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Senior Closed Tournament at Robert Piggot Junior School Saturday, February 02
Paul Moody writes:

Click for larger photo
Click for larger photo

As soon as the committee gave me the go-ahead to start holding closed tournaments for our senior players, I set about recruiting those who might be interested. In this context, “senior” means players who:

  • are over the age of 11 on 31 August; AND / OR
  • have a Berkshire grade of more than 1000; OR
  • have an ECF (R) grade of over 90.

The point of these tournaments is to keep such players interested and available for our Berkshire U13, U14, U16 and U18 teams and to ensure that their combined skill and experience is, so far as possible, available, and passed on, to our younger players.

All tournaments are Berkshire graded but, for the future, the committee did consider looking into the possibility, at some later date, of having them ECF (R) graded as well as this is more meaningful to the senior player.

To make it worthwhile and more exciting, prizes are given for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places. All the entry money (£5 each) is returned in prize money in the ratio 3:2:1.

Closed Tournaments are run parallel to our SAEs so if at any tournament, there is an odd number of players, the numbers can be made up by inviting one of our highest graded juniors “to play with the big boys”.

Although there was not a lot of time between the committee meeting (15 January) and the first proposed event (2 February), I had a great response to my round robin email and finally had 9 players accept my invitation to play in the first tournament and a further 8 players who expressed serious interest in taking part in subsequent events.

On the day, however, 2 of them were unable to attend. Because there was then an odd number (7), our rising young star, Luke Vallis (Berks = 972, ECF (R) 95) was invited to play in the tournament. After the tournament, his Berkshire grade has risen to 1005! He is now, therefore, doubly qualified as a senior member in his own right!

The format was a 4-round Swiss. The concentration was intense and the room totally silent.

The players and their final positions were as follows:

Player Position Points x/4 Prize New Berks +/-
Matthew Wadsworth 1 4 £20 1996 +19
Marcus Smith* 2 3 £13 825 +99
Luke Vallis =3 2 £2 1006 +34
Max Papachristos 2 £2 1331 -25
Jonathan Matthews 2 £2 1412 -60
Ethan Bains-Gillespie 2 £2 1150 +7
Isabella Roper 7 1 - 1102 -26
Charlie Pye 8 0 - 1093 -33

* ECF (R) = 130

Afterwards the players told me that they had all enjoyed the tournament, found it useful and that they would certainly wish to come again.

Now that the ECF have published their latest grading updates, I can expand my pool of invitees!

I would like to thank Matthew Wadsworth for kindly accepting the invitation to play and be “the star attraction”. Luke’s father, Paul, was really pleased when his son had the chance to play Matthew and told me that “Matthew is his hero”!

Finally, my sincere thanks to:

  • Jim Wadsworth for his great help and assistance, and for acting as arbiter (his skills were required on only two occasions).
  • Peter Davey for his helpful suggestions and co-operation.

I will be emailing all eligible players with the time, date and place of the next Closed Tournament very shortly but, if you did not receive an invitation last time and are interested in playing at these events, please email me at .

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