4th Dorset Chess Blitz Tournament – Full Report and Photos

After a three year break due to Covid, we finally made a welcome return to Furzebrook Village Hall near Wareham for the 4th Dorset Chess Blitz Championship on Sunday, 25th September.

Since its inception in 2017, our aim has been to maximise the time spent actually playing chess rather than waiting around for the draw for the next round to be made. We have therefore always had a number of all-play-all groups with the draw, colours and board numbers for each round decided before the tournament. However, this does mean that we need a number of entrants that is divisible by 8, 10 or 12 with some flexibility provided by the use of byes.

Anyway, we were once again lucky with the numbers with 30 players turning up on the day allowing us to have 3 groups of 10 players. The time limit was a fairly leisurely (for blitz) 10 minutes + 5 second increment.

One small complication was that I had a bad back – this was due to my own monumental stupidity when I’d tried to move some bags of compost which had been out in the rain and so were much heavier than usual. Purbeck players Derek Mount and Nick Stout had volunteered to help me put out the tables and chairs but they ended up having to do it all themselves!

Martin got to work in the kitchen, working his culinary magic to produce the fantastic lunch we all enjoyed. He was soon joined by Lucy and daughter Emmeline who provided refreshments during the day and did a phenomenal amount of washing up. They also brought along Harriet who just sat about all day next to my operations centre (table) but as she’s probably the best behaved dog I’ve ever come across she was forgiven for not doing a great deal.


However, it wasn’t all plain sailing in the kitchen … halfway through the morning I was summoned into the kitchen by Martin. His usual unflappable demeanour had been upset by the fact that he couldn’t get either oven to work! I muttered something about the clock not being set and start pressing random buttons with the predictable result of making no difference whatsoever. I did at least have a good idea – I emailed Tina who is my contact at the hall and asked her to ring Martin on his mobile. Luckily, this she did and was able to tell Martin where the cooker instructions were. Soon after, Martin’s demeanour returned to normal and we did have chips for lunch!

Anyway, onto the chess.

Before the first round, Martin and I were discussing what to do in the event of an illegal move. We decided that the player noticing the illegal move should stop the clock and call over the controller (usually me but occasionally Martin). We would then add 30 seconds to the offender’s opponent’s clock. It was then we realised we didn’t have a clue how to do that! Fortunately, we were able to follow the instructions without too much trouble. As it turned out, there were around half a dozen illegal moves during the day so it was just as well we had worked out what to do.

Group A was very strong with all ten players above 2000 and the top three above 2100. It was also very closely fought with three players in with a chance of winning going into the final round. In the end we had a two-way tie for first between Bruce Jenks and Mike Waddington who will share the trophy (I might think about having a tie-break next year).

Group B was even more exciting with no fewer than four players tied for first going into the final round. This ended up as a three-way tie for first between John Weatherlake, Mark Potter and Ted Paul. A special mention is due Zander Booth who was rated tenth in the group and had a very tough morning, going into lunch with just one point out of a possible four. However, a fantastic performance in the afternoon saw him score 3 ½ / 5 and he ended up sharing the second junior prize.

I think it’s fair to say Group C wasn’t quite as close at the top as groups A and B. An outstanding performance by James Schumacher saw him win every game and secure first place with two rounds to spare.

A last round win by Tony Sanderson gave him second place.

This group also gave us the Veteran’s prize winner, Ian Leslie.


The prize for the top junior also went to the wire but a last round win by Florence Spirling clinched it with Finn Schell sharing second place with Zander.

I’d like to finish by thanking Derek and Nick for setting up in the morning, Lucy and Emmeline for all their hard work in the kitchen, Peter Anderson for all his support keeping the website updated with the latest Blitz news and Martin, not only for yet again producing a fantastic lunch, but also for all his support during the run up to the tournament.I’d better not forget to mention my wife Lindsey who made us three magnificent puddings. And a final thank-you to everyone who took part and helped clear all the tables and chairs at the end!

Steve Peirson

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