New Milton Yuletide Fun Frolic 2023

The New Milton annual members only Christmas event on Tuesday 19th December attracted a record entry of 14.

Once again, the change in numbers necessitated a slight change of format, with two random selected divisions of equal weight, which, however, somewhat mysteriously found the top five club members in the same division.

The time limit of 10 minutes plus 3 second increments allowed for some good enterprising games, but did lead to a rather lengthier evening than anticipated. It had been hoped that last year’s three-way tie for first place could be avoided, but the problem merely went further up the line with three players in division A finishing on 5.5/7 each, necessitating a time-consuming three way play-off. Even with a time control of just three minutes, this added to the length of the evening, and the time allowed did not really provide scope for decent games. More thought, therefore, for next year.

Even so, the two decisions witnessed some interesting games … and results. Jamie waltzed through division B with a 100% record, whilst in division A, Reenen lost to John Belinger, Pete Manning lost to Reenen, and Tim lost to Pete. A draw between Tim and Reenen looked to have blown their chances until Pete could not convert sustained pressure into a win against Barry, leaving an end-game of two bishops and four interlocking pawns apiece and little time, settling for a draw. Reenen went on to win the resultant play-off.

Further down, Paul would have had an even better score had he remembered to use his clock, and Peter Ashwood went to the brink, but could not find the way to win won games. Mike and Johann in the other division were a little rusty with little recent play. Ross, Rachel, John Beasant and Synjon all had a decent set of games overall.

So, all in all, an enjoyable evening with the final played between Reenen and Jamie, which Reenen won after a long battle lasting into the late middle game, when Jamie’s isolated Queen’s pawn could no longer be defended, and his position collapsed.

Club Chairman, John Beasant, presented reenen with the Mihail Puiu Nutu Trophy.

Barry Jolly, December 2023

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