Sunday 18 December 2016

LCC Super Rapidplay day 1

Day 1 of the London Chess Classic Super Rapidplay saw around 470 take part in the UK's largest ever rapid event. As someone who is used to arbiting somewhat smaller events, I was impressed by both the organisation of the tournament, and the general vibe of the event.
There are 10 arbiters for the tournament, including a dedicated pairing arbiter, plus other helpers. This helped the tournament stick to the published schedule, as arbiters weren't involved in managing games, and then running off to do pairings, like in Australian events. Also each game has a result ticket at the board, which players fill out and hand in at the end of the game, resulting in less confusion about results. Also, from an arbiters point of view, the players seem to be a bit more serious about their chess than in Australia, meaning that their were no disputes in my section, and hardly any problems in the rest of the tournament.
As for the actual chess, there are still 7 players with a perfect 5/5. English GM David Howell is waving the flag for the host country, but with GM's filling the next 33 places, the likely winner is still hard to predict.
Interesting there are a number of players with a Canberra connection. GM Hrant Melkumyan  is on 4.5 (drawing in round 1!), while Arianne Caoili is on 4. Canadian player Daniel Abrahams (formerly at the ANU) is on 3/5, beating GM Abhijeet Gupta in round 2, while Harry Press is on the same score, drawing with GM Benjamin Bok in the opening round.

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