A dramatic second event in the Handicap Blitz Grand Prix demonstrated how the time handicap formula is a great leveller, with several of our higher rated players conceding points to players in lower rating groups. 24 players entered HBGP2, bringing the total number in the Grand Prix after two events to 31.
But the real news is in the startling victory with a 100% score, 6/6, by Rob Parker on his first visit to the club. Rob previously played for Metropolitan and said he had not played for 10 years. We located his grading record and found that his last published grade was 144 in 2013, with the records showing that his last graded game was in fact December 2011. He was accordingly allotted a tournament rating of 1701 allowing for 10 years absence from the game (1701=134, and put him in Group 3 which has a span of 20 points, 133-153 in old money). Remarkable – well played Rob! In his wake, Paul Barclay was 2nd, 1½ points distant on 4½ having lost only to Rob, followed by six players on 4.
The Grand Prix table for the first five rounds was showing a shared lead among three players for much of the evening and an even longer list of players on the same score below that. The last round results miraculously clarified the standings so that the first five places in the GP table after two events are each held by a single player.
Leading GP scores after two: 1 Terry Whitton, 9/12; 2 Paul Barclay, 8½/12; 3 Philip Staniland, 8/12; 4 Ashley Freeman, 7½/12; 5 Huw Jacob, 7/12; 31 players.
The third event in the HBGP series is on 1 February 2022. In between, our “first of the month” events are: 7 December 2021, Lightning Championship and 4 January 2022, Blitz Championship.