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.
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?
Once again Crowthorne has two teams competing in the 4NCL (Four Nations Chess League), the UK’s national team championship. We have one team in Division 4, and one team in Division 3, having gained promotion last year.
The first 2 rounds have just taken place this weekend (9-10 November).
The B team narrowly lost 2½ – 3½ on Saturday but a 5-1 win on the Sunday puts the B team comfortably mid table.
The A team won 4-2 on the Saturday and 5-1 on the Sunday so a strong start in division 3.
From next Wednesday (21 Aug), we will be meeting at our usual location in the Maths Dept, and no longer at our summer lodgings in PE1. Please click the image below for a detailed map, or go to theAbout Us page for detailed directions.
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
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.
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