As we have been getting quite a few club members (and visitors!) turning up on club nights the last few weeks I’ve started running themed blitz tournaments. We aim to start between 7:15 and 7:30pm. Every week there is a “theme” which basically means everyone playing the same opening.
There is no entry fee, no prizes and no rating. This is just a bit of fun to get club members playing something other than the London System (only joking, one member who never plays it has asked to have it one night so he can practice). Time limit is 5 minutes plus 2 second increment with at least 7 rounds. Last night we played 8 rounds and could possibly have squeezed in a 9th. If only a few players turn up we will have a round robin (if very few then double round robin), otherwise a Swiss as we did last night.
Last night’s theme was the Ruy Lopez. Play started after the moves 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 with black to move. Congratulations to John Boyd who won. Full tournament details here. Apologies to anybody who’s name I got wrong.
Suggested future themes for future Thursday blitzes – Trompowski, Benko Gambit, King’s Gambit, French and London System.
Thursday 16th September
The theme is the Trompowski. Play starts after the moves 1. d4 Nf6 2. Bg5 with black to move.
This was an exciting, closely fought competition with lots of upsets. Eventually Tomas Eggleston and Daniel Abrahams came out on top, sharing first prize with 7.5 from 9.
Third was junior Max Turner who had to beat Dave Walker in the last round to reach a very combative 7.
Fourth was James Moreby on 6.5 who won the junior prize.
South Shields’ Kevin Rowden, playing in his first ever FIDE blitz won the U1700 grading prize with 5.5
Jay Steel, also playing his first FIDE blitz shared the U1500 grading prize with Ryan Duff on 4 out of 9.
Paul Bielby and Ian Maughan shared the senior prize with Mike Smith and Gary Hewitt, all on 5 out of 9.
Finally, a very special “Well done!” to Michael Landon, comfortably the youngest player in the field at just 8 years old. He beat the tournament organizer (sorry Eddie!) and two players in their 70’s to finish on 3 out of 9.
The low turnout at the Forest Hall congress last weekend resulted in the Open and Major being combined in one tournament with separate prizes and the Intermediate and Foundation also being combined.
This gave our own Paul Bielby a unique chance to win both the Major and the Open which he took with a great win over Robert Clegg in the last round to leave him tied for first with 4 out of 5. That’s Paul’s pocket money for his Malta holiday sorted then.
Well done too to Brian Towers, who came 3rd in the Major with 3.5, and Gary Hunter, who finished 2nd in a very tough Intermediate with 4. Honourable mention to Eddie Czestochowski with 2 well earned points as one of the lowest graded players in the section.
Just missing out in the Intermediate with 3 out of 5 was Chris Sayers and an honourable mention for Stan Johnson with 2.
The Ron Evers Competition began in earnest last night at Hartlepool with South Shields 1 winning its first and second round matches to sit joint top of the leader board . A last minute change to the travel arrangements due to unforeseen circumstances forcing one of our drivers to pull out led to a frantic afternoon of phone calls and new arrangements to be sorted . Fortunately Dave Parlour , fresh from winning a grading prize at the recent Northumberland Rapid Play Tournament stepped in at the last minute to ensure we didn’t default any boards . Alan Blackburn managed a tremendous win in the match against Hartlepool who on paper were the stronger side , but our 1.5 point handicap counted in the end as we won 3 to 2.5 .
South Shields have again fielded two teams , of relatively equal grading strength . South Shields 2 picked up 1 point out of 4 , but as this years Competition is on an all play all basis there is still a lot to play for . The club is attempting to retain the trophy for the 3rd Successive year so every individual game point won is an important point . Congratulations also go to Jay Steel a relative newcomer to Chess and Shields Chess Club on winning both his games .
The next 2 rounds are being played on January 30th 2018 .
Our 2017 AGM was held on the 31st of August and it proved to be quite entertaining . The Club had quite a successful season . We also had the opportunity to finally present the awards for the previous season Division 2 Championship team.
Last season with the help of all the club members South Shields won the Durham League Second Division , retained the Ron Evers Rapid Play Trophy for the second year in Succession ,won the Northern Counties Chess Union Seniors Trophy and are in the final of the Summer Knockout Plate . Chris Sayers won the Durham Congress Minor Competition and Dave Patterson won the Tony Mezzo Trophy for best performance by a Durham League Player in the Major . It is going to be a major challenge to better this in 2018 .