All-conquering Atomrod aids Dark Knights’ dominance

Telepost Dark Knights were streets ahead in the latest Shropshire chess rapidplay team battle, helped by an amazing unbroken 16-game winning run by their grandmaster star player Keith Arkell who goes under the online username “Atomrod.”

Shrewsbury-based Telepost finished on 120 points, a full 50 ahead of second-placed Mad Wolves, which is a combined team of players from the Oakengates-based Maddocks chess club and from Wolverhampton, with Wellington Speed Kings in third place.

Although billed as a rapidplay team battle, the competition is actually at blitz speeds, with players having just three minutes to complete all the moves of the game, with two seconds added for every move made. The frantic no-time-to-think pace leads to blunders and swindles aplenty. After three rounds of tournaments Telepost Dark Knights head the league table on 14 points, a single point ahead of Mad Wolves.

In the “normal” Shropshire chess league, in which the time control is much more leisurely, relatively speaking, Telepost D suffered a setback in their campaign to take the Division Three title, with a loss against Shrewsbury D leaving them four points adrift of leaders Shrewsbury C, who won their latest match.

Division ThreeTelepost D 1, Shrewsbury D 2: S Sweeney 0, N O’Connor 1; J Holyhead 1, J Birch 0; J Casewell 0, R Nayman 1.
Telepost E 0.5, Newport C 2.5: N Holmes 0, A Jones 1; M Ayres 0, D Lovegrove 1; M Randell 0.5, M Moore 0.5.
Shrewsbury C 2.5, Oswestry C 0.5: J Wilkinson 1, S Tulett 0; I Salter 0.5, A Evans 0.5; N O’Connor 1, B Evans 0.