Francis Best and Michael Bukojemski did a fine job, creating a chess filled day beginning with a blitz tournament before I began my lecture. The original proposal was that I would show my games with Andreikin and Caruana from last year’s Dortmund event, but I was a bit concerned that 2 Berlin variations where the queens disappeared from the board on move 8 might not appeal to all, especially as I had annotated the Caruana game elsewhere. So instead I showed my games against Dzagnidze from Gibraltar 2013 which I always liked, in addition to the Andreikin one. Four of the players for the live DGT boards were selected from the blitz results, with the final one selected by lot. I randomly selected Francis Best who played a solid draw.

After an excellent lunch the simul began, often you aren’t sure about the strength of your opponents but here they were helpfully arranged in grading order and each player also had a place card with their name and playing strength displayed. I scored quite well against the stronger opposition in some reasonable quality games a couple of which I had lightly annotated below but a corridor of woe in the middle boards where I dropped a piece in one game and ran into difficulties in others impacted my score. In the end I finished with 33.5/36 in around 4hrs 10min.

Many thanks to for their excellent organisation, which meant it was an enjoyable day for all.