Sunday 9 August 2015

6th Mike Closs Memorial Tournament

The 6th Mike Closs Memorial Tournament saw four players battle it out over 12 rounds of 5-minute chess.

Mike's son, Elliot, had given the tournament his personal blessing and sent a lovely message of support.

‘‘I hope the tournament does go well and send thank you to all the players contending and congratulations to the winner. They are carrying on his passion for chess.’’

Elliot Closs


The scene was set and we awaited the arrival of the four specially invited participants.
The pairings were decided when the four players selected an envelope, with each one containing a hidden number.
The defending champion, Julian Allinson, was back in action and hoping to defend his title against David Baillie, Dave Edmunds and Kevin Winter.

Kevin playing his pet Black Lion opening
Julian, looking to dominate the light squares
Each person played the others four times, with the rounds split into two cycles. The games were fabulously entertaining, with all four players entering into the spirit of the competition and playing lots of uncompromising chess.

Five minutes is all they got for all of their moves!
The King's Indian Defence - an old favourite of Mike's.
Kevin upheld the honour of the defence in excellent fashion.

The scores at the end of the first cycle were:

4.5: Julian and Kevin
3: Dave Edmunds
0: David Baillie

We then had a break for TV (an episode of The Master Game), nibbles and a chess quiz. The positions used for the quiz were based on an article Mike Closs wrote for Guisborough Knights, the old club bulletin we used to produce for Guisborough Chess Club back in the late 1980s.

When the contest resumed, Julian started to pull away from the pack but was then held to two extraordinary draws by Kevin, who perhaps should have won at least one of the games.
Four black pawns occupy the central squares!
Yet still Julian kept his cool and a 2-0 final-round victory over Dave Edmunds guaranteed him first place.

Final Standings

9.5: Julian Allinson
7: Kevin Winter
5.5: Dave Edmunds
2: David Baillie

Thank you, everyone, for a very enjoyable and memorable day.
Julian is the champion again!
Mike Closs: Never Forgotten
Photo © Elliot Closs

Reports on previous events:

5th Memorial Tournament

4th Memorial Tournament

3rd Memorial Tournament

2nd Memorial Tournament

1st Memorial Tournament