Wednesday, December 31, 2014

4th Ulster Blitz Championship


I am not going to write a full report about this event, as the UCU 
website will do it anyhow, most likely better than I could do - so I just 
write about my result and my impressions. I managed to win the tournament 
with 19 wins and only one draw. Overall I am quite happy with the quality 
of my game. 

As far as I can recall, I had only three dodgy games: the one against 
Ian Woodfield, where I was lost and down to 5 seconds, but my opponent 
(also short on time) preferred to take a perpetual; the game against Calum, 
where I came out worse of the opening and the game against Thomas Donaldson, 
where I had a promising position, but blundered horribly a pawn, 
missing a simple pin. Luckily, I was able to sacrifice my queen 
for a rook and bishop, and create enough confusion to win the game. 

My Pirc defence was under heavy testing: I had about 7-8 games in the Pirc, 
and in most of them I got good positions right after the opening. 

Quite unusually to a blitz event, nobody played any weird opening against 
me (except Damien, of course, who tried the Elephant Gambit again). 

What really struck me is the total lack of kids at the tournament. If we had 
a one day blitz tournament with similar conditions in Hungary, about 30 
percent of the participant would be children between 6 and 14. 

And it's not only Hungary, I had similar experiences in Brazil. In Vila Velha 
(the city where I lived for 4 years), the field of a rapid tournament would 
look like this:

I think it is the children who really keep these kind of tournaments alive - 
most kids prefer blitz or rapid to classical games, 
they have plenty of free time, and even the parents are happy to get rid of 
their offsprings for a Sunday afternoon... so it is really hard to understand 
why you don't meet any of them in Belfast chess. I don't think I have seen 
anybody younger than 16 at this tournament.

But anyhow, it was a well organized and really enjoyable event at a nice 
venue - thanks for the organisers for their efforts. Looking forward for the 
next one in 2015 - although I have to admit that I was wrecked on Sunday 

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