Dorset Chess Blitz Championship 2019
11 Oct ’19: Here is a report by the Organiser Steve Peirson
In the first 2 years of the event we had 30 entries so this year’s 36 was a record. In fact, at one point before the tournament we had 39 entries but somebody had to drop out due to illness, then Mike Jay said he would rather help than play and finally Martin Simons magnanimously withdrew to give us a round number of 36 which split nicely into 3 groups of 12.
In the past I have been the only non-player present which meant I spent most of my time serving tea and coffee between rounds and washing up during the rounds! This year I had Martin to control the event and Mike did sterling work in the kitchen. In addition, Dorset’s newly appointed Junior Chess Coordinator Nikki Forster turned up to support son James but also helped out in the kitchen. So this left me with little to do but enjoy the games!
It was very pleasing to see 7 juniors enter and they certainly gave the more mature participants a run for their money, winning both group A and group C. I’ll address the groups in reverse order.
Group C included 6 of the juniors and one of them, Jamie Doyle raced to an early lead with 4 ½ / 5 at lunch. He carried on in the same vein after lunch, dropping only 1 point to finish with an impressive 9 ½ / 11 to gain a well-deserved first place. Ted Paul, another junior, had a shaky morning, only scoring 2 ½ / 5 but he came back strongly in the afternoon winning all his games to finish second with an excellent 8 ½ / 11. Andre Hopkins (not a junior!) managed to beat off the other juniors to finish third with another excellent score of 8 / 11.
In group B Richard Smith had a fantastic morning scoring 5 / 5 and, despite losing 2 games in the afternoon, he kept his lead to win the group with 9 / 11. Although he lost 2 games in the morning, Steve Dean came back strongly in the afternoon, winning his first 5 games to draw level with Richard. However he succumbed in the last round to Richard Ursell and so finished second with 8 / 11. That final round win gave Richard a share of third place with Joe Coburn on 7 ½ / 11.
The result of group A was never really in any doubt. Despite a slip up in round 3 when he lost to Jamie MacDonald, Declan Lovelock (another junior!) ran away with it, winning all his other games to score 10 / 11. Jamie lost his first game and his last two but scored an impressive 7 ½ from his other 8 games to finish second on 7 ½ / 11. Mike Duggan managed to spread his wins, draws and losses fairly evenly throughout the day to score 7 / 11 and finish third.
The Veteran’s prize was won by Kevin Huntley, scoring 7 / 11 and coming 4th equal in group C. I must say I really felt for the adults playing in group C – it can’t be easy playing against youngsters who are used to playing blitz on the internet!
With Declan, Jamie and Ted winning group prizes, the junior prizes were won by: 1st Vaughan de Grave, 2nd Florence Spirling, 3rd Jessica Baskett and 4th Jack Baskett. Look out for all these names in the coming years!
Once again, Furzebrook Village Hall proved to be a magnificent venue which all the players seemed to appreciate.
I’d like to finish with a few thank yous. First of all to Martin Simons who again prepared a fantastic lunch (including chilli con carne, chicken korma, Spanish chicken and sweet and sour chicken!) which was also much appreciated by everyone. I’d also like to thank him for controlling the event which ran on time during the whole day and for providing half the sets and clocks. Thanks also to Nikki Forster for providing the bean and vegetable casserole for lunch and for all her help during the day in the kitchen. Also a great help in the kitchen was Mike Jay. Ian Clark provided the other half of the sets and clocks. Thanks to Purbeck chess club members Derek Mount and Paul Stanley for helping to get everything ready in the morning and to everyone who helped put all the tables and chairs away at the end. Finally thanks to everyone who turned up for making it such a great event – I look forward to seeing you all next year.