Lightning Results

The club's annual Lightning Tournament (10 seconds per move) was held last night, preceded by a junior lightning for the members of HJCC...

In the junior event, Matthew Forster was unnerved by the quality of opposition (everyone seemed to up their game against him!) but he emerged victorious with 7 points. Harry came in 2nd place with 6 points, with only one loss to Matthew. The scores were:

Matthew 7
Harry 6
Alex 5.5
Lisa 4.5
Jesse 3.5
Ollie 3.5
William 2
Rosemary 2

In the main event we had two qualifying groups even larger than normal with 11 players in one and 12 in the other! Well done to all players for prompt turnarounds so we could get all the games played. Results from the group stage were as follows:

"Heads" group:

Taylor 9.5/11
Forster (snr) 9.5/11
Mansson 9/11
Richardson 8/11
Comley 8/11
Harris 5/11
Marshall 4/11
Barrowclough 4/11
M. Hewitt 3/11
Waddingham 3/11
Warren 2/11
Thorne 1/11

"Tails" group:

Higgs 8.5/10
T. Hewitt 8/10
Nkomo 8/10
Heath 6/10
Harbott 5/10
Baldock 4.5/10
Cannon 4/10
Pavlovic 4/10
Forster (jr) 4/10
Denning 3/10
R. Hewitt 0/10 (but plenty of valuable experience!)

In the Heads group there was an early shock as Mike Forster was defeated in his first game by leaving his queen en prise. However he fought back and posted an imposing score that was only matched by Paul Taylor. James Mansson was also in the running but defeat to Paul Richardson left him half a point behind. As Paul and Mike had drawn their individual game they had a playoff for the place in the final - Mike looked to be winning with a neat knight fork, but Paul somehow escaped and his doubled rooks on the seventh proved too much.

In the Tails group there was a similar three-horse race at the top. I finished first with 8.5, then waited nervously as both Tony Hewitt and Melusi Nkomo approached my score - Melusi in particular was on 100% and looking good for the final. However the dice fell kindly for me, in that Tony lost to Mark Baldock putting him out of the running, and he then beat Melusi in the last game which handed me qualification by just half a point.

In game 1 of the final I was the exchange down in an endgame, so I tried a further outrageous exchange sacrifice which actually equalised, and eventually led to victory when Paul's pawn-grabbing rook was unable to stop my passed pawn. Paul struck back in game 2 when I overlooked a tactic and he forced favourable exchanges to get his own passed pawn home. In the decider we reached a level position, but after blundering a pawn Paul went for broke. Both kings were in danger but I found the right series of checks to win Paul's queen and the tournament.

The position at the top of this report is from the Tails group (names removed to protect the innocent) and shows what can happen in 10 second chess. Black moved in for the kill with ...Kf3??, only to be rudely awakened by White's Bh5 mate! Only in the Lightning (hopefully)...