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Devon’s Team Blitz Tournament – 2017.

Devon’s Team Blitz tournament has been a regular calendar item for decades. Back in the 1960s there were up to 20+ teamsm eeting at venues as varied as the Pretoria Hotel, Okehampton or Oldway Mansion, Paignton. The event went into a decline for some time  but has recently proved increasingly attractive, with teams, greater in number and strength entering year on year. This time, thanks to the efforts of the organiser, Trefor Thynne, there were 15 teams of 4 players assembling at the Newton Abbot Chess Club, eager for 6 rounds of mayhem, and just 12 minutes per player thinking time for all moves.

After a brain-addling afternoon the winning team was Exeter Ninjas (20/24 pts) thus retaining the Thomas Cup. Their team comprised Tim Paulden, Paul O’Neill, Graham Bolt & Giles Body. 2nd Bideford (15); 3rd Exeter University “A” (14½); 4th Newton Abbot “A” (14); 5th Exmouth Eagles (13½); 6th Exeter Uni. “B” (13) winning the Hodge Cup for the highest score by a team graded U-600; 7th= Tiverton; Weymouth & Dorchester and Sidmouth (all 12½); 10th= Seaton & Torquay Boys’ G.S. (both 12). 12th Newton Abbot “B” (11½); 13th Torquay (11); 14th= Barnstaple & Exmouth Egrets (9).

Here is a summary of how all the teams did:-

DCCA Team Blitz   –   Sunday 29th October 2017

Summary Chart

Team Grd 1 2 3 4 5 6 Trophy
1 Exeter A 675 4 12½ 16 20 Thomas Cup
2 Bideford 648 3 6 7 10½ 13½ 15
3 Exeter Uni.  A 630 4 7 10 10 13 14½
4 Newton Abbot A 678 1 6 11½ 14
5 Exmouth A 641 5 10½ 11 13½
6 Exeter Uni.  B 525 3 8 9 10 13 Hodge Cup
7 Sidmouth 364 1 4 8 12½ Graded Cup
8 Weymouth 632 3 7 10½ 12½
9 Tiverton 712 3 12½
10 Torquay B. G.S. 403 ½ 6 9 10 12
11 Seaton 695 4 5 12 12
12 Newton Abbot B 492 0 4 11½
13 Torquay 712 0 1 5 7 10 11
14 Barnstaple 444 ½ 3 7 8 9
15 Exmouth B 532 1 3 5 9 9

Before the event got under way, Devon President, Paul Brooks, took the opportunity to present John Stephens with the Winter-Wood Shield, for having won the Champion of Champions summer tournament.

There's a nervous anticipation in the air as the teams start to assemble.

Old rivals Exeter (r) and Exmouth resume hostilities after the tea break. (Rd. 4).

Everything in full swing.

To call this team "Sidmouth" is something of a misnomer, as it comprises Julian Bacon and his 3 sons. Alternative names for the team are being sought in time for next year.

The University B team won the cup for the highest total by a team graded U-600.

Paul Brooks presents the Thomas Cup back to the team that brought it along to the event, Exeter A. l-r Paul O'Neill, Graham Bolt, Tim Paulden & Giles Body.

In the old days, say 50 years ago, the organiser, Ron Bruce, would announce the winning team, and then ask "Anyone with six?", and someone at the back of the considerable crowd would shyly stick up a hand. In these enlightened times there is a trophy to be presented and a photo opportunity to be exploited. No chance of shyness here as Jack Rudd of Bideford won all 6 of his games. He has an in-built advantage as Blitz is his normal rate of moves for all forms of chess.

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