The Horsham Chess Club Lightning Tournament was played last Tuesday. As is usual now, because of the number of entries, the event was divided into two pools of roughly the same size, with the winnings of each pool playing a final of two games, followed by sudden death if necessary.
For the uninitiated, lightning chess involves a buzzer sounding every ten seconds, when the player to move must make a move. Players must not move except when the buzzer sounds. Failure to move loses. Making an illegal move loses.
I got off to a bad start in my pool, losing to Paul Taylor in my first game, and never quite recovered. Further draws against both Mike and Matt Forster, combined with a loss to John Cannon, saw me eliminated.
The two pools were won by Mike Forster and Amy Hoare, who both contested the final for the first time. Mike’s experience prevailed to give him his first Horsham Lightning title, but congratulations to both for their successful play overall. Also thanks to Ian Comley for his efforts in organising the event.
I’d also like to mention that John Marshall brought along a special birthday cake; it was his birthday but I won’t mention which! The famous position on the top was recognised by some as “Levitsky – Marshall”, just before the queen sacrifice that (according to legend) earned him a shower of gold coins from the spectators.