Shropshire Team Quickplay Tournament - Summer 2012

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Last Round Drama - 22/05/2012
A dramatic finale with a twist in the last few seconds saw Shrewsbury-based Telepost A lift the cup in the Shropshire Quickplay chess tournament in Telford. It all boiled down to a frenetic finish in the last game to finish, squaring up young star Gavyn Cooper of Newport A, and Telepost's Phil Zabrocki, whose aggressive playing style has been commented upon by no less a figure than English grandmaster and world title contender Nigel Short.
With Telepost 2.5-1.5 up on the running score in the final, Cooper had to beat Zabrocki to draw the match and take the result to a tiebreak. And, because of the intricacies of the tiebreak system, that would have meant Newport winning the trophy. Cooper had an overwhelming advantage of two connected passed pawns and a knight against Zabrocki's lone king, meaning the win was only a matter of time - a commodity of which he was enormously short as his clock moved into its last 10 seconds, meaning he had to move instantly.
With Cooper down to just three seconds the flurry of moves came to a sudden halt with Zabrocki saying: "It's stalemate!" The watching crowd broke out in applause in appreciation of both players' efforts as it sunk in that, with no time to think, Cooper had left Zabrocki with no legal moves and, as his king was not in check, this was not checkmate, but stalemate - an automatic draw.
Full result was Telepost A 3, Newport A 2: Nigel Ferrington 1, Nick Rutter 0; Phil Zabrocki 0.5, Gavyn Cooper 0.5; William Bates 0.5, Nathanael Paul 0.5; John Bashall 0, Athar Mehmood 1; Noel Kiffin 1, Chris Lewis 0.
Had Cooper won and  the match been drawn, under the tiebreak system the bottom board result would have been treated as if it never have happened - and Newport would have won 2.5-1.5.
Third were Church Stretton A, who thrashed Wellington A 5-0 in the third/fourth place playoff.
Competition organiser Toby Neal said: "It was a great day's chess with worthy winners, as Telepost and Newport were the class of the field. Once again the Wrekin Housing Trust premises in Telford proved an excellent venue."
Eight teams from across Shropshire took part in a seven-round league, followed by the knockout stages. Players had 20 minutes to complete all the moves of their game.
Above - The final round - Newport A v Telepost A
Below - Champions Telepost A proudly display the brand new trophy.
l to r - John Bashall, Nigel Ferrington, Noel Kiffin, Phil Zabrocki, and guest star William Bates.


ENTRY: Eight teams have entered.
TIME CONTROL: 20 minutes per player.
FORMAT: A league (so seven all-play-all matches), followed by a semi final and final.
BOARD FEE: A one-off payment of £1 per player please on the day, to contribute towards the cost of the venue.
EAT AND DRINK: There's a chef coming in specially for us, so please retain goodwill by using him a lot.
WANT TO PLAY? Players can only play for one team, but teams can use substitutes, so may use a squad system if they want, to give lots of people the chance to have a game. If there are players from clubs which have not entered i.e. Priorslee Lions, Ludlow, and Oswestry, who want to play in the QP, they may seek to arrange to play as guest players for another club (teams can play one guest player per round).
ADDED ATTRACTION: Francis Best is trying to arrange for coverage of the Anand - Gelfand match during the afternoon in a separate area.
PLAYING SCHEDULE (note that matches will start exactly on time)

10am Round 1

Wellington A v Church Stretton A
Shrewsbury A v Newport A
Shrewsbury B v Shifnal & Telford A
Telepost A v Telepost B

10.50am Round 2

Church Stretton A v Telepost B
Shifnal & Telford A v Telepost A
Newport A v Shrewsbury B
Wellington A v Shrewsbury A

11.40am Round 3

Shrewsbury A v Church Stretton A
Shrewsbury B v Wellington A
Telepost A v Newport A
Telepost B v Shifnal & Telford A

12.30am Round 4

Church Stretton A v Shifnal & Telford A
Newport A v Telepost B
Wellington A v Telepost A
Shrewsbury A v Shrewsbury B

LUNCH 1.10pm to 2pm

2pm Round 5

Shrewsbury B v Church Stretton A
Telepost A v Shrewsbury A
Telepost B v Wellington A
Shifnal & Telford A v Newport A

2.50pm Round 6

Church Stretton A v Newport A
Wellington A v Shifnal & Telford A
Shrewsbury A v Telepost B
Shrewsbury B v Telepost A

3.40pm Round 7

Telepost A v Church Stretton A
Telepost B v Shrewsbury B
Shifnal & Telford A v Shrewsbury A
Newport A v Wellington A


4.30 pm SEMI FINAL

League winner v 3 rd place

League runner up v 4 th place

5.20 pm FINAL (and 3 rd /4 th place playoff)

Followed by presentation of trophy



Here are the quickplay competition rules and guidelines. Any queries/observations/snags etc please get in touch.

1 Teams will be of FIVE players.

2 In each round team captains will toss for choice of having the white pieces on board one.

3 Players can only play for ONE team in the competition.

4 Subject to the above rule, teams can play substitutes from their club ranks during the competition. The intention of this is that if, say, a club has six or seven players interested in playing, those ‘extras' will have, at their captain's discretion, a chance to play in later rounds.

5 In the case of time control disputes, the arbiters in the first instance will be the two team captains. If they are actually involved in the dispute, the arbiter will be the competition organiser, consulting and taking advice as necessary from experienced players. (My default interpretation of the rules will be that a player whose flag falls automatically loses unless:  1. The opponent does not have mating material – and a pawn is mating material as it could promote; 2. The opponent is not trying to win i.e. is just messing about running the clock down).

6  Draws are permitted in the league/group matches (i.e. no need for board count tiebreaker). If necessary to determine which team progresses to the knockout stages,  ‘goal difference' will be used to separate teams on equal points. If  points and goal difference are identical, the teams will play a five minute blitz decider.

7 In the semi final and final, if the match result is a draw, the result on the bottom board will be discounted, repeatedly if necessary, until a decisive result is achieved. If all the games are drawn, the team which played black on board one will be declared winner .

8 Team names should reflect the strength of the team. If, for instance, a club enters a C team, but in practice intends to play A team players in that C team (because its A team has not entered), then the C team should be redesignated as the A team.

9 There may be some players who would like to take part, but whose clubs have not entered a team. To ensure that they are not denied the opportunity to join in, they may arrange to play for a different club as a guest player. Teams will be allowed to field one guest player per round and the rule of thumb will be that they are not fielded in such a way as to bring the competition into disrepute. For example, a strong A team player should not be fielded in a D team as a guest.

10 If a team turns up unexpectedly short-handed, sympathetic consideration will be given to ad hoc arrangements on the day in which they rope in any grade-appropriate “spares” from another club. The intention of this is to avoid the disappointment to opponents of defaulted boards and to ensure everyone who wants to play, can play, the rule of thumb again being that such arrangements do not bring the competition into disrepute.

Toby Neal

Summer quickplay organiser