Andrews and Maycock tie in Kingston blitz tournament

Club starts regular internal event in an attempt to give more purpose to social chess

As a club, Kingston has not in recent years been good at using its non-match evenings profitably. This is something we hope to change, and on Monday 7 February we held an internal blitz tournament that aimed to combine the fun of social chess with a steely edge of competition. Ten Kingstonians attended, spread across a large ratings range, and there were five rounds at a time control of 10 minutes and five seconds – as John Bussmann remarked, not quite blitz and not quite rapidplay but something in between. We plan more of these events as we develop a structure for social chess, and will experiment with different controls.

David Maycock, the highest-rated player in attendance, was in imperious form and disposed of your correspondent in round two without having to use any brainpower at all. But he faced a tough struggle in round three against the 2000-rated player Peter Andrews, who joined the club just two weeks ago. Maycock had a small edge throughout, but Andrews defended adroitly and the king and pawn endgame was drawn.

Neither player encountered much turbulence in the final two rounds and both ended up on 4.5 points from 5. With time pressing, FM Julian Way, who had masterminded the tournament and done the pairings – at some cost to his own performance in the tournament – had the bright idea of awarding the trophy to new member Andrews rather than forcing the two players into anything so crude as an Armageddon play-off. Maycock already has quite enough trophies and took the runners-up prize, a box of caramel chocolates, which most of those present seemed to think preferable to the little mock-silver cup. A successful experiment and one the club intends to make a regular part of the calendar.

Stephen Moss