On Saturday 16th November 2019 the University Chess Club hosted one of its toughest matches ever, a simultaneous display by 2019 Scottish champion, GM Matthew Turner. Many thanks to Matthew who drove down to Bristol after a long day playing in a slightly more serious tournament in Birmingham. He provided a very entertaining 20-board simul display with light kibitzing throughout and a very strong performance winning 18-2, despite my attempt to lower his strength by buying him, and then stealing, drinks.
However, in a very biased piece of reporting, I will highlight some of the University’s successes. Firstly, huge congratulations to Jonathan Kermode for being the only player on the night to beat Matthew. There are not many players in the society who have ever beaten a Grandmaster.
Two other players managed to steal half points away from Matthew; Evan Sakiotis and Ethan Luc, although I suspect both of them may be kicking themselves slightly that didn’t take the full points. Evan managed to win a piece with a tactic early in the game.
Despite being a rook down with slightly dubious compensation Matthew was able to keep things complicated and managed to get Evan into an endgame a bishop versus rook and wrong coloured pawn on the a-file, which was a theoretical draw. A shame given the earlier position but congratulations for making a GM sweat in a really interesting fight!
Ethan can also be slightly disheartened after offering a draw in a position where he had a lovely tactic to finish the GM off. Ethan is one of the few players to have a GM scalp under his belt already so hopefully he will get a chance to repeat his success again in the near future.
Thank you to everyone who played, and I hope you learnt something from your games. The simultaneous was a huge success thanks to you and this is definitely something that the committee hopes to repeat in the future. The final picture should go out to the victor while also sneakily reminding ourselves of our small successes! Photos are available on the Bristol University Chess Club Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/BristolUniChess/