2023 Dorset Blitz Report – Updated

Steve Peirson sent the following report on the Dorset Blitz and an update a few days later.  If you have already read the report but want to see the update, please scroll to the end.

Bacon Butties and Unfortunate Flooding

A last minute entry from Adam Ursell meant that, once again, we were lucky with the number of entrants with thirty giving us three ten-player groups. This meant the time limit would be 10 minutes + 5 second increment which I believe is, strictly speaking, a little too slow for blitz but I think this was welcomed by some of the more, how shall I put it, experienced entrants!

I was at the hall by 8.00 am to start putting out the tables and chairs and was joined about half an hour later by Martin and Lucy who started sorting things out in the kitchen – this included getting ready to make bacon butties for those who wanted one (I did and it was an excellent way to start the day). Later, Martin and Lucy were joined in the kitchen by Lucy’s daughter Emmeline, Nikki (who brought along a vegetarian curry for lunch) and my wife Lindsey who made the puddings. That’s all the help I had booked for the kitchen but they were to be joined later by Larissa’s mum Wendy.

Play got underway more or less on time and everything was going smoothly until late morning when I needed to answer a call of nature. When I went out of the playing hall I was horrified to see water literally pouring out of the gents’ toilet. Bizarrely, the top of one of the taps had come off and fallen into the sink and blocked the plug hole. But somebody had for some unknown reason left the tap running. The toilet floor was awash and the carpet in the entrance hall was soaked. So Martin took over controller duties while I started mopping up – I was joined by Lindsey and Lucy who did sterling and rather unpleasant work drying out the toilet. Thanks also to Lucy’s husband John who provided two blankets which were very useful in soaking up the water. Nobody owned up to leaving the tap on.

Anyway, on to the chess …

Group A

Adam Ursell got off to a flying start with three wins in the first three rounds. In fact he never lost the lead but reigning champion Mike Waddington pulled level in round seven when he beat Adam. They both went on to win their final two games and therefore shared first place and are joint champions.

James Forster picked up third place.

Bill Adaway (not pictured) won the Veteran’s prize, Finn Schell the Junior Prize and Ian Clark the Rating Prize

Group B

Florence Spirling had an equally good start as Adam but eventually had to withdraw because she was feeling ill. At that point several players were in with a chance but Femi Oloyede had a fantastic run, winning his last five games to finish a point clear of Zander Booth.

Mark Potter was in third.

Martin Clancy won the Veteran’s prize, Ellis Fretwell the Junior prize and Paul Jackson the Rating Prize.

Group C

Four players were in the running when the afternoon session started but the leader, Matteo Wiltshire, who had won all his games in the morning, continued his winning streak through the afternoon and finished with a magnificent 9 / 9, two points clear of Tony Sanderson in second place.

John Bowley was in third place.

Paul Errington won the Veteran’s prizes, Larissa Cuthbert the junior prize (also joint third) and Darrell Sturmey the Rating prize.

A Big Thank You!

I had bought four boxes of chocolates to hand out to the helpers: Lucy, Emmeline, Nikki and, of course, Martin (I did feel a bit bad not getting Lindsey a box but we’ve already got loads of chocolates at home!). However, I needed to give Wendy a box so I’m afraid Martin missed out (see photo!) but he still wanted a photo of him receiving a box so we did do a presentation even though he had to give it back afterwards!

As usual, I’d like to finish by thanking everyone who helped – Lucy, Emmeline, Nikki (pictured), Wendy (pictured), Lindsey and Martin (pictured) – and everybody who turned up to play – hopefully you all enjoyed yourselves and I hope to see you all again next year!


Before the first round after lunch started, Lucy and Emmeline gave a brief talk about the opposition to the proposed development of Talbot Woods and quite a few of the players subsequently signed the petition opposing the development. Lucy has since emailed me to say “…with the most positive news that today at Bournemouth Town Hall the BCP planning committee voted to reject the development plans! So for now the great news is the farmland will remain and the wildlife and precious ecosystems on Talbot Heath will be protected. Thank you to all who signed the petition and stood up for preserving our environment”.

And some omissions…

Ever since the Blitz started, Martin has not only provided the fantastic lunches but has also given me a lot of help and support in organising the events and I have perhaps become a little blasé about his contribution to the point where I didn’t mention any of this in my original report! Apart from the time he spends in the kitchen during the event, I know Martin spends several hours at home preparing the meals and of course he has to shop for the ingredients and the other goodies on offer during the day. So a big thank you him for all his hard work.

I also failed to mention John’s contribution in the kitchen – he was responsible for cooking all the bacon for the butties, and baking all the potatoes, chips and fish etc. so thanks also to him.

Lastly I like to thank Peter Anderson for the regular Blitz-related updates to the Dorset Chess website.

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