British Rapidplay: Express report

I’ve just got back from playing in the Major (U171) section of this year’s British Rapidplay in Halifax.  I scored 50% – 5.5/11 – with a grading performance of 155.  I was in the bottom quarter of the field grade-wise, and performed a little above my rapidplay grade of 150, but it’s still a slightly disappointing result.

My results were not at all evenly distributed between the two days of the event; I scored only 1.5/6 on Saturday, but came back strongly with 4/5 on Sunday.  My opponents were, on average, higher-graded on the first day, but I think tiredness (and dehydration) had an impact on my poor score that day.  I had to get up (after five hours’ patchy sleep) at quarter to six in the morning on Sunday, and helped set up for a couple of hours at the venue before playing.  I had just one bottle of water with me, and the taps at the venue were labelled ‘non-drinking water’, so I was pretty thirsty by the time I got to my Travelodge after the day’s play.  I’ll consider getting there the night before next year, although it would mean paying for an extra night’s accommodation.  Even so, playing under adverse conditions can’t always be avoided, so look out for a post about my ideas for training for them later in the week!

GM David Howell won the very strong Open section with an impressive 10.5/11 (a repeat of his performance two years ago).  I’ll be posting some of my games from the event over the coming week, and you should expect to see all the usual blunders, unsound sacrifices, and crazy time scrambles of rapid chess!

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