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Chess and the City - Manchester Rapidplay 1 March 2009


The second New East Manchester Rapidplay Chess Tournament was held at the City of Manchester Stadium on Sunday 1 March 2009.

This year we added an Open section. The entry fees were tiered to encourage early entry, but large numbers turned up to pay £20 on the day, and the U120 section had to be closed due to volume of players. My thanks go to Julian Clissold for his sterling efforts in controlling this section.

The event was organised by Sport4life on behalf of the Eagle Chess Club in association with the Manchester Chess Federation (MCF).  As last year, we had many visitors from Kosovo.

With 2 film crews and a number of photographers in attendance, look out for the post event publicity. Some photos will appear at

We would like to thank the sponsors, New East Manchester Ltd and Equity Solutions, Chess Direct who supplied the bookstall, plus all the staff of Manchester City FC and the stadium who helped to make us welcome.

We were pleased with the numbers, with 109 playing, given the competing Doncaster Chess Congress, and football at Bolton and the Carling Cup Final, all of which cost us entrants.  The Greater Manchester County Open team had played the day before at Newcastle-under-Lyme, but some of the players turned out, including top board Richard Beach (Stockport), the English Senior Champion.

The MCF were pleased to see all three sections won by local players.

The Junior (U16) Trophies were won by:

1.       Athar Mehmood (Newport)

2.       Isobel Cotogni (Worsley)

3.       Marvin Hayes (Chester)

4.       Lucy Towse (3Cs)

In the U120 section (69 players), the Trophies and prize fund were won by:

1.       Joseph McPhillips (Bolton) with a score of 5.5/6, winning £100

2.       Geoff Laurence (Macclesfield) with a score of 5/6, winning £15

3.       David Broadbent (East Cheshire) also with a score of 5/6, winning £15

Fred Butterworth (Oldham), Daniel Lin (West Notts) and Nathanael Paul (Coddon) also scored 5/6 to win £15 each

The U100 grading prize was won with 4.5/6 by David Holt (Denton) winning £40

In the U160 section (24 players), the Trophies and prize fund were won by:

1.       Ghassan El Gehani (Chorlton) with a score of 5.5/6, winning £120

2.       Craig Whitfield (Cheddleton & Leek) with 4.5/6, winning £60

3.       Tomasz Czaja (Culcheth) with 4.5/6, winning £30

The U140 grading prize was won with 4/6 by Mark Taylor (Rochdale) winning £40

In the Open section (14 players), the Trophies and prize fund were won by:

1.       Adam Ashton (3Cs) with a score of 5.5/6, winning £150

2.       Kamil Rzoska (Poland) with 4.5/6, winning £100

3.       Mike Surtees (Bolton) with 4/6, winning £37:50

Robert Shaw (High Peak) also scored 4/6 to win £37:50

The U170 grading prize was shared on 2.5/6 by Mitchell Burke (3Cs) and John Reed (East Cheshire) each winning £20

We hope to stage the event again next year, subject to stadium availability, although we will restructure the sections and maybe the entry fee to try and avoid this year’s chaotic start.

Mick Norris

MCF Congress Director