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Ulster Blitz Tournament Report December 2022 by Chris Dorrian

WHAT A TOURNAMENT! The Ulster Blitz Tournament was one for the ages. There were 50 players competing across 18 rounds of chess. That is 450 games across the day. Maybe the biggest ever?

The Champion was Robbie Wright (15.5 pts) from Strand Chess Club. Liam Ferris (15.5pts) of QUB Chess Club was second and Ross Du Berry (14.5 pts) from Galway Chess Club was third.

The inaugural Ladies Champion was WFM Karina Campbell (9.5 pts) from Civil Service Chess Club. On 9 points were Leah Worbey from Greenisland FC Chess Club, Louison Fuchs from Bangor Chess Club and Jade Sandrey.

The Junior Champion was Joseph Miller and the best Newcomer was awarded to Dylan Briggs. Both of these are big talents for the future in the UCU.


The author of this article would like to give special mention to Adrian Dornford-Smith (Civil Service) for some superb end game play in a time scramble to come back from two queens down and promote to his own Queen and go on to win the game. It was such a good example of why you should never resign in Blitz.



Ok, ok, we did not have a separate Ladies Tournament, sadly. But what we did have in the open tournament was a highly competitive set of scores. After round 9 going into lunch the ladies were on 5, 4.5 and 4 points, with Louison Fuchs and Jade Sandrey leading.

Going into the last round the positions remained incredibly close on 9 and 8.5 points, with Leah Worbey leading the way.

After the last round, with nerves on show across the four ladies, WFM Karina Campbell managed to hold on and come out on top with 9.5 points.

In all we had 6 ladies competing in the Ulster Blitz. This is a huge step up from previous years, and something we would love to see continue and shows the success of the Ladies programmes being run by the Ulster Chess Union.



Well, what can you say about this. It was a slugfest from start to finish. The 9 games to lunch saw a lot of fast play and no prisoners taken. Early on Robbie Wright and Liam Ferris set the pace, and these were chased by Ross Du Berry. After round 7 you could clearly say that Adam Rushe, Andrew Campbell, James Wong, Modestas Razbadauskas, Jack Edens, Gatis Barbals and Caleb McClean were all in the mix.

After round 9, Robbie Wright had taken the out right lead by a point. However the fireworks were about to start.

After lunch Robbie extended his lead and it looked to be plain sailing. One must consider though, is it ever plain sailing in chess, because after round 13, we had a three was tie with what provided to be our top three players. As the players did not meet each other in the next 5 games, it was a punch for punch win fest as they could only make sure they kept winning. They kept up the pressure on each other until after round 18, when Robbie was declared winner on tie break.

This was superb chess by the top three players. Ross Du Berry had travelled up from Galway to play and was in the hunt right to the end. Superb. Liam Ferris put together a run of 10 undefeated games, with 8 wins in a row to keep up the pressure and Robbie Wright showed a steely winning spirit and strength of character we can all admire and learn from to continue to win after losing his lead.

When Robbie Wright received his trophy, Chris Dorrian announced the presentation of the Jamison Cup to the Ulster Champion.

This was to the great embarrassment and surprise of Chief Arbiter Brendan Jamison. Brendan has been a vital cog in seeing the increase of FIDE Rated Players in Ulster through his tireless promotion of chess. This is a fitting tribute to this work that the Ulster Blitz Champion will be awarded the Jamison Cup this year and in years to come.

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The Ulster Chess Union and Greenisland FC Chess would like to thank all the players who entered. We were able to raise £600 for the Greenisland Community Fridge.

Thank you also to players from Fruithill Chess Club, Strand Chess Club, Galway Chess Club, Lisburn Chess Club, Civil Service Chess Club, Bangor Chess Club, QUB Chess Club and Greenisland Chess Club.

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