Old Hallfieldian Blitz Chess 2022
On Thursday 13 October, we hosted our annual blitz chess tournament when we welcomed Old Hallfieldians back to school to compete with current pupils.
18 October 2022
Chess is thriving at Hallfield with the school widely regarded as one of the strongest schools of chess excellence in the country. So it’s no wonder many Old Hallfieldians jumped at the chance to return and put their skills to the test!
A big well done to all the players and congratulations to Zain and Diah who were awarded trophies. A special thank you goes to Mr Thomas, Mr Holowczak and Mr Sandhu for overseeing proceedings.
Read on for the full tournament report from Hallfield Chess Coach Mr Thomas:
“The format of the event is fascinating as former Hallfield chess stars compete against some of our current leading players. The youngest player at the event was just 7 years old with the oldest a little over 30 and the competition was once again close and fierce but with plenty of good will and fair play from everyone.
“There were no major shocks in round 1 as all the pre-tournament favourites won their games with relative ease. The first mini surprise was in round 2 when our current board 2, Diah, defeated last year’s board 2 and joint player of the year 2021/22, Farhaan. In round 3 it was our current board 1, Preesh, who found top form to beat last year’s board 1 (and also joint player of the year 2021/22), Kai.
“By the end of round 3 we had reached the halfway stage and three players were on maximum points: Zain (Yr9), Rob (the oldest player in the tournament) and Preesh. Zain beat Rob in a tough game and Preesh pulled off another big win by defeating Farhaan to set up a round 5 clash with top seed Zain. After a tough battle Zain managed to keep his winning streak going and entered the last round with 5/5, a full point in front of Preesh, Rob, Diah and Kai on 4/5.
“In the final round Rob beat Rohan K (one of Hallfield’s top players from last year) and Diah beat Preesh. In the top board clash between Zain and Kai it was touch and go until the very end when Kai sensationally pulled off an excellent win meaning 4 players ended the tournament on 5 points: Zain, Diah, Rob and Kai. Zain won the 1st place trophy on tiebreak and Diah won the trophy for top current Hallfield player. All players received medals and certificates.
“It is now an established tradition that the winner of this tournament plays a one-off exhibition game with one of the Hallfield chess coaches and in a moment of clarity I passed this task on to Mr Holowczak. I loudly proclaimed my prediction that Zain would defeat Mr Holowczak handily but was proved wrong when the game ended in a draw after Zain defended a slightly worse endgame heroically and Mr Holowczak failed to break through.
“This was a tough tournament for our brilliant younger chess stars, and they gained valuable experience against much older, more experienced players and stayed positive throughout.
“Thanks to all the players and parents who attended and to all the staff at Hallfield for their hard work in organising the event. Special thanks to the catering staff for their brilliant food!”
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