Hertfordshire Chess Congress - Nov 2014

The annual Hertfordshire Chess Association (HCA) Congress will take place at County Hall, Hertford,

on Sat 8th & Sun 9th November 2014.

Online and postal entry will open in August.

Organisers: Kidge Elder, Alan Brewis & Michael Flatt
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Hertfordshire Chess Congress - Nov 2013

Main Playing Area          Main Playing AreaThe Challengers, Major and Minor Tornaments were played in this space Lara Mallin v Paul Arnold          Lara Mallin v Paul ArnoldPaul went on to win Bob Harrison prevails over Elizabeth Johnson          Bob Harrison prevails over Elizabeth JohnsonShouldn't he pick on someone his own size? Paul Craddock v Adithya Paleri          Paul Craddock v Adithya PaleriAdithya has time to twiddle his fingers before going on to win The battle of the fashionable(?) headgear          The battle of the fashionable(?) headgearTyrone Jefferies defeats Peter Baker Kevin Sweeney v Richard Newman          Kevin Sweeney v Richard NewmanA win for Black - Richard's cafeine injection seems to have done the trick John Daugman v Jadeep Dhemrait          John Daugman v Jadeep DhemraitJagdeep inflicts the only defeat on John Daugman Round 5 in the Minor          Round 5 in the MinorKidge Elder provides a game for the unpaired Danny Howlett Much use was made of the Analysis Area          Much use was made of the Analysis Area Players congregated in the Rest Area when not playing          Players congregated in the Rest Area when not playing Jim Fisher in the London Chess Center Shop          Jim Fisher in the London Chess Center ShopSets, clocks, books, DVDs (and more) were on sale Our catering ladies were every bit as cheery as they look in this photo          Our catering ladies were every bit as cheery as they look in this photo The cooked breakfasts proved popular... ...          The cooked breakfasts proved popular... ... ... ... though healthier options than this were available!          ... ... though healthier options than this were available! Malcolm Harding helps John Leake calculate the prize monies          Malcolm Harding helps John Leake calculate the prize monies Ray Butcher chats to Alan Brewis          Ray Butcher chats to Alan Brewis One female participant described those orange shirts as "sexy". Who          One female participant described those orange shirts as "sexy". Who's she kidding? John Leake and Stephen Dicks look happy. They obviously had a good lunch.          John Leake and Stephen Dicks look happy. They obviously had a good lunch. Tim Thurston and Phil McConnell discuss the price of milk.          Tim Thurston and Phil McConnell discuss the price of milk. Malcolm Harding and Ian Cross discuss the price of beer.          Malcolm Harding and Ian Cross discuss the price of beer. Main Playing AreaThe Challengers, Major and Minor Tornaments were played in this space

The 62nd Hertfordshire Chess Association Congress took place over the weekend of 9-10th November 2013. The Congress returned to its normal November slot, and in future the organisers intend to run the Congress annually in November. 

We had 120 players - up from 107 in February - of whom 40 were Hertfordshire players. All but 11 of the players entered online using this website. The online entry proved popular and easy to use, with only two players reporting any difficulties with it (difficulties that the Congress Team were easily able to help sort out).

The venue at County Hall again proved popular, with spacious playing areas, generous rest and analysis areas, a Costa Coffee and a cafeteria. The caterers offered cooked breakfasts, sandwiches, baked potatoes with various filings, hot and cold lunches (the curry on Sunday lunchtime was popular) - all at very reasonable prices.

The Open tournament was accommodated in a separate space adjoining the main playing area - the Mimram Room - which provided the top players with a quiet and comfortable space to concentrate.

Once again the Swiss Perfect software package was used for pairings and results. The Congress Team managed to get the final standings published on the website half an hour before the prize giving, and the full results and cross tables two hours later.

Players were invited to participate in a feedback survey, and to-date we have received more than 50 responses. We are extremely grateful for this important feedback - thank you. Your responses clearly indicate that most people found it a thoroughly enjoyable congress, but nevertheless provide important pointers for how next year's congress can be made even better. We plan to provide a summary this feedback on the website when we have had time to digest it all.

The organisers would like to thank all the those who participated, and the many volunteers who helped make it a success.

 

The Open Tournament

The key game in the Open was the Round 4 encounter between Venkat Tiruchirapalli (Watford) - at 221 the highest-graded player in the Congress - and Grandmaster Chris Ward (Wood Green). Chris won as Black, and so they started Round 5 with Chris on 3.5 points and Venkat on 3. They both won their Round 5 games, leaving Chris as our Open Winner and Southern Counties Chess Union Champion, and Venkat as second prize winner and winner of the Hakansson Trophy for the highest-placed Herts player.

Third place was tied on 3.5 points by John Anderson (Essex) and Jonathan Friedland (Wood Green), with Jonathan the highest-placed player in the 180-195 grading band. As no player can win more than one cash prize, the prize for third place was awarded to John Anderson, and the 180-195 grading prize was awarded to Jonathan Friedland.

This Congress entitles one player to enter the 2014 British Championships. As Chris Ward had already qualified as a GM, and Venkat had already qualified by virtue of his grade, the place in the British Championships went to John Anderson who pipped Jonathan Frieldand under the Congress tie break rules - he was actually a point ahead on both Sum of Progressive Scores and Bucholz.

 

The Challengers Tournament (Grades Under 175)

In the Challengers, Finlo Roher (BBC and Mushrooms) went into Round 5 with the luxury of knowing that he was already assured of 1st= at worst, and that at draw would guarantee outright first place. Perhaps it's not surprising that he drew his Round 5 game, finishing first on 4.5 points.

Brian Valentine (Leighton Buzzard) finished second on 3.5 points.

Third place was a 6-way tie on 3 points between Stephen Pride, Anthony Ball, Steve Moore, Hugh Fenwick, Marcus Conolly and John Daugman. Five of these six players were also entitled to a share of the two Challengers Garading Prizes. Bearing in mind the rule than no player may win more than one cash prize, the organisers decided to divide the £150 prize money from 3rd place and the two grading prizes equally between all six players.

The Berry Cup for the highest placed Herts player in the Challengers was awarded to Stephen Pride, who plays for the Royston Club.

 

The Major Tournament (Grades Under 150)

For some reason, this year the Major attracted the extraordinarily large number of 48 entrants (by comparison, there were 30 entrants in the Major at the 61st Herts Congress).

Marinel Miu (Watford) and Peter Lim tied their Round 5 against one another, and won all their other games - so they tied for first place on 4.5 points.

Simon Morris (Hertford) finished 3rd with 4 points.

The 125-135 Grading Prize was won by Robert Thompson (Snodland) with 3.5 points.

The Under 125 grading Prize was won by Keith Woodhouse (Royston) - also with 3.5 points.

The Davis Cup for highest placed Herts player in the Major was won by Marinel Miu.

 

The Minor Tournament (Grades Under 120)

The winner of the Minor Tournament was Surjit Dhemrait (Harrow) with 5 points - the only player in any of the tournaments to achieve the "maximum".

Second place was shared on 4 points between Philip Humphry (also Harrow) and Julie Denning (Horsham).

The 95-110 Grading Prize was shared on 3.5 points between Francois Swiegers (Welwyn Hatfield Chess Forum) and Jennifer Goldsmith (Harrow).

The 80-94 Grading Prize was shared on 3 points between two Juniors: Tristian See (Cambridge City) and Jake Bains-Gillespie (Berkshire Juniors).

The Under 80 Grading Prize also went to a junior: Elizabeth Johnson, who finished with three successive wins to achieve an impressive 3 points.

The Lee-Johnson Cup for the highest placed Herts player in the Minor was won by Francois Swiegers.

 

We look forward to welcoming back both old friends and new participants at next HCA Congress, in November 2014.

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