Monday 19 March 2018

Project 30: Celebratory Tournament

Project 30: Celebratory Tournament and Meal

The original idea for this event was to invite players from my three chess clubs (Guisborough, Elmwood and Redcar).

All was set for a fabulous day. I had arranged the players into two strong all-play-all groups, with the winners of each group scheduled to play in the big final.

However, the weather threw a considerable spanner in the works and a combination of 11 inches of snow, cancelled trains and ungritted roads frustrated the intentions of no fewer than five of our players. Yet others had a clearer passage from home and contacted me to say they were confident of getting through. It was a busy morning on the phone, emails and Facebook as messages pinged in and out with alarming regularity.

I decided to wait and see who turned up before altering the format and I took along some trusty Swiss pairing cards just in case.

Eventually it became clear we had seven players able to make it through the snow and ice and I added myself to make it an equal number, then changed the format to make it all-play-all with 25 minutes on each clock.

The original plan included a lunch break but I didn't want anyone venturing out so I cleaned out McColl's on my way to the venue.

We hired The Buffs Social Club out for the day (The Buffs is the current Stockton chess club - the descendant of the now-defunct Elwmood) and the Function Room proved to be an excellent venue.

And so, the players were:
Sean Cassidy, Buffs and Stockton Library Supremo

Matt Jackman - the future Teesside No.1
Bernie Price - The Hartlepool Gamibteer
Peter Harker - former Hartlepool Junior and club stalwart
Mike 'Smiler' Creaney - one of the strongest
1 d4 players around
Paul Weightman - library chess tutor and all-round gent
Brian Whitaker - CCA Chairperson and
Thornaby Library supremo
Me - in a late switch from organiser to player
The games were extremely hard-fought and despite the tension created by the competitive aspect of the day and the reduced clock times, there were very few outright blunders over the course of the seven rounds.

The final scores were:

6.5: Sean Marsh (a draw with Bernie)
5.5: Matt Jackman (defeat against me; a draw with Sean C)
5:    Bernie Price
4:    Sean Cassidy
2.5: Brian Whitaker
2:    Peter Harker, Mike Creaney
0.5: Paul Weightman


Project 30 wasn't quite done for the day, as some of us headed directly to Borges for an excellent celebratory meal, where many a good laugh was had and, in one case, an authentic Teesside Parmo.

Thank you to everyone who supported either one or both events.

There is still plenty more Project 30 action to come.

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