2017 English Rapidplay Championship
Oli played at the 2017 English Rapidplay Championship in Liverpool over the weekend. This was the inaugural championship event and was sponsored by Signature Living with a prize fund of £10,000. Oli was competing in the Fide 1600 section and was in a field of over 40 players. There were several other sections and junior events over the weekend, and in total over 230 players competed.
In Oli's standard section there were nine games to play, five on Saturday and four on Sunday. After an excellent first day Oli scored 4½/5. There were a few nervy moments along the way and he decided to take a well deserved bye in round 5.
Day two Oli managed a draw in round 6 against the current leader and then proceeded to go on a significant winning streak, winning his last 3 rounds and in the end winning his section with an unbeaten score of 8/9.
Oli also received a trophy and the title of 2017 English Rapidplay Standard Champion.
It was a long but enjoyable weekend and things were very close right up until the last round. After a good win in round 8 Oli just needed a draw in round 9 to secure the title. When his nearest rival surprisingly lost on board two, Oli immediately offered his opponent a draw. This was declined, and Oli went on to win the game and therefore finished 1½ points ahead of his nearest rival.
It was obviously a great weekend for us and a very well run event held in the Majestic Cunard building on Liverpool waterfront. We strongly recommend it for next year, with plenty of sections to play in.
There were several GMs playing in the large Open section and this was well contested, with many exciting games going down to increment play. IM Ameet Ghasi and GM Daniel Gormally were the stand out players, both remaining unbeaten over the weekend. Daniel Gormally finally came through, and his win in round 9 secured him the overall Open title with an excellent score of 8/9.
Full results are available on chess-results.com.