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Exmouth’s Buzzing Start (13.09.2017.)

Exmouth Chess Club got their new season off to their traditional start of the dreaded  Buzzer Tournament. Key to the whole event is the battery-powered, home-made device that emits an unmistakable, unmissable warbling buzz every 10 seconds. Whoever’s move it is must move immediately the buzzer sounds, after which the opponent has 10 seconds thinking time.

It never fails to amaze and amuse, the extent to which those 10 seconds seem to vary, from the time one is playing the 1st 6 moves of one’s favourite opening to the final 6 moves or so, when fending off an attack that seems to come from all directions. They’re not the same thing at all.

In spite of the dreaded prospect of a whole evening of this mode of torture, 11 members were keen to get stuck in. In spite of the disparity in grades, the six lowest-graded players all beat someone of a higher grade, and all the top players lost a game, with the exception of FIDE Master Walter Braun, and even he dropped a half point before he got up a head of steam.

The final chart looked like this:

Name 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Total
1 Bob Jones 138 X 0 1 1 1 ½ 0 1 0 ½ ½
2 Malcolm Belt 118 1 X 1 ½ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
3 Ivor Grist 75 0 0 X 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
4 Barbara Newcombe 83 0 ½ 0 X 0 ½ ½ 1 0 0 0
5 Chris Scott 150 0 1 1 X 1 1 0 ½ 0 0
6 Alan Dean 139 ½ 1 1 ½ 0 X 0 ½ 0 0 1
7 Mark Abbott 177 1 1 1 ½ 0 1 X 1 0 0 ½ 6
8 Simon Blake 102 0 1 1 0 1 ½ 0 X 0 0 0
9 Meyrick Shaw 186 1 1 1 1 ½ 1 1 1 X 0 ½
10 Walter Braun 190e ½ 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 X 1
11 Oliver Wensley 164 ½ 1 1 1 1 0 ½ 1 0 0 X 6

Walter Braun (nearest) & Malcom Belt deep in thought. In the backgound Barbara Newcombe plays Club President Mark Abbott and Oliver Wensley faces Simon Blake.

Scott vs Braun & Grist vs Belt, while Alan Dean watches developments.

Wensley vs Blake alongside Newcombe vs Abbott

Exmouth C.C.’s Buzzer Tournament 2014.

Exmouth Chess Club’s traditional season-starter has, for several decades been its “Buzzer” Tournament. This comprises a small battery-powered device that emits an audible buzz every 10 seconds. This was cobbled together c. 30 years ago by Fred Hodge, and is kept in a small cigar box. Each player has to move on the sound, if it is their move. It’s an all-play-all event involving anyone and everyone who turns up on the night.

It involves a peculiar manifestation of the relativity of time. At the start of each game, the 10 seconds thinking time seems like an eternity, but within 10 moves that same time seems like one second and towards the end it’s like a nano-second as one’s brain struggles to sort the almighty mess one has got into.

Last year’s winner, Meyrick Shaw, started badly with a loss to Malcolm Belt, but thereafter conceded only a single draw. 

The results were as follows:

  Name 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 total Pos.
1 Bob Jones X ½ 0 0 1 ½ 0 ½ 0  
2 Fred Hodge ½ X 0 0 1 1 0 0 ½ 3  
3 Chris Scott 1 1 X 1 1 0 1 0 1 6 2nd
4 Malcolm Belt 1 1 0 X 1 ½ 0 1 0 4½ 4th=
5 Tom Badlan 0 0 0 0 X 0 0 0 0 0  
6 Simon Blake ½ 0 1 ½ 1 X 0 0 ½ 3½  
7 Oliver Wensley 1 1 0 1 1 1 X 0 ½ 5½ 3rd
8 Meyrick Shaw ½ 1 1 0 1 1 1 X 1 6½ 1st
9 Steve Murray 1 ½ 0 1 1 ½ ½ 0 X 4½ 4th=