Quickplay brings out top players

A very strong Newport outfit held off a powerful challenge from Shrewsbury-based Telepost to win an innovative New Year quickplay chess tournament played entirely over the internet. While Newport fielded real heavy artillery with International Master Lawrence Cooper on top board, and Gavyn Cooper on board two, Telepost countered with Nigel Ferrington – who is not a fan of online chess – and county champion Nat Paul.

With face-to-face chess currently out of the question, the tournament organised by Chris Lewis was both in effect a delayed version of last summer’s cancelled quickplay event, and a fun replacement for the Shropshire Chess Congress which would normally have been held at this time. Lewis said: “It was a fantastic day and it was great to see online chess in Shropshire continue to receive such strong support. Covid has not slowed us down. Every match felt intense with so many close games and nailbiting match results. 

“There were some real upsets throughout the day and a special shoutout to Shane Greenwood for beating Nigel Ferrington not just once but twice, a truly tremendous achievement. Congratulations to all who took part, commiserations to Telepost who put in great performance throughout the day and deservedly topped the initial league table and well done to Newport for their eventual hard-fought victory in the knock-out rounds.” 

The final could not have been closer, with a 3-2 win for Newport. Individual results were: Lawrence Cooper 0.5, Nigel Ferrington 0.5; Gavyn Cooper 1, Nat Paul 0; Neil Clarke 0.5, Phil Zabrocki 0.5; Christopher Lewis 0, Richard Archer 1; Dan Hilditch-Love 1, Kate Walker 0.

Beating Shrewsbury in the 3rd/4th place playoff were Mad Wellies, a combined team of players from the Maddocks and Wellington clubs.