Barry Jolly has sent us this report on New Milton’s Xmas tournament.
New Milton held their third annual yuletide frolic on Tuesday evening. Previous events have been an unwieldy Swiss, but, with all 12 Tuesday players signed up, a change of format was introduced. The top four would pay a double round all-play-all (10 minutes + 5 sec increments), with the remainder consigned to a seven round all-play-all (10 minutes without increment). So much for the plan, but two members dropped out with unseasonal afflictions, and a revamp was required.
In the Open, Dave Bradley-Brock turned round two games when a pawn down, moving to 4/4 before being pegged back to a final 4/6. Meanwhile, Mihail Nutu demonstrated his ability to emerge victorious from complex positions of great uncertainty, and crept up on the rails to tie for first place. A five minute blitz play-off was ordered, which went so close to the wire that Dave’s flag fell with Mihail’s showing only a couple of seconds remaining. Unfortunately, an understandably excited bystander inappropriately called the game before Mihail could react. The resulting debate made F1 at Abu Dhabi look like a tea party, but the arbiter’s decision was that a fallen flag is just that, and Mihail emerged victorious.
A subsequent review of the situation on the FIDE web-site found different definitions of ‘blitz’ under the same (undated) reference, and conflicting guidance on salient points. In a digital world, the word ‘digital’ was not to be found. One law stipulated that the arbiter should intervene when one flag fell; another that he should not intervene until both flags fell. Thanks to Martin Simons for guidance, and to John Belinger who found the latest laws. MORAL: Find the latest laws before attempting to run a tournament, even a festive one at club level.
In the other event, John Belinger took advantage of an early blunder by Barry Jolly to cruise to 4.5/5, followed by Barry on 4and John Beasant on 3.5. All in all, an entertaining start to the festive season.