The inaugural Individual and Team Blitz were held at The King’s School, Grantham on Saturday 18th March 2017. Five-minute chess has long been popular but with the advent of digital clocks and increments, games of three minutes plus two seconds a move are possible with fast, furious and fun results! Both the Individual Blitz held in the morning and the Team Blitz which took place in the afternoon led to exciting chess played in a very good spirit with very few interventions necessary for the arbiters, Phill Beckett, Oliver Graham and John Swain. Under Blitz rules, once the clock is pressed, an illegal move can end the game, providing the opponent notices!
The Individual Blitz attracted twenty-four competitors from six schools; four other schools had unfortunately had to withdraw with various transport and personnel problems. The computer program kept apart players from the same school until the last two of the seven rounds. The early leader, Michael Fletcher (171) of Nottingham High School set a cracking pace with 5/5 but was beaten in round 6 by his school-mate Aditya Munshi (162), who had only lost one game, to Han-sen Choong (129) of Heathside Preparatory School in round 2, whom Michael had beaten in round 4. All three won in the final round to finish on 6/7, with Michael declared Champion on sum-of-progressive scores, ahead of Han-sen and then Aditya. Following close behind were the top boards from Wilson’s School, Tharshan Kuhendiran (159) and Kevin Gu (140) and then Kamer Yildizli (103) from A.C.S. Egham, all of whom scored a highly creditable 4.5 points. Kamer’s performance amply demonstrates that even rapidplay grades are a poor predictor of ability at Blitz chess.
Six teams played in a five-round all-play-all in the afternoon’s Team Blitz. With four players in each team, there were 20 points at stake, game points counting rather than match points. The competitors were joined by Chepstow School who had made the long journey during the morning and who, despite their lack of Individual Blitz practice, won the bronze medals with an impressive score of 11.5 points, just ahead of Heathside (10) and then A.C.S. Egham (7) and King’s Grantham (1). Nottingham High School needed just a point against Wilson’s in the final round to win the title; they were somewhat fortunate to draw 2-2 but always had the point in the bag, finishing on 16.5/20 ahead of silver medallists Wilson’s on 14.
Many thanks are due to King’s for excellent hospitality, to Neill Cooper the ECF’s Manager of School Chess, whose brainchild this new venture was and who inputted the results during the day, to the arbiters and above all to the players, parents and teachers who participated in a very enjoyable new event …
— John Swain (Individual Blitz Controller) and Phill Beckett (Team Blitz Controller)
New for 2016/17 – Blitz individual and team events
Open to all United Kingdom Secondary Schools. If your school would like to take part, please click on the link below and complete the short form. You will then be sent further details.
What is Blitz?
Blitz is chess played quickly! Traditionally this was five-minute chess, where each player has 5 minutes on their clock to complete all their moves. With modern digital clocks, the alternative is that each player has 3 minutes, plus 2 seconds additional time per move.
Either way it is fast and furious and fun!
Each participating school runs an internal Blitz championship to determine their school Blitz champion.
Participating schools will then be able to enter the National Team Blitz finals for teams of 4 players (plus an optional reserve). Their team players can also play in the individual Blitz, to be played before the team final. If a school does not with to enter a team, then their champion can enter the individual championship, and they will also be allocated to a scratch team. Full details of the final will be sent to the participating schools.
Your School Blitz Championship
You can run this either as a knock-out tournament or a Swiss tournament —
A knock-out tournament could be played in an hour or so. You can do the draw before the start or after each round – for details of running one, please see notes below …
Alternatively, you could run a Swiss tournament, in which no one is knocked out. In this case you need to do pairings for each round, which takes longer. You could run just one round a week for a series of weeks, in which case players could play a pair of games (one white, one black) against the same opponent. You should decide the number of rounds in advance. If there is a tie, you will need to decide how to break the tie. A good way is to have a play off!
If you don’t have chess clocks you can use a phone app. A simple one is that provided for free on by chess.com defaults to 5 mins or can be set to 3 mins + 2 sec increment (you can find it here).
Wilsons School; Simon Langton Grammar School for Boys; ACS Egham International School; Chepstow School; Dame Alice Owens School; Kings School Grantham; Knole Academy; Nottingham High School; Harrow School; St Pauls Girls School; Notre Dame Catholic College; Talocher School; Heathside Prep School; Aldro School; St Pauls School; Radley College; Mill Hill County High School; Magdalen College School; The Peterborough School; Gordon’s School; Heaton Manor School; Ackworth School; Yewlands Academy; Oundle School; Bishop Wordsworth’s School
National Final – Team and Individual
There will be both individual and team finals on Saturday 18th March 2017 at The King’s School, Grantham. Further details and entry forms will be sent to Participating Schools …