The Barnsley Blitz - Wednesday 6th May 2009 at Birdwell Methodist Church

Barnsley Chess Club organised a ten minute four player team event called the Barnsley Blitz.

The event took place on Wednesday 6th May 2009 at Birdwell Methodist Church.

The event consisted of 16 teams. Each team comprised of four players. Each team player had 10 minutes to complete their game.

Players came from as far as Worksop and Chesterfield to participate. All the clubs who took part fielded most of their best players.

The teams were split into two groups of eight called gold and silver according to the average team grade. Each team competed in six rounds against six other teams in their group.

The team with the most board points from each section would receive a chess clock and a Bill Ward salver in recognition of Bill's outstanding service to the Sheffield League. These awards to be presented by the man himself!

Play in progress

Play in progress

The gold group consisted mainly of Sheffield League Division One teams.

Reigning Sheffield League champions Nomads fielded four of their top players in Nomads I. Nomads second team in the gold group Nomads II consisted of other strong players from their club with Sheffield League Division One experience.

Sheffield University, Sheffield League runners-up entered University I with three of their best players. However at the last minute they had to play a sub instead of one of their higher rated players on board four.

Hosts Barnsley Chess Club fielded their strongest players in Barnsley I in an attempt to win the tournament.

The other gold group teams from Worksop, Rotherham Juniors, Phoenix and a mixed team of Chesterfield and 'Abbey' players called Richards Retis all comprised of strong and regular Sheffield League Division One players eager to challenge for the honours.

Nomads I got 'off to a flyer' in the early rounds with heavy wins over Phoenix, Rotherham Juniors and Richards Retis. This was a lead they were never to relinquish.

Hosts Barnsley I started with two draws against Worksop and Richards Retis, in the next two rounds they won convincingly to give them a chance in the competition. Defeat in the penutimate round against Nomads I effectively ruled out any winning hopes and they had to settle for being runners-up.

University I were inconsistant. Wins over Worksop and Phoenix were cancelled out by defeats to Nomads II and Richards Retis. Despite winning Nomads I in the final round they ended in third place.

Coming a close fourth were Rotherham Juniors with only one defeat to Nomads I. They obtained draws against second and third place Barnsley I and University I whilst winning the other opposition.

Three board points separated the next three teams. They had wildly different results.

Worksop won two matches and had a draw, Richard Retis won one match and drew another. Both these teams finished higher on boards points than Nomads II despite them scoring over fifty percent with three match wins and a drawn match.

Phoenix had a bit of a nightmare to finish in last place.

The team winners of the gold group were Nomads I (Jonathan Nelson, Kieran O'Driscoll, Chris Shephard, Mohammad Said) with 36 points out of a possible 48 points.

Nomads I win the gold team award

Nomads I win the gold team award

The gold group individual top scorers were Chris Shephard (177), Mohammad Said (165) both Nomads I and Tony Pogson (153) Barnsley I with 10 points out of a possible 12 points.

Since tie-breaks went to the least graded player Tony Pogson collected the gold individual award.

Tony Pogson wins the gold individual highest score award

Tony Pogson wins the gold individual highest score award

Below are the team scores and individual scores for the gold group, a win counting as two points, a draw as one point.

Gold Group - Team Scores
ID Club Team Name 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 Total
01 Nomads I Kierans Korchnois X 5 3 7 6 7 X 8 36
02 Barnsley I Butterworths Benonis 3 X X 4 4 4 8 8 31
03 Sheffield University I Chak-Mate-Scholars 5 X X 4 8 2 3 7 29
04 Rotherham Juniors Richer Rothers 1 4 4 X X 5 8 6 28
05 Worksop Burnetts Botvinniks 2 4 0 X X 5 3 8 22
06 Mixed Richards Retis 1 4 6 3 3 X 3 X 20
07 Nomads II No Mad Zugzwangs X 0 5 0 5 5 X 4 19
08 Phoenix Phoenix Forkers 0 0 1 2 0 X 4 X 7

Gold Group - Individual Scores
Name Score Name Score Name Score Name Score
Nomads I 36 Barnsley I 31 University I 29 Rotherham Juniors 28
1 J Nelson7 A Drabble6 J Arnott7 P Shaw7
2 K O'Driscoll9 A Butterworth9 P Chakravorty9 P Blackman8
3C Shephard10 M Sheard6 M Chakravorty9 T Whittaker6
4 M Said10 T Pogson10 Chern Yean Sim4 A Littlewood7
Name Score Name Score Name Score Name Score
Worksop 22 Mixed 20 Nomads II 19 Phoenix 7
1 J Burnett7 D Latham6 J Hamm5 P Fletcher 3
2 J Davis3 P Hempson5 A George5 G Fletcher0
3P Griffiths6 M Johnson7 M Khakimova2 T Cole2
4 M Clarke6 B Ward2 S Crosthwaite7 J Mercy2

In the silver group Barnsley II fielded a squad of mainly Sheffield Division One team players. Their counter-parts Barnsley III were formed between their Sheffield Division Two and Doncaster League teams.

Local rivals Wombwell who have just gained promotion to Sheffield Division Two joined their soon to be opponents from SASCA (Sheffield Schools Chess Association) and Nomads whose team Nomads III consisted of mainly Sheffield Division Two players.

Other silver group teams included Huddesfield League side Netherton, University II comprising of their Sheffield League second team players and a mixed team of players called Emmanuels Angels sourced from Rotherham, Wombwell and other chess clubs. All were keen and ready to battle.

It developed that the two local sides Barnsley II and Wombwell were in a two horse race for the top two places.

The outcome of the silver group winners was decided in the match between both front runners with Barnsley II edging out Wombwell in a closely fought match.

Battle commenced over the next four positions with only six board points separating SASCA, Netherton, University II and Nomads III.

Nomads III won three and drew one match, SASCA and Univerity II won three and lost three matches whilst Netherton won two and drew one match. However board points dictated that SASCA and Netherton be placed above Nomads III and University II.

The last two places in the silver group were also keenly contested. Barnsley III scored two draws and Emmanuels Angels scored one draw but 'board point totals' pushed them near to University II on board points.

The team winners of the silver group were Barnsley II (Gary Hinchcliffe, Ken Hunter, Dave Greensmith, Tony Farrell) with 35 points out of a possible 48 points.

Barnsley II sliver winners team

Barnsley II - silver team winners

Barnsley II win the silver team prize

Barnsley II win the silver team prize

The silver group individual top scorers were Thomas Pitcher (141) Wombwell and Tony Farrell (119) Barnsley II with 11 points out of a possible 12 points.

Since tie-breaks went to the least graded player Tony Farrell collected the silver individual award.

Tony Farrell wins the silver individual highest score award

Tony Farrell wins the silver individual highest score award

Below are the team scores and individual scores for the silver group, a win counting as two points, a draw as one point.

Silver Group - Team Scores
ID Club Team Name 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 Total
01 Barnsley II Benko Billies X 5 6 5 5 8 X 6 35
02 Wombwell Wombwell Winawers 3 X 5 7 8 X 4 6 33
03 Sheffield Schools CA SASCA Smyslovs 2 3 X 5 X 3 6 6 25
04 Netherton Netherton Nimzos 3 1 3 X 8 4 5 X 24
05 Nomads III Arctic Donkeys 0 0 X 4 X 8 5 5 22
06 Sheffield University II Athertons Alekhines 3 X 5 0 0 X 6 5 19
07 Barnsley III Vlads Viennas X 4 2 3 2 X X 4 18
08 Mixed Emmanuels Angels 2 2 2 X 3 3 4 X 16
Silver Group - Individual Scores
Name Score Name Score Name Score Name Score
Barnsley II 35 Wombwell 33 SASCA 25 Netherton 24
1 G Hinchcliffe7 T Pitcher11 L Mackay0 R Atkinson9
2 K Hunter7 R Desmedt9 J Fryer8 D Toulson2
3D Greensmith10 M Lindley8 E Hollingworth8 A Tuddenham5
4 T Farrell11 B Brian5 M Edwards-Wright9 A Hollaway8
Name Score Name Score Name Score Name Score
Nomads III 22 University II 19 Barnsley III 18 Mixed 16
1 K Dewhurst4 M Atherton4 R Hall 8 C Willey5
2 P Bailey6 G Martin6 V Shaposhnikov6 G Thickett4
3K Marshall8 C Yen4 J Stevens2 D Basu3
4 S Nicholson4 R Kumar5 R Merc2 T Leon4

The event was run with the aim of making a donation to 'The Barnsley Builders' a local charity supported by the hosts Birdwell Methodist Church. The event raised over £250 for the charity including £100 donated by South Yorkshire Police to Jan and Barry Eldred of the Barnsley Builders whose next project is building homes in Comanesti, Romania.

 SY Police Donation to Barnsley Builders

The South Yorkshire Police donation to The Barnsley Builders

Barnsley Chess Club would like to thank all who made the event a success - Tony Farrell for organising the event, Birdwell Methodist Church who provided the venue, hospitality and refreshments, Mary and Paul Horswill who kept the tournament scores up to date, Chess Direct for sponsoring the event, all the Barnsley Chess Club members who helped run the event and all the other players and teams who participated on the night.

Hopefully there will be another Barnsley Blitz next year. If you have any comments or suggestions can you please contact Richard Hall here.