The annual HCC Open Rapid was held between the 15th of February and the 4th of April. There were 5 playing nights with 2 games per night making a 10 round tournament. The time control was 15 minutes game time with a 2 second increment from more 40.
The competition was tight at the top with only a point separating the top 5 players. The eventual winners of the tournament Kevin Bonham and Andew Smith both took advantage of their half point byes in rounds 1 and 2, and then blitzed the field in rounds 3 through 8 claiming 5.5 points out of 6; only drawing to each other.
Taking this record into the last round it seemed almost certain the pair would take out the win together. However, Milutin Ivkovic upset the apple cart when he defeated Kevin in the penultimate round. This left Andrew Smith a full point ahead going into the 10th and final round, but it wasn't to be. Andrew collapsed in a superior position against Alex Nagy to record the second upset of the night and bringing the scores level again when the dust settled.
Despite the 2 upsets it wasn't enough for 3rd place getter Ian Little to close the gap finishing only half a point behind on 7 from 10. Both Alex Nagy and David Rolph were hot on his heels with 6.5 from 10. A 9th round upset draw against William Rumley saw David slip from what would have been equal 3rd, while Alex's win against Andrew catapulted him up the field.
HCC competitors now have a break of a few weeks before returning for the 2nd annual Armageddon Blitz tournament, and then the Club Championships.