Season gathers pace

The pace has picked up on the Shropshire chess scene with the launch of the county’s rapidplay league using an innovative new format.

Before coronavirus called a halt to face-to-face chess, games in the rapidplay league were played with a time limit of 20 minutes, but with the competition moving online players get just three minutes each, plus an extra two seconds for every move made. And apart from that blitz time limit, an “arena” format is being used in which the teams enter a pool of players, and during two hours of hectic chess action in which many games are played they are repeatedly paired against opponents from other teams. When the dust settles it is only the scores of the teams’ five highest scoring players that count.

After the first round a very strong team which goes as Mad Wolves, a mix of players from the Oakengates-based Maddocks chess club, and from wider afield including Wolverhampton, heads the league table, with Telepost Dark Knights – the rapidplay incarnation of the Shrewsbury-based Telepost chess club – in second place.

In the “normal” league, a top-of-the-table clash between Newport A and Telepost A saw honours shared, which sees Telepost continue to head Division One by a single point.

Division OneNewport A 2, Telepost A 2: N Rutter 0, N Paul 1; G Cooper 1, N Ferrington 0; C Portman 0, R Archer 1; A Taylor 1, M Clark 0.
Shrewsbury A 1.5, Maddocks A 2.5: F Best 0, D Gostelow 1; P Kitchen 1, G Pugh 0; T Eales 0.5, S Tarr 0.5; D Lockett 0, S Maydew 1.
Division TwoNewport B 3, Telford A 0: C Lewis 1, J Pico Ruiz 0; D Hilditch-Love 1, R Brown 0; S Greenwood 1, R Thompson 0.
Oswestry B 0, Wellington A 3: P Lovatt 0, A Grillage 1; A Bailey 0, T Faustino 1; P Fisher 0, M Podlesak 1.
Shrewsbury B 2, Telepost B 1: M Smith 1, K Walker 0; M Best 1, J Westhead 0; J Wilkinson 0, K Tabner 1.