2013 Championship - Report

20th February 2013 9:00

As with so many other tournaments, it was round 1 that kicked off the 2013 BUCA Team Championship. While most teams arrived in time for the midday start, allowances had been made for defending champions Edinburgh and the other most northerly teams, including newest recruits Newcastle.

It must be said however, that round 1 was not one for the underdogs with the top seeds dropping only a point and a half out of a possible thirty-two. The real surprise was Southampton 2ís Luke Whatmough drawing with a much higher-graded opponent from York in a scrappy Budapest Gambit.

Round 2 was a little more closely matched with even Edinburgh drawing against Bristolís first team, a blow from which they never seemed to fully recover. Credit must go to Rob Thompson for his king and queen versus king and rook endgame that he won on increment alone. By now there were only four teams on maximum points with LSE leading the pack with maximum game points.

With the tournament well-under way, but minds starting to feel the strain, round 3 saw Warwick 1 and Imperial take joint lead on match and game points. Slightly lower down the pairings, and no doubt tired from their unexpected draw with Edinburgh, Bristol 1 then committed a BUCA faux pas by drawing against their own second team, thus cancelling out any title ambitions of their own. Curiously, despite plenty of universities entering multiple teams over the past few years, this was only the second time a university has faced itself and presumably the first where the stronger team didnít win! (Go Bristol 2!)

Students being what they are, Saturday night at BUCA is typically something to behold and although I shanít be divulging any of the particulars, suffice it to say that there were many bleary eyes at the excellent buffet breakfast in the morning. Dragging their sorry selves to the AGM, a few issues were discussed but all seemed happily resolved and my Palpatine-esque rise to power continues as I took control of the Publicity Officer post. (Speaking of which, if you tweet, you should be following the wise, witty and wonderful words of @bucachess.)

In spite of, or perhaps because of, the tired eyes and aching heads, there were only 5 draws in round 4, leaving Imperial and Warwick 1 ahead by one match point and level on game points, with Durham, Edinburgh and Bristol 1 chasing. Round 5 saw Warwick see off defending champions Edinburgh 2½-1½ but with Imperial beating Bristol 3-1 they managed to squeak to victory by half a game point!

After another fantastic weekend, expertly organized and run, it is safe to say that BUCA is still going from strength to strength. We look forward to seeing you next year!

Several universities have also provided blogs of the event, which offer a more casual insight into the event, so check them out!