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The 2nd Bearsden Christmas Lightning (Open) Tournament

(Held on Tuesday,  December 20th, 2005)
by Trevor Davies

Results of the 5-round "Swiss" were as follows:

First (equal):  Richard Wiltshire (Bearsden)  & Ian Mclean (Hamilton)   4½/5    (£20 each)

Grading prizes: Under 1900  - Paul MacDonald (Glasgow Montrose) 4/5, Under 1700 -  Alistair Ahmed (Glasgow Montrose) 3½/5 Under 1300 - Daniel Rocks (Bearsden) 2½/5 (£10 each)

Each prize-winner also received one of Bearsden Chess Club's signed certificates, which are sure to become collectors' items in the future. Over a gallon of the finest mulled wine and three score mince-pies were consumed before play began by the players who had journeyed from far and wide (Cathcart, Dalmuir, Glasgow Montrose, Polytechnic, and Edinburgh). As far as it was possible to tell, this seemed to have had no significant detrimental effect on play. 

Some players, unused to the peculiar time dilation, wherein the opening few moves take an eternity, while tactical complexities flash by like... (well, like lightning) took a while to adjust.  Played in good humour, such difficulties as did arise with the Special Rules were quickly resolved.  However, play had to be suspended momentarily in the last round when, after only 50 seconds play, the "grandmaster" draw offer overheard on Board 1 was greeted with universal mock horror, drowning out the buzzer.

The tournament was appreciably stronger than last year, despite the unavoidable (some might say fortunate) absence of one or two of the stronger local players. Twenty-six players took part, mostly from clubs outside the district. The top player had a rating of over 2100 and the average rating was 1650. Richard Wiltshire and Ian Mclean's first-place performance approached 2100, while Paul MacDonald's exceeded 2000. Alistair Ahmed scored over 1900, while Bearsden junior, Daniel Rocks, also has an excellent tournament with a performance rating of 1700+.  Sadly, for these players at least, the results will not be submitted for grading!

Many thanks to Douglas MacGregor for handling the (computer) draw; to Eileen for the mince-pies (yum-yum) and to Angharad for the buzzer back-up system. Next year, the tournament will be on Tuesday, December 19th.  Hope to see you there! 

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