This year the Chrstmas Blitz was held at Greyfriars for the first time and it was well attended. A total of 17 took part which is likely a record turnout for the event. Records of previous years are hazy but a single digit entry is more usual.
Two other firsts were claimed. The game on top board was broadcast live on the internet courtesy of Andy’s “magic clock”! To keep the game company, the standings were also broadcasted using the excellent Vega software for managing tournaments. In previous years, things usually ground to a halt around round 5 as I struggled to do a manual swiss draw with a restricted entry. This year, using Vega, the draw was available immediately the previous round completed. The final cross table is available at here. From there you can also access your own and other peoples performance data. The top board games can be found here in pgn format.
The prize winners were
|Joint First||Peter Anderson & Kenny Harman||5.5/6||£7 each|
|Under 140 Grading||Mike Gibb||3.5/6||£6|
|Under 100 Grading||Ben Cole||3.5/6||£6|
The main prizes went to the top seeds – Peter, Kenny and Graham. The clash between Kenny and Peter was eagerly anticipated by the other participants and even the internet audience. It was a little weird to be watching a game three feet away via the internet, and I noticed that he clocks were showing 0:00 throughout the game. I assumed that was a quirk of the software until someone pointed out the clock at the board had not been set! I’m impressed that both players were so focussed on the game they hadn’t noticed. Peace was declared and the game replayed. This time Kenny was well ahead on time, but a theoretically drawn position was reached, causing the point to be shared.
The winners of the grading prizes deserve a mention. Mike arrived late having gone to the OWH for a normal Monday night first! However, he quickly settled and scored an impressive 3 from 4 in the games he played (I awarded him a ½ bye for round 2 and nothing for round 1). It would have been interesting to see how he would have got on against Peter, Kenny or Graham.
In my opinion the most impressive performance on the night was Ben Cole who has only just joined the club. His only loses were to two of the top seeds (Peter and Graham) and he also beat Mike in their individual encounter.
There were a couple of other noticeable performances. Malcolm Day scored 3 on 6 with a 141 grading performance. The last person to get a mention is ten years old Jack Baskett, our youngest player, who also managed 3 on 6.
Finally, it was a pleasure to arrange the Blitz and hopefully we can do the same next year.
P.S. from the rest of us… a BIG thank you to Martin for doing such a superb job of organising and running the event.