The second half of the Rapid Championship 2020-21 produced more thrills and spills than seemed possible in the three further rounds.
The leader after R3, Philip Staniland, lost in R4 to Ashley, while Terry beat Steve Gilmour; Terry and Ashley =1 on 3½/4. In a dramatic R5, Terry beat Ashley to steal the lead, while Philip held John Hodgson (playing hors concours) to a draw, allowing Valdimir to steal into clear 2nd on 4.
So to the last round and one more melodrama left: Philip beats Terry. John Cawdery beat Mark Murrell, leaving a four-way tie on 4½/6 and a further five players on 4. Had Barclay v Freeman produced a winner, there would have been a five way tie on the leading score! Never have we had a Rapid Championship like it!
The melodrama? The tie-break worked in favour of Terry Whitton who had therefore became Rapid Champion with a round to spare, so he could afford the loss to Philip. Final leading scores:
=1 Terry Whitton (Rapid Champion), Philip Staniland, John Cawdery, John Hodgson (hc), 4½/6;
=5 Ashley Freeman, Vladimir Parols, Peter Nickals, Paul Barclay, Tu Senan, 4;
This means that Terry has swept all our speed events in one season for a unique treble.