‘Simuls’ is the conventional abbreviation for simultaneous chess matches, i.e. games operating to a one-plays-all format. Calstock and Lerryn Chess clubs have organised a number of such simultaneous tournaments, an entertaining form of chess in which a single player, often a master, takes on a number of opponents at the same time. It is a form of chess contest that has been seriously under-examined. What for example, are the consequences of players having to move when the master arrives, thereby forfeiting the right to spend a disproportionate amount of time on a difficult move? Elsewhere on this site I examine the logic of the simul in more depth. Link to Simul Article
At the serious end of the market, Calstock Chess club has organised two very successful simultaneous tournaments in the special and splendid surroundings of the converted chapel overlooking the Tamar that has become an Arts Centre. The first was by Cornwall’s junior international Theo Slade (who has subsequently moved to America) seen here in a second simul held in the Boot Inn.
The second was by Scottish IM Andrew Greet who has family connections in St Austell, whose journey round the tables is illustrated below:
At the strictly fun end of the market I have myself had the impudence to put myself forward for an annual summer simul in the garden of the Ship inn, Lerryn, and have up to 2018 not had to fulfil my promise to retire from this form of play when I lose. Cynics might suppose that the drafting in of a couple of local casual players is a form of insurance, but hey it is largely a social occasion anyway and drinks are provided. The most recent report is below:
A Geriatric Swan Song?
Mama, take this badge off me
I can’t use it any more
It’s getting dark, too dark to see
I feel I’m knocking on heaven’s door
The 2018 invitation hard a dark side, a little strangely as my annual simul against local club and casual players in the Lerryn Ship is essentially a vanity project.
“I am once again offering a simul for up to 16 opponents graded under 130 at the Ship Inn Lerryn on FRIDAY 13 JULY 2018. So far in eight career-long simuls your sacrificial lamb is yet to be slaughtered, although last year his escape was aided by two generous draw offers. A loss will allow him to retire gracefully from this mad act of chess hubris, but only a defeat can send him packing so it is up to you. He has reached the age where by common consent and social research “everything begins to go downhill”. So this could be like the Rolling Stones’ final tour, a geriatric swan song.”
In the event there were 14 players from 3 clubs, Lerryn, Liskeard and Calstock together with a couple of locals There was some consolation in managing a close victory by 7 and a half to six and a half, but there was a downside that left me uncomfortable. In two of the games I completely lost any sense of the position and fell prey to early middle game tactics. I managed three or four pretty mates, but it is axiomatic that players in a simul should at least give everybody a decent game, win or lose.
Thanks to all who took part. DJ