Flying high on the successes of the Give It A Go sessions, a huge number of people showed up for the first Saturday night Blitz tournament of the year. Throughout the evening 46 players took part with several of them getting their first experience of over the board tournament chess which is great to see. Alongside the new members the tournament attracted many of the league regulars plus a few people coming out of the woodwork especially for Blitz. There were concerns about having enough boards, clocks and tables for everybody although rumours of criminal activity to help is yet to be proven.
One of the big highlights of a large tournament is that everybody got a competitive win, aside from Julien who kindly dropped out as one of the Social Secretaries to help run the event with Emily, the other Social Secretary. Organising 11 rounds of Blitz with players dropping out and arriving late is no mean feat so thank you to them for organising the chaos relatively smoothly!
With no seeding there were some brutal pairings from the first round onwards. The last game to finish in Round 1 set up the arc for the tournament with the black player winning a rook and pawn ending on time with one second on their clock. People love a dirty flag in a 5+0 Blitz tournament with no increment to save them.
Despite the extra random element of Blitz, two favourites stormed to a great start. Tom Shepherd and Kevin Wu met in Round 6 having both won their first five games. The two would end up winning the tournament together after their unblitzlike draw, although they both suffered hiccups along the way dropping a game to myself and Jonas Zurba respectively. Despite that embarrassment, the two of them are worthy winners of the event. Kieran Child and Zachary Lee finished in joint third so it’s an exciting time for the university with many new names appearing at the top.
A link to the full results will be available soon.