David Rowson wins third All Saints Blitz in play-off

All Saints Blitz III held at All Saints Church, Kingston on 27 March 2024 over five rounds with a 3+7 time control.

David Rowson (right) receiving his prize from former Kingston Chess Club chair Peter Roche

David Rowson from Kingston Chess Club won the third edition of the All Saints Blitz in a play-off against Stephen Carpenter from Wimbledon Chess Club. The winner of the first two blitzes, Tony Hughes, was unavailable to participate citing “errands”. David and Stephen were running neck and neck throughout the tournament and drew their fourth-round encounter to end up on 4½/5 each. The prize was a large chocolate Easter egg, which David happily declared would be a present for his grand-daughter.

Stephen Carpenter (left) v David Rowson (round 4)

As part of the pastoral activities of the club, we invited Olga Champ, a urology nurse from Kingston Hospital, to talk on prostate cancer. Her talk took place after round one. Most of those playing on a Wednesday morning fall into the demographic where we must pay attention to men’s health. The talk explained what the prostate does, how it enlarges with age and how to test for malignancy with a PSA test and/or a biopsy. Olga stayed awhile to discuss the issue one-on-one. She was accompanied by Archana Sood, the Macmillan information and support manager at Kingston Hospital. The talk was well received and could be model for talks to other gatherings of chess players. The tournament concluded on schedule, despite including a talk. The play sped up; as Peter Roche put it with dark humour, “We know we don’t have much time left.”

Olga Champ giving some information on men’s health

Third place was shared by Kingstonians Ben Hambridge, Peter Roche and Nick Grey. Ben’s score of 3/5 was creditable given that he is a new player to the club with an estimated rating of 1600. Thirteen-year-old Joe Inch also did well, coming in with 50% in what we believe was his first over-the-board tournament.

This was the first time that we had an odd number of participants at 11. However, this turned out to be a bonus because the spare player was able to speak to the health visitor or was deployed to act as a chess instructor for one of the learners. The regular Wednesday-morning chess slot continues at the church, enlivened once a month by the Blitz.

Two learners with the Checkmate! book

The next Blitz tournament is scheduled for 24 April, running from 10.15am until 12.30pm

John Foley