Nathanael Paul crowned county champion for the first time –

Chess Tournament

Paul, who plays for the Newport club, won the countys individual championship in a competition interrupted by the coronavirus outbreak.

Not only is it the first time he has won, after a consistent rise to the top ranks of the county chess scene, it is the first time in Shropshire chess history that the individual title has been won on the back of games played on the internet.

When the crisis blew up in March, players still had three rounds to play in the seven-round competition and it was decided to complete the tournament by playing games online. Internet chess is not everybodys cup of tea and a number of competitors dropped out.

Going into the final round Shropshires highest graded player, and reigning champion, Nick Rutter was in the lead on five points and victory over Steve Tarr would have won him the title, but he fell foul of Tarrs pet Sicilian Dragon opening.

Paul, on 4.5 points, beat Matthew Clark to leapfrog Rutter and be crowned the new champion.

With face-to-face chess still clearly some way off, the groundwork is being done to set up an online chess league in the county. It will be discussed at a special meeting for players and club secretaries on Zoom on September 23.

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Nathanael Paul crowned county champion for the first time -

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