You are here: Home Users Mark Newman Global Chess Festival on Saturday 10 October 2020. Bangor Blitz. The 7th Open Air Chess Event celebrated the 6th year of The Global Chess Festival

The 7th Open Air Chess Event celebrated the 6th year of The Global Chess Festival

Held on 10th October 2020 at Bangor's McKee Clock chess players from 7 nations fought out an exciting Chess Blitz. Report from Organiser Brendan Jamison.

Open Air Event 7:  Global Chess Festival lands at Bangor’s McKee Clock with 7 Nations Blitz

Built in 1915, the McKee Clock was host to this year’s Global Chess Festival on Saturday 10 October.

The annual event, now in its 6th year, sees over a million people playing the game across the world under the tagline, “chess connects us”.  Following an invitation from Bangor Chess Club Treasurer James O’Fee, this year’s festival saw Chess NI select the iconic landmark of the McKee Clock as the hot spot for 2 hours of open air chess fun.

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Rated by the Ulster Chess Union, the blitz tournament featured players from 7 nations, including 20 year olds Edward Hanzharov and Aaron Wafflart, flying the flags for Russia and France respectively. Other notable chess champions included Gerard Obasi (Poland), Andrew Todd (Scotland) and Adrian Dornford-Smith (England). Meanwhile, all the way from Sweden, young player Jakob Synott joined on the day, currently sailing solo around Europe!

 

During World War II, the McKee Clock was involved in a very different type of blitz as 1941 saw the German Lutftwaffe drop a bomb on it. Thankfully the damage to the clock was very minor. 79 years later, Saturday’s chess battles were enjoyed with mutual friendship and respect and the McKee Clock remained completely intact!

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The six prize-winners received a round of applause as they collected their certificates. Three players all finished on 4 points so tie-breaks had to determine the final ranking order.

Champion: Andrew Todd (4/5) Scotland

2nd Place: Aaron Wafflart (4/5) France

3rd Place: Danny Roberts (4/5) NI

Under 1400 Rating Award: Calum Glendinning from NI

Under 1200 Rating Award: Adrian Dornford Smith from England

Most Improved Player: 8 year old Ethan Cole from NI

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The event’s organiser, Brendan Jamison, Director of Chess NI, said “chess is a wonderful cross-cultural activity which celebrates the richness of diversity. It also transcends the language barrier. Chess is a powerful tool to bring communities together as we actively welcome all ages, all abilities and all races. Apart from the social aspect, the mental gymnastics offers an incredible buzz for our brains and helps with logic and problem-solving skills in the real world.”