One way for us to create greater visibility of the historic clubs that live in our great South West city is to to be seen playing more. Whenever myself, Mike Harris and Rob Attar kibbitz in our local pub we are almost always observed or even approached by keen amateurs or ex-club players who wistfully gaze at the board or say things like “Im not very good but I wish I could play more“. Lets make it clear to these players that the league exists and that it caters for all standards of play.
Therefore, I am proposing today the formation of a friendly blitz chess competition whose aim is twofold:
- To promote and attract more players of all ability, ages, sex, and ethnicity to the league;
- To create a fun, informal competition that encourages participation and sociability across the league.
Rules of the Bristol Pub Blitz Chess League
The following are the rules of the competition. Any problems or questions then give me a shout but as editor of the Bristol Chess Times I reserve the right to adjust and amend them as required:
- There are no teams in the BPBCL. Instead we use squads. Small fast moving groups of woodpushers who can spring up in any drinking hole across the city;
- Squads consist of three players drawn from any mixture of clubs in the league. There are no traditional club alliances in the BPBCL.
- The average ECF longplay grade of the three squad members cannot exceed 175. I have chosen longplay because the majority of league players have one of these.
- A match consists of two squads playing 18 blitz games. Each squad member plays two games against each member of the opposing squad – one with black and one with white. Thus each player gets 6 blitz games a match.
- The time control for all games is 3 minutes + 2 seconds. This ensures that all matches should be complete within 2 hrs. It doesn’t matter what is used for the clocks. Actual digital clocks or simply Apps on a smartphone will do. What ever is easiest for the squad.
- All matches must be played in a pub of your choosing.
- When playing a match, the squads must somehow display a call to action to passing members of the public that advertises the Bristol & District Chess League. For example, a small chalk board at the foot of the table you are sat at. The more creative advertising the better!
- Organisation of matches is left up to squads. Challenges can be issued at any time and there is no formal number, time or location that a match can occur. However, active participation will result in more points for a squad, irrespective of their match results.
- In its inaugural season the BPBCL will run until June when prizes (to be determined) will be awarded.
- Squads should not be named after conventional chess clubs within Bristol. Squad names should be inventive, funny, creative or just plain stupid.
- Match results should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. All results must be submitted with atleast one photo of the match and pub. Ridiculous poses are encouraged. Failure to submit a photo will lose match points.
- The BPBCL league table will be hosted from the Bristol Chess Times website.
So there are my initial set of rules. Hopefully readers can tell that the primary purpose of this initiative is to get chess visible across the city in the eyes of the general public whilst ensuring we have some fun at the same time. It might work, it might not. Lets see!
I will be producing some business cards that all squads can carry with them them and hand out to any interested members of the public.
Scoring for the Bristol Pub Blitz Chess League
The following scoring will apply:
- A team gets 200pts for playing a match
- They gain 10pts for every blitz game they win in the match.
- They lose 10pts for every blitz game they lose in the match.
- Therefore, there is a minimum of 20pts and a maximum of 380pts on offer per match
- Failure to submit a photo with your match report loses your squad 50pts
- For every three different pubs (or part of) that a squad plays in they gain a bonus 100pts.
- Breaching the 175 ECF longplay average rating loses your team 200pts
How can I enter?
Easy! Form your squad and then email me at email@example.com. Once I have a suitable number of entries then I will announce that the BPBCL is officially open and I will get things like business cards and chalk boards set up.
I hope everyone see’s what a fun initiative this could be. Ive felt for a while that it would be nice to have an easy going, informal blitz initiative that we can also use to advertise the league.
Right! Im off to find some recruits for my squad…
Jon is the Editor of The Bristol Chess Times and Publicity and Recruitment Officer for The Bristol & District Chess League. He plays for Horfield Chess Club and has been known to play 1. b3 on occasion.