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A trip to the London Chess Tournament at Olympia

11th December 2019

A trip to the London Chess Classic Tournament at Olympia sponsored by current parent Mr Chylikin.

On Sunday 8 December a King Edward’s Witley chess team consisting of myself, Sam and Harry went to the Olympia stadium Hammersmith London to play in one of the biggest tournaments in the UK. The blitz tournament hosted some of the world’s best chess players, including Magnus Carlson who many believe is the greatest chess player of all time. Of course, the top four players, one of whom was Magnus Carlson, played in a separate hall.

Nevertheless, the group I was put in was an extremely challenging with top-class players. One of the people I played against had a very high ranking of 2675. Unfortunately I lost this game but I also played against Harry as he was in my group. It was a close match but Harry had the edge and went on to defeat me. We all played 11 games with each of us, perhaps fortuitously, gaining an extra point due to there not being enough opponents. Owen gained 3 points, while Harry and Sam gained 2.5 and 2 points respectively. This was due to the difficulty of the opponents who specialise in blitz of a time of 3 minutes with a 2 second increment. It became apparent throughout the vast improvement all 3 players experienced as the majority of our points were received towards the latter part of the day.

The quality of the players was incredible with the grandmaster Nick Pert, who comes to King Edward’s every Thursday, winning his group; as well as Michael Adams who is one of the top players in England, (who we played in the simultaneous event hosted at King Edward’s), who also won his respective group. But there was a surprise for Mr Adams when he lost to a teenager with a much lower ranking.

We were fortunate enough to be able to watch the two final matches of the tournament between Ding Liren, Maxime, Magnus Carlson and Aronian battle it out in the auditorium,. It was interesting to analyse the complex tactics of these players and a real honour to see them play in real life. The purpose of the tournament was to play as many chess games as possible by making it a blitz tournament. The day was intense with speed being a real factor in terms of success. For all of the team it was an unfamiliar format which gave us a unique experience of playing chess at such a high level in a very short amount of time.

Overall it was an interesting and informative day that will surely help to push the chess players in King Edwards to new heights of success.

Article written by Owen, 4th Form pupil

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