Qualifying tournaments were held around the country today for the UK Open Blitz Championships with one of the qualifying heats held at RGS in Newcastle. Time control was game in 3 minutes with a 2 second increment and there were 15 rounds with the top 2 players qualifying for the finals. This was FIDE rated.
GM Danny Gormally of Alnwick and IM James Adair, who is at York University, finished in 1st and 2nd with 15/15 and 13.5/15 respectively.
Well done to South Shields players Dave Mooney who finished in 6th place with 8.5 points and Paul Bielby who finished in 17th with 6.5.
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 6th September
The theme is the Bishop’s Gambit. Play starts after the moves 1. e4 e5 2. f4 ef 3. Bc4 with black to move. For those who want to brush up on the excitement of their youth the ginger GM, Simon Williams, has done a 20 minute video on this opening here.
Thursday 23rd August
The theme is the Benko Gambit. Play starts after the moves 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. d5 b5 4. cb a6 with white to move. St Louis Chess club have done an excellent series of opening videos. For those who want to do a bit of revision the one on the Benko Gambit is here.
More players this week with Dave Mooney coming along to share the honours with John Boyd. Piotr and Brian were busy for the first half of the tournament playing their club championship match so Jay Steel stood in as Deputy Arbiter for the first half and Piotr joined in for the second half.
The theme is the Trompowski. Play starts after the moves 1. d4 Nf6 2. Bg5 with black to move.
This turned out to be a very strong tournament with Piotr back from Poland and Tim Wall, who will be playing for our Durham County Chess Association team next year, also coming along. As he said, the Trompowski is his favourite opening. How could he resist?
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.
South Shields B team played their final game of the season last night and ended with a 4-1 win and a mid table position . It was touch and go this season , both the A team and B team looked dangerously close to the relegation zone of their respective leagues , but late season rallies have maintained the status quo for another season. Our two Division Three teams also achieved mid table stability ,quite an achievement as we fielded a number of people new to chess this year.
Let’s hope we can build on this for next season .
We have now booked The Customs House for Sunday Afternoon 8th July , it was decided that a Blitz Format might be easier to arrange.
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The club competitions are now reaching their climax. In the club championship 3 of the 4 semi finalists are Kevin Rowden, Brian Towers and Piotr Niedbal, the remaining place will be the winner of the game between Ian Maughan and Chris Sayers. likewise these two same players will compete for the 4th place in the semi final of the Friends Bowl , the 3 already through are Eddie Czestochowski , Stan Johnson and Alan Blackburn.
advance notice sometime in may I am hoping to organise a lightning tournament which could be classed as the club lightning championship. when I have fixed a date I will advise further.