Themed Blitz for 18th July – Berlin Wall

First, congratulations to Dave Walker and Dave Mooney for finishing equal first in the Warm-Up Blitz on the 4th July with 8.5/9. Well done, too, to Ian Maughan who finished 3rd on 6/9. Full details here.

The next theme is the Berlin Wall in the Ruy Lopez on Thursday 18th July. Play will start after the moves 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. O-O Nxe4 5. d4 Nd6 6. BxN dxB 7. de Nf5 8. QxQ KxQ with White to move.

This difficult, enigmatic opening makes a change from the usual “wham-bang-thank-you-Stan” fare of gambits and slightly wacky openings we usually have. To help you with the ideas and plans for the opening here are two YouTube videos for your preparation. First, from Yasser Seirawan, a long but very good video which includes some interesting historical perspective. Second, a shorter video which also gives a good introduction to the Ruy Lopez proper.

South Shields FIDE Blitz 2019

47 players from as far afield as Nottingham and Edinburgh came to The Word in South Shields on Saturday for a 9 round FIDE rated blitz. Despite spectacular views over the Tyne they managed to concentrate for long enough to produce some great chess with the result only being decided in a dramatic last round.

Round 5 was when the two leading players, Charlie Storey and Dave Walker met for what could have been the tournament decider. They were the only players on 100% and the two highest rated players. In a tense game Charlie Storey came out the winner.

In round 6 there was another key battle when number 2 seed, Dave Walker, played number 3 seed, Dave Mooney. Dave Walker came out on top and it looked like the event was going to go according to the seedings.

In round 7 the strong Nottingham player, Zhe Kang Law, with the black pieces played out a hard fought draw with leader Charlie Storey setting the scene for a dramatic showdown in round 9.

Round 9 saw Charlie Storey, leading Dave Walker by just half a point, face his childhood hero, Dave Mooney. Unbeknownst to Charlie, his two main rivals had got in some useful practice two days earlier in the South Shields Warm-Up Blitz. That practice paid off for the Daves as they both won with Dave Walker (8/9) overtaking Charlie Storey for first, Charlie (7.5/9) finishing in second and Dave Mooney (7/9) taking the last major prize in third.

The two grading prize cut-offs were set at 1850 and 1650. The Edinburgh player, Simon McGuinness (1845) was just heading for the door to catch his train back home when we grabbed him to give him his prize for a very good 5.5/9. Jack Erskine (ECF rapidplay grade 54 ~ 1105) finished on an excellent 5/9 to take the other grading prize.

John Turnock (5.5/9) took the senior prize and Max Turner (5.5/9) the junior prize.

The tournament made a small profit which will be split between Cancer Research and the 2020 Durham Congress.

Full details of the tournament can be seen here.

Warm-Up Blitz – 4th July

The themed blitz tournaments are taking a rest for the big blitz at The Round on Saturday 6th July and a warm-up blitz in the club on the 4th July. The idea is to give those who want it a bit of practice before the big event.

We plan a 9 round blitz with game in 5 minutes plus a 2 second increment. If not enough players turn up we will have a round robin. We can add players to a Swiss but not a round robin, so please try and turn up early / on time. It will be FIDE rated. As usual, no entry fee, no prizes. Start time is 19:15 at the club – The New Ship on Sunderland Rd in South Shields.

There will be no blitz on the 27th June to give players in the various club championships a chance to play their outstanding games without missing out.

The King’s Indian Attack themed blitz on the 13th June was won by Dave Mooney with 8/9. Dave Patterson and Kevin Rowden were equal 2nd with 6/9. Full details here.

The Danish Gambit themed blitz on the 20th June was won by Dave Mooney with 9/9. Kevin Rowden was 2nd on 6.5 and Bielby was 3rd on 6. Full details here.

Opening Statistics from Themed Blitz



Some statistics from the themed opening blitz tournaments we’ve been having. Warning from a mathematician, don’t take these too seriously! The sample sizes (number of games played) are small and the players a wide range of club players.

Note that you can sort the table according to one of the columns by clicking on the column header

OpeningWhite WinsBlack WinsDrawsWhite Percent
Ruy Lopez2019151.25%
Trompowsky2313063.9%
Benko Gambit2727450%
Bishop's Gambit2527248.1%
London System2320253.3%
Caro Kann2725251.9%
Modern198169.6%
Black Knights' Tango2625051%
Wayward Queen1215144.6%
King's Indian Attack2520355.2%
Danish Gambit1825242.2%



King’s Indian Attack Themed Blitz – 13th June

First, congratulations to Paul Bielby, who despite his reservations, won all his games as white to win last week’s Wayward Queen themed blitz. Will he still be telling all his juniors what a bad move 2. Qh5 is? Full details here.

The next theme is the King’s Indian Attack for Thursday 13th June. Play will begin with Black to move after the moves 1. e4 e6 2. d3 d5 3. Nd2 c5 4. Ngf3 Nc6 5. g3 g6 6. Bg2 Bg7 7. 0-0.

As usual some links to instructive Youtube videos for your preparation. GM Damian Lemos for iChess has made three videos. Here they are – one, two and three. He doesn’t cover the exact move order I give which is a sort of French / Dragon cross but should give the main ideas of the opening for White.

Hint for players coming from Sunderland: The bus timetable changed a couple of weeks ago. The bus which used to leave Park Lane at 18:29 now leaves at 18:25 and presumably leaves other stops about 4 minutes earlier than previously.

2019 Summer Themed Blitz Returns: 30th May – The Wayward Queen

Last summer’s themed blitz tournaments are starting up again. As before, no entry fee, no prizes, no grading / rating (a themed event breaks Article 2.3 of the FIDE Laws of Chess starting The initial position of the pieces on the chessboard is as follows: ) .

Time control: all moves in 5 minutes with a 2 second increment. Play will start between 19:15 and 19:30 and we will try and fit in 9 rounds by 22:00.

The first one will be on Thursday 30th May. The theme will be The Wayward Queen as played by Nakamura and Carlsen. Play will start with black to move after the moves 1. e4 e5 2. Qh5. OK, so it is sometimes also called the Patzer’s Opening.

For those who want to do some preparation here are a couple of links to Youtube videos courtesy of Dave Mooney. First, a game by Carlsen from the last World Rapid and Blitz Championships .

Second, a full 2 hour long in depth video from  IM Miodrag ‘The Butcher’ Perunovic who has made the opening his speciality.

On the 6th June the Summer Handicap team has a home match so there will be no blitz that evening. Normal service will resume on the 13th June. We are planning on varying once a month with a proper (no theme) FIDE rated blitz and on the 13th we will either do that or the King’s Indian Attack

Proposed new North East Individual FIDE rated Championships

Tim Wall is proposing to start a new North East of England FIDE rated individual championship.

Three sections are planned, open, major (under FIDE 1975 or under ECF 170 if not FIDE rated) and minor (under FIDE 1750 or under ECF 140 if not FIDE rated). Each section would be played as a 6 round Swiss with 2 rounds played on each of 3 Sundays during the season at 3 separate venues in Northumberland, Durham and Cleveland. All players who are resident in, or play for clubs in Northumberland, Durham or Cleveland would be eligible.

The playing schedule would be 10:30 to 14:30 for the Sunday morning games and 15:30 to 19:30 for Sunday afternoon games. The time control would be all moves in 90 minutes plus a 30 second increment from move 1. All games would be FIDE rated.

Players are required to have either ECF Gold membership, in the case of ENG players, or ECF Silver membership in the case of players from other federations.

Proposed new North East FIDE Rated League

Tim Wall is also proposing to start a new FIDE rated North East chess league.

6 teams of 5 players each would play an all-play-all league on 5 separate Sundays during the season at 5 separate venues. The 6 teams would be made up of 2 teams from Northumberland, 2 teams from Durham and 2 teams from Cleveland. Teams would probably be club based although obviously players from 2 or more clubs could join together to form one team. Teams would either be required to field one U18 player and one female player or a bonus point could be awarded per match to teams which do field both a junior and a female player.

Playing time would be all moves in 90 minutes with a 30 second increment from move 1. Games would aim to start at 14:30 and finish about 18:30. Games would be FIDE rated and players would either be required to have ECF Gold membership, in the case of ENG players, or ECF Silver membership for players with FIDE affiliation to other federations.

Ron Evers 2019

South Shields 2 managed to overcome all the competition , despite their lower average grades and brought back the Ron Evers Trophy to South Shield once again . South Shields 1 came in joint second . The Trophy will be presented at the Durham Chess Association AGM in May and a fuller report will follow .

Congratulations! A team finishes 2nd in NCA Division 1

A convincing finish saw the A team beat Morpeth B by 4.5 – 0.5. This leaves them in clear second position behind runaway league champions, Forest Hall A, who let slip only one drawn match and won the rest.

Here is one of the games from the Morpeth B victory.