4th Mike Closs Memorial Tournament
This year's memorial event, in honour of our dear friend Mike Closs, featured four of Teesside's top players in a quadruple round-robin blitz tournament. At five minutes per player per game, the action was fast and furious.
David Wise got off to a flying start, beating defending champion Julian Allinson 2-0 at the start of the event.
Indeed, David was on terrific form and he stormed to an excellent score of 6/6 after the first cycle of matches.
Scores after the first cycle:
David Wise 6/6
Julian Allinson 4/6
David Baillie, John Garnett 1/6
Julian put himself back in the title race with a victory over David Wise at the start of the second cycle of matches, with a brilliant exchange sacrifice proving decisive. However, David still held a half-point advantage as the tournament moved into the final stages.
Meanwhile, David Baillie and John Garnett were playing fighting chess in every game, absolutely worthy of the occasion. I was impressed by David's kingside pawn structure in the following position...
...although John, with the white pieces, went on to win that game.
Despite the ferocity of the battles, the players kept on great terms!
There were only two draws out of all the games played. We saw at least one entertaining checkmate pattern.
David Baillie played one of the best games of the day to defeat David Wise in the penultimate round and John Garnett held David to a draw in one of the games from the final round. That all left Julian with a great chance of winning the tournament, but he had to beat David Baillie 2-0 to do it. After two more fighting games, Julian emerged as champion again.
Julian Allinson 9.5/12
David Wise 9/12
David Baillie 3/12
John Garnett 2.5/12
So Julian completed a remarkable comeback and took the title for the third time!
Reports from previous events