The Keith Bateman Memorial Trophy event was held at Salisbury, and was a handicap blitz chess tournament (see Highcliffe Chess Club’s report on last year’s inaugural event). Six teams of 4 players competed. Chandler’s Ford captain David Culliford reports.
On Thursday 25th July, Chandler’s Ford accepted an invitation to compete in a handicap blitz tournament hosted by Salisbury Chess Club. The event comprised six teams of four players, drawn from four local clubs (Salisbury, Ringwood, Highcliffe and Chandler’s Ford), playing in an all-play-all format. Handicap blitz is a style of chess with a fast and furious time control in which players are handicapped based on the difference between their playing strengths. For example, opposing players with a similar grading would have ten minutes each on their clock for the entire game, whereas a strong county player meeting a novice might have 4 and 16 minutes available respectively.
The organisers and arbiters for the evening (Pete Donaldson of Ringwood and Michael Pope of Salisbury) began by welcoming the assembled players and then briefly summarised the tournament rules for those unfamiliar with the playing format. Some exciting chess was played over the five rounds, and occasionally one could hear the clatter of pieces hitting the floor as over eager players got carried away in their urgency to meet the time control – who says chess is boring?! There was an interval after the 3rd round during which refreshments were served, which provided much needed relief from the intensity of the chess on what was a hot and humid night.
At the end of the evening, the Chandler’s Ford team (Graham Stuart, David Culliford, Sam Murphy and Matthew Coldwell) emerged victorious, winning the first four rounds and drawing the last, although it must be said that a quarter of the Chandler’s Ford team (Coldwell) is actually a Salisbury club member. Matthew’s performance was particularly noteworthy, with wins in all five of his games. The evening concluded with Pete Donaldson presenting the trophy to David Culliford, the captain of Chandler’s Ford. All in all, a great evening of fun competitive chess among friends.