Arkell Annihilates Birmingham Blitz

Podium finishers from the EBCL Individual Blitz. GM Keith Arkell 1st. Henrik Stepanyan 2nd. Roshimaster 3rd.

GM Keith Arkell playing as GM Atomrod takes first place at the first-ever BCL Individual. Henrik Stepanyan of Sutton Coldfield Chess Club finished in 2nd place and roshimaster of South Birmingham Chess Club finished in 3rd.

It was a very strong field of twenty-two keen chess players with nothing better to do on a Saturday afternoon than play 90 minutes of non-stop, adrenalin-fuelled blitz. We all met up on lichess.org and picked an open field for battle. It was a beautiful sunny day and as birdsong, carried by a delicate breeze, twittered into participants’ ears, nobody could have guessed the carnage that was about to occur. As soon as it began, the gameplay was fierce and later, as the battle wore on, with the smell of blood heavy in the air, several players went completely berserk!

Keen for that extra tournament point, players like Fearless_Finlay of Halesowen, who finished fifth, went berserk for most of their games. Playing in just half the time and with no increment.

The top five finishers from the EBCL Individual Tournament.

Playing under the handle, seilfemit, Nat Paul kept his cool and used the 3|2 default time to his advantage. It was a great tactic for him as he quickly shot up the ranks to finish in a worthy fifth. Not bad considering how few games he played!

A tight battle for second, third, and fourth spot, left Finlay disappointed at just missing out on placing. His fearless attitude surely deserved a podium finish. But, it wasn’t to be, hitting a streak of five straight wins, Roshimaster just pipped him right at the end.

A couple of early losses left Henrik surprisingly low down the table – even on page two at one point! I’m sure some were wondering if Henrik would recover. Recover, he did, he retaliated valiantly and fought through to a well deserved second place. Unstoppable but for one man.

The star of the show was GM Keith Arkell. Annihilating all who came before him, Keith finished on seventy points with a performance rating of 2523. A very worthy winner and his presence helped increase the fun for all. Cheers, Keith!