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SAE - Caversham Primary Saturday, October 20
Brent Smith writes:

Click for larger photo
Click for larger photo

Being the first Saturday of half-term, the number of entrants was perhaps slightly down on what might have been hoped for, but the hosts provided 16 competitors and there was just enough for two sections. The Open section included three players graded some 250 points or more above the rest of the field. It was thus no surprise that they all finished with 5 / 6, having won one and lost one within the group of three, but otherwise beaten all comers. A two round blitz (5 minutes each on the clock) resulted in the trophy going to Zach Salvini, with William Foo and Matthew Wadsworth sharing second place. A "hon mensh" is deserved for brother and sister Hugh Bannister and Kate Bannister who finished 5th=, both with very big grade increases. Their head-to-head game in round 4 ended in a tactful draw - as a parent myself of twins who used to play in these events, I know that these sibling pairings can be a minefield!

The weather was great, and there was so much excess energy being expended in outdoor pursuits, that there was little inclination to spend money on "refreshments". With trick-or-treat coming up soon, the left-overs will not have to wait until next season's event, and I can hardly complain that the children chose to play games outside over eating snacks.

The Challenger's Section was very closely fought with a surprisingly large number of draws, although many of these were "gifted" stalemates. However, I don't recall any Scholar's mate games. With all but three participants in the section being from the host school, it was not unexpected that most of the top positions went to Caversham players. Round 4 proved important: Laura Hankins came close to making it a three-way tie for the top spot, but had to settle for a draw when out of time after reducing her opponent (eventual winner Luke Tunstall) to just a King. Luke held on to his leading position and made no mistake in the two remaining rounds to finish first with 5½ points. James Hodgson claimed second place with a final round win over Laura, having lost only to Luke on the day. Finally Tom Childs and Joseph Pechey shared third place to complete a top-four result for the "home team".

Related links

 Open Section
 Challenger's Section
Last Season's Results