41st Blackpool Chess Conference

Report from the Congress Director

This year after several players notified me that they had to withdraw from the event, we had 348 players playing at the Imperial Hotel in Blackpool. We used the Washington, Princess and Imperial suites so we were spread across 3 floors.

The bookstall and junior prizes were provided by Andrew from Chess Direct.

This year the Open field of 45 included GM’s Hebden and Wells with IM Merry joining them in a good strength event. For the first time this year the joint winners played a blitz finish to decide on the trophy, they played the best of 4 blitz games with GM Peter Wells beating Charles Storey 2½ - ½ to take the winner’s trophy. We also had a visit from WGM Qiyu Zhou and she joined IM Alan Merry and Tim Kett coming joint 3rd on 4 pts. Qiyu was in the UK to visit universities from her home in Canada and she enjoyed her visit and hopes to play more in the UK when she comes to university.

The Major with 62 players was won by David Jarmany from the Crusaders Chess Club with 5 pts and an impressive 2nd place for Anita Somton from West Nottingham with 4½ pts, she was the best junior and the best overall score by a lady to win the Sharon Furlong Trophy. She is one to watch for the future!

The Inter with 76 players was won by Gary Jackson from Banbury Chess Club on 5 pts. The 2nd place went to Ian Williamson from Great Harwood Chess Club on 4½ pts, an excellent performance for his 127 grade in a good section.

The Minor had 79 players this year and was shared by 2 joint winners, Ian Stephens from Liverpool and Jason Widdup from Morecambe, both scored 5 pts. The prize list had 10 players on it with a fantastic performance from Aditya Tangirala from Wakefield, he scored 4 pts and won a grading prize and the Best Junior prize.

The Standard section with 86 players was another tough contest with 15 players getting amongst the prizes. A 3 way tie for 1st place between Boriss Garanins from Poulton le Fylde, Tarsem Dhillon from Syston and Bill Hardwick from Carlisle Austin Friars Chess Club on 4½ pts. The section had players with age differences of over 60 years between our talented juniors and the many veterans of the game playing. The junior prizes were shared by Kyle Pelling from Tameside Club and Samuel Parry from Cheddleton & Leek on 2½ pts.

The controllers ran the show very well so I would like to thank my Senior Arbiters Alex McFarlane (Open), Lara Barnes (Major) and Dave Welch (Inter) with Arbiters Fiona Green and Glynis Purland both running the Standard section and yet another event for trainee Arbiter Andrew Sainsbury who should be awarded his official title soon.