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Simon Williams GM played simultaneous 18th February

On the evening of 18th February, Belfast for another year had the visit of a top Grand Master - Simon Williams played 32 players. From young school students to hardened club players.

Thirty two empty tables sat with 32 pieces a scoresheet, a certificate with "I Survived ___ moves"  waiting in anticipation for a battle of minds.


The 32 players:

Edward Doak 1198
Dennis Wilkinson 1315
Brendan Jamison 1653
Mikhail Pavlov 1500
Daniil Zelenchuk 850
Dmitry Zelenchuk 1050
Richard Gould
Aaron Rush
Chris Armstrong 1476
Dominic Gallagher 1253
Pat McKillen 1387
David McEneaney
Hassan Kadhim
James O'Fee 1681
Michael Sheerin 1400
Ross Harris 1694
Mark Newman 1742
Ian Kilpatrick 1565
Richard Gould
Geoff Hindley 1093
Damien Cunningham 1707
Peter Todd 1300
Andrew Todd 1305
Samuel Todd 900
Ian Woodfield 1653
Chris Roe 1173
Calum Leitch 1843
Robert Lavery 1587
Adrian Dornford-Smith 1102
Stephen Morgan 1943
Ben Campbell 893
David Barr

To get an opportunity to play top players is rare. Damien Cunningham has made it his mission to bring us every year such a golden opportunity.

The event is like an injection of excitement and fun into our chess year.

Add to that the brilliant player and GrandMaster Simon Williams - who plays a challengingly aggressive game. Get beaten but love the game played.

Simon arrived and after being introduced with a warm welcoming applause. Started the circuit of 32 players making a move and shaking hands with the players.

Simultaneous quite an unusual way of playing - you need to have your move ready to be done when Simon makes a full circuit which with all players can take 15 or so minutes. The less players the quicker the moves happen. Simon comes to your board sees your move and responds almost immediately hence its a challenge we get more time and one game and our opponent plays 30 very fast games.... but the level of play of a Grand Master is brilliant and its very difficult/impossible for the average player to beat them even in these conditions. Hence the certificates with the words - " I Survived xx moves against Simon Williams GM"..

I'll let the photos tell the storey....

The first winner Michael Sheerin. Sits next to Ross Harris who also won. Meanwhile the players were beginning to drop and the moves got faster.


Stephen Morgan sitting between Mark Newman and Calum Leitch - all with Rook endings. Stephen and Mark managed to get draws.

Three left - Andrew Todd gets a draw and Chris Armstrongs hopes for a win but...

Chris Armstrong the 2nd to last man standing. Almost winning, but Simon gets what looks like a perpetual check and Chris puts his King onto a square where his pieces block his movement and wham checkmate. So close.

Last player standing Mikhail Pavlov is finally beaten. and a big thank-you to Simon for some brilliant chess. What was also special was that at the end of each game Simon took time to chat to the player about the game - very much appreciated. Also signing the certificates and score sheets.

Now some brilliant photos from Pat McKillen



Two games from the tournament one a win from Brendan Jamieson (now calling himself the GM slayer! and a draw from Mark Newman (who felt lucky that Simon didnt play on and probably win!)

White: GM Simon Williams
Black: Brendan Jamison
1.     e4             e6
2.    Nf3           c5
3.    b3             Nc6
4.    Bb2           Nf6
5.    e5             Nd5
6.    Nc3          Nxc3
7.     dxc3        d5
8.    exd6 e.p. Bxd6
9.    c4             Rg8
10.  Bd3           g6
11.   Qd2          Bf8
12.   O-O-O     Nb4
13.   Qf4          Qa5
14.   Ng5         f5
15.   a3            Na2+
16.   Kb1          Nc3+
17.    Ka1          Bg7
18.    Rde1       Ne2

White: GM Simon Williams
Black: Mark Newman
1.     Nc3            d5
2.     e4               d4
3.     Nce2         Bg4
4.     h3              Bh5
5.     g4              Bg6
6.     Ng3           e6
7.     d3              c5
8.     f4               Qh4
9.     Kf2            h6
10.   Nf3           Qd8
11.   f5              Bh7
12.   Bg2          Nc6
13.   Qe2          Qc7
14.   e5             O-O-O
15.   Re1          Nge7
16.   fxe6          f5
17.   exf6          gxf6
18.   Nh5           Nd5
19.   Nh4           Be7
20.   Qf3            f5
21.   Nxf5         Bxf5
22.   gxf5          Bh4+
23.   Kf1            Bxe1
24.   Kxe1         Qe5+
25.   Qe4           Qd6
26.   Bf4            Qe7
27.   Ke2           Qh4
28.   Bf3            Rhg8
29.   Bg3           Qe7
30.   Bg4           Nf6
31.   Nxf6         Qxf6
32.   Qf4           Rg7
33.   Bf3           Qg5
34.   Bxc6        Qxg3
35.   Bd7+        Rdxd7
36.   exd7+      Kxd7
37.   Qxg3        Rxg3
38.   Rf1           Ke7
39.   Rf3           Rg2+
40.   Kd1          Rg1+
41.   Ke2          Rg2+
Draw agreed


The fantastic Grand Master Simon Williams with..

3 Winners:  Ross Harris, Michael Sheerin and Brendan Jamieson.

3 Draws :  Steve Morgan, Mark Newman, Andrew Todd

The completed boards showing mainly White Kings in the Centre - a win for Simon Williams. 26 wins.

Many thanks to Simon for a great evening of chess.








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