And the winner is …

Congratulations to Harvey Duckers for winning the second Crowthorne online blitz tournament, held yesterday on chess.com

This was another 5-minute “Arena” tournament, although this time not themed by opening. More doubtless to follow, as playing over-the-board chess still looks to be some way off in the future.

Meeting online Wednesday night – mini-tournament

This Wednesday (May 13th at 8pm) we plan to have a mini tournament, just a plain tournament this time with no fixed opening, and we will try using chess.com this time. It will be possible to play in the tournament simply by being logged on in chess.com – and being a member of the Crowthorne Chess Club group – but it helps with the organisation if you are on the zoom call. Plus you’ll get to hear all the exasperated cries as people blunder away queens.

Hope to see you on Wednesday.

Please see Jonathan’s email for the zoom meeting details.

And the winner is …

Congratulations to Peter Tart for winning Crowthorne Chess Club’s first online tournament.

It was a 5-minute event in the “Arena” format hosted on lichess, with the first few opening moves being predetermined (1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e3 0-0 5.Bd3).

As the lockdown continues, we expect to have similar events from time to time.

Themed mini-tournament

A reminder we have a Crowthorne Chess online Club night tonight (April 29), and we will be having a fixed opening mini rapid tournament on chess.com. If you don’t have a chess.com account you’ll need to have one in order to join in. If you have to sign up, please consider doing so nicely in advance, as these things can take longer than anticipated.

The fixed opening is a Nimzo-Indian: 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e3 0-0 5.Bd3

Please refer to Jonathan’s email for the meeting details.

Christmas Handicap Review

The 32nd annual Crowthorne Chess club Christmas Speed Handicap Tournament Party was held on Friday night (20th), and gave us the nerve-wracking exciting chess we’ve come to expect from the speed handicap format. I saw at least three games where the winner delivered mate with three seconds left on the clock, and there were an extraordinary number of unintentional queen sacrifices, including one in the final.

In order to speed things up the games were of ten minutes duration this year, instead of the usual 15, and there were 25 players, not quite a record but certainly a good turnout.

We played with three groups in the first stage this year, and the winners of the three groups were Scott, Bob and Mark (Cross), who were joined by Richard, Pradeep, Colin (Purdon), Andy and Daniel in the knockout stage. The final was between Andy Pollock, competing in his first CCC speed handicap, and Bob, runner up 20 years ago. Andy played an exciting tight game but Bob, who had been on terrific form all evening, finished off by winning the final, and getting his name on the Harvey-Ironside Shield for the first time.

The speed format doesn’t suit everyone, and the wooden spoon and bottle of wine was taken by Ken.

Thanks to everyone who helped with the setting up and tidying away, and also to Carolin, one of the Erfstadt chess exchange visitors this autumn, who gifted a large selection of German cakes and biscuits. And finally, an extra special mention and thanks to a good friend of the club, former long-time club member Peter Larwood who travelled from afar just to be with us for the evening.

Have a wonderful Christmas everybody.

Many thanks to Jonathan for the above report, and for organising the tournament with his usual efficiency.

Christmas Events

It’s that time of year again, and there are two social events for Crowthorne Chess Club members to put in their calendar!

A message from Jonathan, our club secretary:

The time has come for you to let me know if you’re planning to attend the Crowthorne Christmas Handicap tournament, also known as our Christmas party. I need to know how many are attending, so as to order the right amount of food. Also, it helps me organise the structure of the event (how many first stage groups there need to be, etc). If you’ve already let me know your intentions, there’s no need to do so again.

As a reminder: it’s in the Wellington College social club, Friday 20th December, start time 7:30.

As well, there is a Camberley/Crowthorne Christmas meal on Friday 13th December, not very long away at all, in La Galleria in Yateley. Would interested people let myself or Christine know?

Summer event: Random Opening Rapidplay Tournament

To complement the fixed opening rapidplay held earlier in the summer, Crowthorne Chess Club held a random opening rapidplay, with a different opening in each round. The results of the tournament, held yesterday evening with eight members playing were:

1st Harvey Duckers with 6 points (out of 7)
2nd Mark Taylor with 5
3rd Jonathan Welton with 4.5

The openings for each round were as follows:

1 Queen’s Gambit Accepted
2 Najdorf with 6 Be3
3 Fajarowicz variation of the Budapest
4 King’s Bishop Gambit
5 Open Ruy Lopez
6 French Winawer poisoned pawn
7 Grob


Summer event: Mini Rapid Trompowsky Tournament

Yesterday the club held a themed blitz tournament where all the games started with the position arising after the moves
1.  d4    Nf6
2.  Bg5  Ne4

This took most players off the beaten track and into very varied and unknown territory, and as a result many interesting games ensued.

Twelve members participated, and the event was held as an all-play-all blitz. Richard Webb won with an impressive 10/11, with Derek Johnson in second place with 8.5 and Ken Coates and Harrvey Duckers sharing third with 8.

Summer Mini Blitz Tournament

As part of our summer events Crowthorne Chess Club held a blitz tournament in the club room on Wednesday 10th July. With 10 club members playing, it was an all-play-all with a time rate of 3 minutes + 2 seconds increment per move.
The results were recorded using state-of-the-art technology (a whiteboard – see the image below). Colin came first with 8 points, Richard was second with Daniel (the only junior playing) third with an impressive 6 points.

Many thanks to Kim for providing the video

Khyber Cup 2019

The Khyber Cup, which was held on Sunday June 16 fulfilled all the traditional Khyber cup elements: good natured but closely fought games in a friendly environment, and weather going from imminent rain to a lovely summer’s day. Even the traditional winner, Richard Webb, won the event, adding his name to the shield for the 19th time. Runner up was Paul Sloane and there was a three-way tie for the wooden spoon. Many thanks to John Upham for being a generous and perfect host.

Thanks also to Paul Sloane for providing these photos (click to see full image):