Simon Hathrell won the Wrest Park Advanced Tournament in a close finish with six out of eight wins.
The handicaps of the 16 players ranged from -.5 to 5, and manager Eric Audsley (himself just down to .5) split them into two blocks, with eight on 1 or fewer and eight on 1.5 or more. The format was basically a Swiss with the second block pre-programmed with two initial losses. Prizes would go to the overall winner and the person in each block gaining the most index points.
Of the minus players, both Simon Hathrell and Cliff Jones finished Friday with 100% records, including in Simon's case a TP at the expense of Nick Steiner. George Woolhouse was the only other player not to have dropped a game, and Ian Mantle, Bryan Harral and Tom Anderson all had two wins. In contrast, Rod Ashwell and Mike Hills had yet to break their ducks.
Saturday saw Simon's run ended by John Bevington, who at one point used local knowledge and dead weight to hit a perfectly wired leave. Cliff lost to Bryan, and Rod recovered his form by beating Nigel Polhill. Later in the day Nigel completed the only other TP of the tournament against Simon, and at close of play Simon, Bryan, Nick, John, Ian and George had four wins, so there was all to play for.
The first games on Sunday went some way to resolving the issue. Simon beat George, Bryan beat Eric, John beat Nick and Ian beat Philip Windred to leave them all on five wins. Ian did not play in the last round, which had Simon playing Eric, Bryan playing George, and John playing Rod. If they all won John would have had the edge, having beaten Simon and Bryan, but although Simon beat Eric and Bryan beat George, John lost to Rod (who won his last five games), which meant that Simon, who had beaten Bryan in his first game of the tournament, was the overall winner.
Bryan and George won the prizes for the most index points gained. In Bryan's case there were more than he realised, as he had forgotten the extra points which came his way as a result of beating minus players.
Our thanks, as usual, go to Vic Rees, Cliff and Janice Hayes and club chairman Tim Brewer for keeping us all fed and watered.
I suppose we should be grateful for the fact that the day before the tournament was sunny and we were able to get the lawns cut. They held up pretty well in spite of the rain which fell during the night, and the following day, and the next day..
6/8: Simon Hathrell (-.5) (winner), Bryan Harral (1)
5/7: Ian Mantle (1.5)
5/8: Rod Ashwell (0), Nick Steiner (1), John Bevington (1)
4/7: George Collin (2), George Woolhouse (2)
4/8: Nigel Polhill (-.5), Cliff Jones (-.5)
2/5: Arthur Reed (2), Tom Anderson (3)
2/7: John Bee (5)
2/8: Eric Audsley (.5), Philip Windred (2.5)
1/8: Mike Hills (4.5)