I wasn’t expecting much of a turnout while having to compete with the ECF national Blitz tournament. Who, with a massive prize fund of £800 (sarcastic cough) up for grabs and some of the best players in the country participating, would pull a large crowd. I was going to run it alongside and concentrate on our European team members, but several English players who were playing in the ECF tournament, asked me not to. They wanted to play in this one as well! I was sceptical, it was a lot to expect players to finish the ECF tournament at 4, play mine at 5 till 7, and then play round 2 of the ECF tourney at 8. But play they did!
Henrik flagged early but he did play very well at the ECF tournament so hopefully, this one helped him unwind a little in between. He certainly didn’t perform to his usual standard. I think this is the first time he has missed a podium finish. His support, as ever, is well received!
Keith wasn’t going to play at first and mentioned getting some sun. Unfortunately for Keith, but great for us, it was too windy outside and Keith agreed to play after all. He came a game late but then went on a 6-game winning streak, only being halted by Henrik. Meanwhile, Finlay was on his own 6-win berserk streak, adding an all-important extra arena point each time. He topped that off with a 7th win, using full time, against Henrik. After that his streak was halted dead in its tracks by Nat Paul, the eventual 3rd place podium finisher. Keith’s slow but steady pace, and a high win percentage almost paid off against Finlay’s gung-ho berserk spree. Toward the end, Finlay dropped game after game, berserking more to compensate for losses like a hungry gambler. Keith kept plodding along until eventually the tournament timer ticked down to the end and Keith was just two points shy of catching him.
It was also nice to see Gerry from Malahide, several Halesowen members also showing their support, along with Phil Bull – 10th place finisher, and Chris Lewis. Lots of players from other Blitz league clubs like Grobalkorn and many, many others. I’m looking forward to getting to know all of you better. Thank you to all who participate.