24th Ealing Lightning Tournament

The 24th Lightning Tournament was held at Ealing Chess Club on Monday 25th September 2023. An ever popular annual event, this year’s edition attracted an entry of 22 players, young and old with a number of members making their first appearance after their ‘summer hibernation’.

Some players were making their first appearance at the club, some – gnarled warriors of many a campaign – were sharpening their chess instincts for the fast approaching new league season. One of the new members, Dan Pati, made a flying start winning four of his first five games to sit on top of the leader board in the early stages but he was soon overtaken by Aga, making a welcome return to the club, who won all six of her first games.

It was also good to see some of our junior members (Ashwin Balakrishnan, Riku Okamura and Kayden Tan) competing very well against their elders. School commitments meant that some of them had to leave the competition early.

As the evening progressed a number of other contenders for the crown emerged with Jonathan White, Tony Wells, Mark Winterbotham, Mark’s son William, and Simon Healeas all scoring well.

In the end, Jonathan just pipped Aga to take first place with 8/10 remarkably having only only game with the white pieces. Aga deserves enormous credit finishing with 7½/9. The game between these two ended in a draw.

Simon Healeas came up on the rails with five wins to finish in third place with 7½/10.

Special mentions go to Alex Lushpa who delivered Jonathan’s one loss of the evening; to Dan Pati for squeezing in remarkable 13 games and finally to Harry who, on his first visit to the club, kept a smile on his face despite remaining scoreless throughout the evening.

We were delighted to welcome Central Ealing and Acton MP, Dr Rupa Huq to the club for this tournament. Having seen the enthusiasm for chess shown by girls during tournaments at the Ellen Wilkinson School, Rupa is currently focused on obtaining more funding for chess from the government and, as such, was keen to obtain insights from club members about the causes of the explosion of interest in chess that we as a club and the nation as a whole have experienced since the Covid pandemic. She was gracious enough to play a game with club secretary, Neville Rowden, and present the trophies to our winners at the end of the evening.

Rupa Huq, MP for Ealing Central and Acton presents the trophies to Jonathan and Aga

Final scores were as follows:

  1. Jonathan White 8/10
  2. Aga MiIewska 7½/10
  3. Simon Healeas 7½/10
  4. Mark Winterbotham 7/10
  5. WIlliam Winterbotham 7/10
  6. Tony Wells 6½/9
  7. Hristo Colov 6½/12
  8. Alex Lushpa 6/9
  9. Jason Obihara 6/12
  10. Dan Pati 6/13
  11. David Hasen 4/8
  12. Daniel Lestor 4/9
  13. Trevor Bates 3/7
  14. Ashwin Balakrishnan 3/7
  15. Riku Okamura 3/8
  16. Subas Subbaraj 3/8
  17. Kayden Tan 3/9
  18. Mark Robinson 2/4
  19. Leslie Pringle 2/6
  20. Sal Cacciola 2/8
  21. Jack O’Hare 1/9
  22. Harry 0/10

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