Reading University Chess Club visited local rivals Royal Holloway in an inter-university away match on the 28th February. The club knew they were facing up against tough opposition, having previously met in the London 20/20 chess qualifier in December. The clubs played a round-robin: six players on a team, ten minutes on each player’s clock (a twenty minute game) and each player facing off against every person on the opposing team. In games like this, a ‘blitz’ format, players are competing as much with the clock as they are with their opponent.
Some of the players (Vice Captain Mridul Manoj, Thomas Hook, Matthew Brewer and Shaun Rodrigues), who recently scored a win against Manchester University ‘B’ team and drew with Aberystwyth University and Durham University, led the team. Additionally, with Club Captain and Treasurer James Connors absent, the way was paved for Kavi Sugumaran and Tom Mantell to make their competitive debuts for the club.
A Swiss system of scoring was used, wherein you receive 1 point for a win, 0.5 for a draw and 0 for a loss. Despite expecting the match to be quite closely fought, Reading triumphed by some distance with the final score line 24.5 – 11.5 over the 36 matches. This huge victory margin perfectly topped off the University of Reading’s most active and successful chess season. Each player contributed to the victory with some outstanding chess, with a special mention to Mridul Manoj for his unbeaten performance, winning all six of his games and showcasing some of the best chess Reading has to offer! The full player results are as follows, written as points, Wins-Draws-Losses: M. Manoj (6pts, 6-0-0); S. Rodrigues (5pts, 5-0-1); M. Brewer (4.5pts, 4-1-1); T. Hook (4pts, 4-0-2); K. Sugumaran (3pts, 3-0-3); T. Mantell (2pts, 2-0-4).
A thank you must go to Royal Holloway for hosting this match, particularly their captain Nico Mutzner. Also, to the University of Reading’s Club Captain and Treasurer James Connors who organised the Reading side and co-ordinated whilst enjoying a SuperM concert in London.
The whole committee has taken the club forward over the last 12 months as it increases in its external competition participation and its internal participation. A recent notable event saw Club Captain and Treasurer James Connors organise a charity inter-society quiz alongside newly elected Activities Officer Alex Rose. Also present was Club President Dulcie Pellowe, who has further organised society participation in Molli Cleaver’s Sustainability Campaign. The club has also undertaken its first venture into competitive online chess (RUCC on chess.com); a lifeline keeping the club active in the current circumstances. The club looks forward to seeing this upward trajectory continue next year as the current committee graduate and new members step into their places.