The Open section at Kidlington was also the second and final leg of the 2019-20 Oxfordshire Individual Chess Championship. (The first leg was incorporated in the Open section of the Witney Weekend Congress held on 2 & 3 November 2019, which Oxford University’s Filip Mihov won with 4.5/5.) The title of Oxfordshire Chess Champion and the Championship Trophy would go to the eligible player (see note below) with the highest score in the combined Open sections of the two events.
The Kidlington leg produced a very close finale, though admittedly this was largely because Filip Mihov, the winner at Witney, was not at Kidlington and Marcus Harvey had not played at Witney.
By the start of Round 5, three players (Nick Burrows and Nigel Moyse of Cumnor Chess Club, plus young Dimitrios Zakarian) had all caught up with the absent Filip Mihov’s 4.5 points, with Marcus breathing down their necks on 4. But as things turned out in the final round, Nick and Nigel both lost and, with Marcus being held to a draw, Dimitrios’s draw was good enough for him to take the title of Oxfordshire Individual Chess Champion for 2020. Warm congratulations to Dimitrios!
I don’t know for sure (and will welcome correction if I’m mistaken), but I suspect he is the youngest ever winner of the title. He also follows in the footsteps of his father, FM David Zakarian, who won the title in 2017.
(10 February 2020)
Note on Eligibility
A player will count as eligible to win the title of Oxfordshire Champion provided that either (i) his or her (main) home at the time of both events is in Oxfordshire, or (ii) he or she has played a total of at least four games either for a club in the Oxfordshire Chess Association League or representing the Oxfordshire Open team in the Chilterns League before the end of January in the season in which the Witney and Kidlington events are held. In the event of eligible players being tied for the highest combined number of points, the title will be shared.
In clause (i) above, the point of speaking of a player’s ‘main home’ is that, for example, Oxfordshire students who may be residing away from home in their university town during term will be regarded as eligible for the Oxfordshire Individual Championship if their parental home to which they return during university vacations is in Oxfordshire.
Those studying in Oxfordshire, and others whose main home is outside Oxfordshire, will be eligible for the Individual Championship if they satisfy clause (ii) above by playing the requisite four games.
If you have any further questions about eligibility, please contact Gerard O’Reilly.