NCA Blitz Championship – 2 May 2006

John Swain

Thirty-five players entered this year’s Blitz, a similar number to the last couple of years (34 in 2004, 35 last year), but the clubs represented by more than one player only consisted of: Ashfield, Gambit, Mansfield, Newark, Nomads and West Bridgford; West Nottingham had a solitary participant, and other clubs were not represented at all. It would be good to have some feedback from absentees as well as participants regarding possible improvements about timing or format.

Those who did participate enjoyed a six-round, ten-minute tournament which was won for the third year running by our President, Michael Barnes (Gambit) who conceded a draw to Tim Walker, but won the rest, including defeating former champion Jon Tait (Mansfield) in the penultimate round. Ankush Khandelwal (Nomads) won the junior prize for his second equal position, alongside an unrewarded Jon Tait (5 points). Perhaps we should introduce a prize for second place? Chris Cantrill (Mansfield) deservedly picked up a prize, the best under 160 performance, losing in the last round to Michael Barnes and finishing on 4½ points. The best veteran performance (over 50) required two tie-breaks: Bob Taylor (Ashfield) and George Wagenbach (Mansfield) both scored 4 points and had an identical sum of progressive scores, but Bob emerged the winner by a point on sum of opponents’ scores. Finally, another tie-break was required to determine the best under 120 grading prize, which was won by Mick Harper on sum of progressive scores ahead of Ben Hobson (both of Gambit, both with 3 points). The clock prize was won by Gambit on 12½ points, ahead of Mansfield (10½) and Ashfield (9½).

Many thanks are due to all who played. Particular thanks are due to co-controller Derek Padvis; to Michael Barnes, who booked the facilities in the face of some stalling, and who did the lower half of the draw again (whilst also winning the event, no mean feat!); to Ian Kingston who produced some attractive A5 fliers to advertise the event and made them available at the Congress; finally, to those who helped set up the equipment: Michael Barnes, Austen Carlton and Derek Padvis.