Oswestry Rapidplay Tournament 1983-2006
For twenty-three years Oswestry Chess Club staged a one day six round Rapidplay tournament. It was held annually, usually at the end of October and invariably on a Sunday, from 1983 until 2006. Competitors played six 30 minute games, using the Swiss system, and vied for the Tyn-y-Wern Trophy and later, from 2001, the Frank Harris Cup. The event was held at various venues in England and Wales and was a popular tournament with local players who came mainly from Shropshire, Cheshire and North Wales.
From the outset we wanted to keep the tournament a small and friendly affair and the prizes were kept to modest amounts to keep costs down and discourage higher graded players entering. Another aim was to encourage lower graded players by having a high number of relatively generous grading prizes. The number of entries for the event varied from year to year but generally numbers ranged between 30-40 players with a low of 22 and a high of 66. We were fortunate in always paying our way thanks to the fact that most our venues were rent free and the help we had from player’s donations over the years.
The inaugural tournament took place on 6 February 1983 at the Tyn-y-Wern Hotel, Llangollen.The second and third events were also held at the hotel before the competition moved to, mainly, Oswestry venues. Until 1988 the event was by invitation only after which it became open to all comers, although it was only advertised through Shropshire and North Wales Chess clubs. There always had to be a balance between attracting enough players to make the tournament viable and not being able to cater, because of our limited space, if too many applied. However, we never had to turn any players away.
The 14th, 1996, tournament, held at Oswestry Library, saw the event come of age:- the games became BFC graded, the event gained the support of the Shropshire Chess Association and we had our first non- Oswestry Club controller in David Dickson.
David Dickson from the Caergwrle Club acted as controller from 1996 until 2001. Keith Grice presided over the 2002 event after which Jim McPhillips took over the position until the Tournament’s closed in2006.
Tournament organizers 1983-2006
Frank Harris 1983
Ron Thomson 1984-1987
Andrew Frangleton 1988
Ron Thomson 1989-2002
Keith Grice 2003-2006.
List of Trophy and Cup Winners (where known) and Venues
TOURNAMENT CUP WINNERS CLUB VENUE
1983 J D BOURNE OSWESTRY TYN–Y–WERN HOTEL
1984 S M A THOMAS OSWESTRY TYN–Y–WERN HOTEL
1985 A FRANGLETON OSWESTRY TYN–Y–WERN HOTEL
1986 A J GILBERT MADELEY QUEEN’S HOTEL
1987 G MORRIS EAST CLWYD QUEEN’S HOTEL
1988 G PUGH CODDEN WYNNSTAY HOTEL
1989 WYNNSTAY HOTEL
1990 D A BENION WREXHAM WYNNSTAY HOTEL
1991 C W BAKER OSWESTRY WYNNSTAY HOTEL
1992 A ROBERTS RUTHIN WYNNSTAY HOTEL
1993 WYNNSTAY HOTEL
1994 N RUTTER NEWPORT WYNNSTAY HOTEL
1995 T BROTHERTON CODDON WYNNSTAY HOTEL
1996 G MORRIS URMSTON OSWESTRY LIBRARY
1997 D STEELE OSWESTRY OSWESTRY F.C SC
1998 R BRYANT OSWESTRY OSWESTRY LIBRARY
1999 R BRYANT OSWESTRY OSWESTRY LIBRARY
2000 R BRYANT TELEPOST OSWESTRY LIBRARY
2001 T BROTHERTON CHURCH STRETTON OSWESTRY LIBRARY
2002 J BLACKBURN HOLMSECHAPEL OSWESTRY LIBRARY
2003 A CHASI BIRMINGHAM MEMORIAL HALL
2004 N RUTTER NEWPORT MEMORIAL HALL
2005 N RUTTER NEWPORT FRONCYSYLLTE CC
2006 N RUTTER NEWPORT FRONCYSYLLTE CC
f you know any of the names of the missing cup winners I would be grateful if you would let me know.
I am also missing Tournament entry forms for the years:-
1991, 1992, 1993, 2003 and 2005, if you have any of the forms I would be grateful if you could let me borrow them so that I make a copy (or send them to me via email) as they are a most useful source of information.
Oswestry Chess Club
Steve Thomas, winner of the second tournament in 1984 generously bought us the Tyn-y-Wern Trophy with his prize money. The Trophy was renamed “The Frank Harris Cup” in 2001 commemoration of Frank Harris a long standing, and much liked, member of the Oswestry Chess Club.
One of our club members in the early 80s was Geoff Murphy he was the proprietor of the Tyn-y-Wern Hotel and he allowed us free use of the hotel, morning and afternoon to stage our first tournaments. Geoff also opened up the bar and supplied a hotpot supper at £2,50 per head! Without his kind help and encouragement in the early years it is likely that the tournament would not have seen the light of day.
In the later tournaments David Shepherd, from the Church Stretton club, supplied us with standardized clocks, boards, and pieces witch was a big improvement from our previous medley garnered from various clubs.
Though our prizes were modest we did attract a few notable players the highest graded being Grand Master Nigel Davies form Wrexham. Nigel came second in the competition with 4.5/5 points. Chris Baker, an Oswestry Club member at the time, won the Tournament in 1991. Chris later became an International Master and Ameet Gaasi, a player from Birmingham, who won the cup in 2003, also gained an IM title in 2012