzaga College SJ A     984 21.5 24:06.0 19:05.0 06:05.0 04:04.0 01:01.5
3 Hampton A                1032 21.5 42:06.0 14:06.0 01:02.0 05:04.5 04:03.0
4 Haberdashers A           926 21 32:04.5 31:05.5 12:06.0 02:02.0 03:03.0
5 KEGS A                   880 21 35:06.0 26:04.5 08:04.0 03:01.5 18:05.0
6 Millfield                872 20.5 23:06.0 22:05.0 02:01.0 11:05.0 07:03.5
7 St Paul’s School London  877 20.5 21:05.5 17:05.0 09:02.5 22:05.0 06:02.5
8 Wilson’s School A        853 20 29:06.0 27:05.0 05:02.0 18:03.0 14:04.0
9 Brighton College A       860 18.5 28:06.0 11:04.5 07:03.5 01:01.5 10:03.0
10 Gonzaga College SJ B     813 18 30:03.5 13:03.0 20:03.5 29:05.0 09:03.0
11 Hampton B                 693 18 37:06.0 09:01.5 19:04.5 06:01.0 28:05.0
12 Eton College             832 18 38:05.0 18:04.0 04:00.0 35:05.5 17:03.5
13 St John College Cardiff  776 17.5 34:04.5 10:03.0 15:03.0 26:04.0 16:03.0
14 The Judd school          734 17.5 36:06.0 03:00.0 24:04.5 25:05.0 08:02.0
15 North London Collegiate A 640 17.5 41:05.0 25:03.5 13:03.0 17:02.5 22:03.5
16 Heathside Prep School 609 17.5 01:00.0 33:05.0 28:04.0 27:05.5 13:03.0
17 King Edward’s School A   660 17 40:05.5 07:01.0 27:04.5 15:03.5 12:02.5
18 Abingdon                 685 17 46:05.0 12:02.0 41:06.0 08:03.0 05:01.0
19 Westminster Under A      721 17 44:06.0 02:01.0 11:01.5 31:04.0 30:04.5
20 City of London School    823 16.5 33:06.0 1:.5 10:02.5 30:04.0 26:03.5
21 Brentwood School         558 16.5 7:.5 40:03.0 32:04.5 34:05.5 23:03.0
22 Haberdashers B           704 16.5 45:06.0 06:01.0 46:06.0 07:01.0 15:02.5
23 Bristol Grammar School   557 16 06:00.0 45:06.0 30:01.5 42:05.5 21:03.0
24 Wilson’s School B        570 16 02:00.0 44:06.0 14:01.5 38:04.0 41:04.5
25 RGS Guildford B          691 15 39:05.0 15:02.5 26:03.0 14:01.0 29:03.5
26 Chepstow Comprehensive   709 15 43:06.0 05:01.5 25:03.0 13:02.0 20:02.5
27 KEGS B                   625 15 47:06.0 08:01.0 17:01.5 16:.5 44:06.0
28 The Skinners’ School     554 14 09:00.0 37:05.0 16:02.0 46:06.0 11:01.0
29 Brighton College B       522 14 08:00.0 47:06.0 42:04.5 10:01.0 25:02.5
30 St. Paul’s Girls’ School 526 13.5 10:02.5 32:03.0 23:04.5 20:02.0 19:01.5
31 The Latymer School       620 13.5 48:05.0 4:.5 38:03.0 19:02.0 35:03.0
32 Churchill Academy        563 13 04:01.5 30:03.0 21:01.5 44:03.0 38:04.0
33 Hereford Cathedral School 504 13 20:00.0 16:01.0 48:06.0 41:04.0 34:02.0
34 Nonsuch High School for G 441 12.5 13:01.5 38:01.5 43:05.0 21:.5 33:04.0
35 Harrow School            563 12.5 05:00.0 43:03.0 40:06.0 12:.5 31:03.0
36 St Peter’s Guildford     422 12.5 14:00.0 42:00.0 45:06.0 37:03.0 39:03.5
37 Norwich School B         303 12 11:00.0 28:01.0 39:04.0 36:03.0 46:04.0
38 Westminster Under B      512 11.5 12:01.0 34:04.5 31:02.0 24:02.0 32:02.0
39 King’s School Gloucester 272 11.5 25:01.0 41:00.0 37:02.0 48:06.0 36:02.5
40 Hinchley Wood School     259 11 17:.5 21:03.0 35:00.0 43:03.5 42:04.0
41 St Thomas More High School 210 10.5 15:01.0 39:06.0 18:00.0 33:02.0 24:01.5
42 Norwich School A         603 10 03:00.0 36:06.0 29:01.5 23:.5 40:02.0
43 Bishop Luffa C of E School 370 9.5  26:00.0 35:03.0 34:01.0 40:02.5 45:03.0
44 North London Collegiate B 380 9.0  19:00.0 24:00.0 47:06.0 32:03.0 27:00.0
45 The Abbey                338 9.0  22:00.0 23:00.0 36:00.0 47:06.0 43:03.0
46 King Edward’s School B   263 9.0  18:01.0 48:06.0 22:00.0 28:00.0 37:02.0
47 Lenham School A          2   5.0  27:00.0 29:00.0 44:00.0 45:00.0 48:05.0
48 Lenham School B          1   2.0  31:01.0 46:00.0 33:00.0 39:00.0 47:01.0

Time: Registration from 10.15am, play starts at 11.00am and finishes about 5pm

Event Format: 5 round Swiss rapidplay tournament. Digital chess clocks. All moves in 20 minutes + 5 second increments from move one. All games will be ECF graded.

Teams: Teams will consist of 6 players in school years 7 to 13. Schools can enter one or two teams. Squads can have up to 8 players with 6 playing in any match. Schools which have no pupils beyond year 8 are allowed up to 2 players from years 5 and 6.

Chess Supplies: Tim Onions will be running a chess and bookstall – www.onionschess.co.uk

Reserve games: We may need to include a team of reserves in the tournament. We will also be able to play reserve games in the playing area and arrange for these games to be graded.

Cost: £25.00 per team

More information from Neill Cooper – nsc@cplusc.co.uk

Entrants as at 11/09/18 — Abingdon, ACS Egham, Archer Academy, Bishop Luffa C of E School, Brentwood School, Brighton College, Bristol Grammar School, Chepstow Comprehensive, Churchill Academy, City of London School, Eton College, Gonzaga College SJ, Hampton, Harrow School, Heathside Preparatory School, Hereford Cathedral School, Hinchley Wood School, Homefield, King Edward VI Grammar School, Chelmsford, King Edward’s School, Mill Hill County High School, Millfield, Nonsuch High School for Girls, North London Collegiate, Norwich School, Queen Elizabeth’s School, Barnet, RGS Guildford, Sevenoaks School, St Peter’s Catholic School, Guildford, St. Paul’s Girls’ School, The Abbey, The Judd school, The King’s School, Gloucester, The Latymer School, The Lenham School, The Skinners’ School, Westminster Under, Wilson’s School


ECF Secondary Schools Rapidplay Chess Tournament 2017

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ECF Secondary Schools Rapidplay Chess Tournament 2016
September 18, 2016 at Eton College – 5 rounds for teams of 6 players.

Pictures by John Upham can be found here – https://johnupham.smugmug.com/Chess/ECF/ECF-Secondary-Schools/

Congratulations to Gonzaga College, Dublin on winning this exciting tournament by the narrowest of margins.

Position / Name / Total game points

1 / Gonzaga College A / 24
2 / Hampton School A / 24
3 / Millfield / 23
4 / RGS Guildford A / 22
5 / Haberdashers  Omega / 21
—–
6 / Wilson’s School A / 19.5
7= / City of London Boys School, KEGS A, Winchester College A, Haberdashers Alpha, QE Barnet, Eton College / 18
13 / Sevenoaks School / 17.5
14= / King Edwards School A, Chepstow School, Simon Langton GSB A, Wilson’s School B / 17
18= / Abingdon School, Sir Thomas Rich’s, Brighton College / 16.5
21= / Gonzaga College B, Mill Hill CHS / 16
23 / North London Collegiate / 15.5
24= / Reigate GS, Horris Hill / 14.5
26= / Hampton School B, Dame Alice Owen’s School, Westminster Under School, King’s School Grantham, King’s School Canterbury, The Hall, Bristol Grammar School / 14
33= / Winchester College B, Heathside Prep School, St Paul’s Girls’ School / 13.5
36= / RGS Guildford B, ACS Egham, King Edwards School B / 13
39= / Nonsuch, Churchill Academy / 12.5
41= / KEGS B, Simon Langton GSB B,  Guildford County School / 11.5
44= / Sir William Borlase, Bishop Luffa School / 10.5
46 / The Abbey School / 9.5; 47 / Hereford Cathedral School / 9; 48 / Basildon Upper Academy / 8; 49 / Reserves / 7.5; 50 / St Francis College / 3


ECF Secondary School Rapidplay Chess Tournament
Sunday 20th September 2015

eton_rapidplay

Eton College hosted the fourth annual Secondary School Rapidplay Chess Tournament in their magnificent school hall. 250 players made up 40 teams representing 33 schools from fourteen counties, from Lincolnshire to Somerset, Warwickshire, Lincolnshire to Kent. Over 600 rapid play games were played across the five rounds.

Schools featured included National School Chess Champions Haberdashers’ Askes and past winners Hampton School. As well as some very strong teams, there were many others of a range of strengths seeking to do their best. Whilst the top players were graded over 200, the median grade was closer to 100.

The event was opened with a short address from Phil Ehr, Chief Executive of the English Chess Federation. Play went remarkably smoothly with any issues being quickly resolved by arbiters Chris and Matthew Howell. The draw for each round and scores were clear for all to see on an enormous screen at the end of the hall.

The scoring system was based on games points (so every game counted towards the total) rather than match points. This proved popular with the weaker teams who found that their scores were increasing even when they were losing matches. Also the Swiss system lead to many close matches – half the results being 4 – 2 or closer, even though the first round matches were all more one sided than this.

However, a downside of this scoring system was shown this year. Whilst Hampton won all 5 matches, including beating Habs, they scored a lower game point total. So whilst Hampton were match point champions, the game point (and therefore event) champions were Haberdashers’ Askes by half a point. Third, a further half point back, were QE Barnet with RGS Guildford a further half point behind. Fifth place was taken by King Edward VI Grammar School, Chelmsford in their best ever chess result. Sixth place were North London Collegiate, the best result that I have seen by a girls school team in an open tournament. Seventh were City of London Boys School, making an impact as they return to school chess, whilst our hosts, Eton College, came eighth.

Prizes were presented by Dr John Nunn, world class GM and twice World Champion in Problem Solving.

Place Name County Av. Grade Score
1 Haberdashers Askes School Herts 173 23.5
2 Hampton School A Surrey 161 23
3 QE Barnet Middx 138 22.5
4 RGS Guildford A Surrey 155 22
5 KEGS A Essex 122 20
6 North London Collegiate Middx 116 19.5
7 City of London Boys School Middx 130 19
8 Eton College Berks 132 18
9-11 Westminster Under School Middx 113 17.5
  Wilson’s School B Surrey 113 17.5
  Winchester College Hants 121 17.5
12 Dulwich College Kent 112 17
13-14 RGS Guildford B Surrey 114 16.5
  Simon Langton GSB A Kent 101 16.5
15 Wilson’s School A Surrey 140 16
  Hampton School B Surrey 91 15.5
  Reigate GS Surrey 117 15.5
  Sevenoaks School Kent 104 15.5
16-19 Sir Thomas Rich’s Gloucs 123 15.5
20-21 Dame Alice Owen’s School Herts 84 15
  Mill Hill CHS A Middx 130 15
22-23 Bristol Grammar School Avon 81 14.5
  Simon Langton GSB B Kent 55 14.5
24-25 Heathside Preparatory Sch Middx 62 14
  King’s Grantham Lincs 88 14
  Homefield Surrey 67 13.5
26-28 Oundle School Northants 91 13.5
  St Paul’s Girls’ School Middx 90 13.5
29-31 The Abbey School Berks 94 13
  The King’s School Canterbury Kent 95 13
  Witham Hall School Lincs 37 13
32 KEGS B Essex 77 12.5
33 Nonsuch Surrey 62 11.5
34 Churchill Academy Somerset 45 11
35 Bedales School Hants 62 10.5
36 King Edwards School Warks 80 10
37 Laxton Junior School Northants 39 9
38 Mill Hill CHS B Middx 65 8
39 Reserves     7.5
40 St Francis College Herts 30 3.5

Below is some feedback I received from teams shortly after the event. I hope that the knowledge that even teams who came near the bottom still greatly enjoyed the event will encourage more schools to take part next year.

“Thank you for an excellent tournament. The girls had a really good time and are inspired to improve for another year.”
“Just wanted to say thank you so much for a well organised event at a fabulous venue. I know a lot of work goes into making these events run well and to ensure that all the schools, children and parents have a good day. The team and parents certainly had a great day!
Many thanks also to Eton College and Mr Moston – in particular for the hot drinks and the tour. Tea and coffee on tap was very welcome. The tour was an amazing insight into the history and workings of the college.”
“Once again, many thanks for your hospitality yesterday. In amongst all of the demands of such a tournament both you and Justin made us feel extremely welcome.”
“Many thanks Neill for yesterday. A super organised day well done to you and your team.”
“On behalf of the teams thank you very much for all you did to make Sunday’s event so much fun. The players enjoyed their chess and socialising and their families enjoyed their day out in Eton and Windsor. The friendly atmosphere generated by Eton as a venue and the relaxed competitiveness of the chess made it a great day for everybody.”
“It was nice to spend time with the reserves as well who were not great players and didn’t win many games but were able to play a real part in the tournament and have fun. Next year I want to also bring a team from a local comprehensive as watching the chess at the bottom end confirmed a weak team would still have a good day.”
“All my boys came away with at least one win and they all had a very positive experience of the day.  It has become a firm fixture in the school diary.”
“My boys had a great time and I was really pleased with their performance despite them narrowly missing out on qualification.”

Finally thanks to Eton College for providing fantastic facilities that is a draw for many schools.

Neill Cooper, ECF Manager of School Chess Email: manager.secondary@englishchess.org.uk


ECF Secondary Schools Rapidplay

– from Neill Cooper
[pictured – ECF Director of Junior Chess, Phil Ehr, presenting the winner’s trophy to Saravanan Sathyanandha, captain of the Haberdasher’s first team]

The inaugural ECF Secondary School Rapidplay Chess Tournament was a great success. 15 schools took part, some travelling over 2 hours each way, and fielded a total of 17 teams with 6 players in each team. There were lots of reserves so and 18th team was formed so that all teams played in all 6 rounds. A total of 112 players played 330 games of chess, which have all been rapidplay graded.

It cannot be said to have been a close contest for first place – a strong Haberdasher’s Askes first team won all 6 matches and scored a total of 30½ points. Two of their players, Ravi Haria and Roman Mitra, were the only players to win all their 6 games. In contrast second place was a 3 way tie between Wilson’s School 1st team, RGS Guildford and Winchester College, all of whom scored 22 games points.

The scoring system was based on games points (so every game counted towards the total) rather than match points. This proved popular with the weaker teams who found that their scores were increasing even when they were losing matches. Also the Swiss system lead to many close matches – almost half the results being 4 – 2 or closer, and 9 fixtures ended in 3 – 3 draws.

Feedback from schools who took part has been very positive, including:

“I just wanted to thank you for an excellent competition today. My boys thoroughly enjoyed the whole day and the whole experience generally. I’m in agreement with the other teachers that this kind of competition is much better for my school. Meeting lots of teams in one day is much better from an economies of scale perspective and it would certainly be appreciated in other competitions.”
“A belated thanks for Sunday! The boys really enjoyed it and are keen for the next event, we have a series of quick plays across our county during the year. These are all individual, but team events are so much better! “
“Thank you again for organising what was a most enjoyable day of chess.”
“Many many thanks for organising such an excellent day. Our team really appreciated it.”
“Many thanks for a fantastic tournament; very well organised and a great venue”
“Thank you so much for yesterday’s event. My team (despite being relatively weak), had a great day and learnt a lot.” “This sort of event is great for us: Several graded games and meeting lots of schools and their chess teams and managers”

Most teams thought the time for each round (1 hour) was about right, though slightly longer should have been allowed for the whole event. Everyone preferred playing in one large section rather than being split into smaller all-play-all sections. Some schools would have preferred the scoring to be done by match points not game points. Most teams would like to play in a similar event within the next sixth months, preferring Sunday to Saturday (to avoid clashes with other school events). Many schools felt that they may be able to host a similar event in the future.
We are very grateful to Eton College for providing their facilities free of charge. One unique feature of the event was to hear the fantastic organ music at the end of their morning chapel service.

Final results table:

  School County Points
1 Haberdashers’ A Herts 30.5
2= Wilson’s School A Surrey 22
2= RGS Guildford Middx 22
2= Winchester College Hants 22
5 Haberdashers’ B Herts 21
6 Hampton School Surrey 20.5
7 Eton College Berks 20
8 Dame Alice Owen’s Herts 18
9= KE Camp Hill Warks 17.5
9= Wilson’s School B Surrey 17.5
11 The Abbey School Berks 17
12= Bristol GS Avon 16.5
12= King’s Grantham Lincs 16.5
14 All Sorts [Reserves]   16
15 King’s Canterbury Kent 14
16 Radley College Oxon 12
17= Vandyke Upper Beds 10.5
17= St Paul’s Girls’ School Middx 10.5
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