Lightning Championship 2021-22

The Club Lightning Championship for 2021-22 was held on Tuesday 7 December 2021 in the Club Room at 7.30 PM.

Tournament details

  • Games played to a 10 second buzzer
  • Buzz sounds for 2 seconds, move on the buzz, not before, not after;
  • To Enter, use the Attendance Form, noting all conditions;
  • The Rules for Lightning chess are given below;
  • December 2021 Rapid ratings will be used;
  • The Vega pairing software will be used for Swiss pairings;
  • Six round Swiss, Vega pairings;

John Cawdery Lightning Champion

Club Champion 2020-21, John Cawdery has now added the 2021-22 Lightning Championship, wresting the crown from Terry Whitton who was held to a draw in the last round by David Smith; John would have won on tie-break in any event had Terry won.

There were 20 entries and some keen competition. At the start of Round 3 of the six rounds, there were four players on 2/2, but only one of these, Mark Murrell, retained a 100% record, defeating Istvan. The other top pairing saw John share the point with Terry. The same players made the top pairings in Round 4, with a dramatic shift as Terry defeated Mark and John defeated Istvan. Leaders after R4 were John and Terry 3½/4, Mark 3/4. The two leaders both won in R5  moving on to 4½/5, while Mark kept himself in contention on 4/5.

In the last round, John finally disposed of Mark’s challenge, giving John the winning score of 5½/6, while David Smith saved Terry the angst of losing on tie-break by taking him to a drawn R & P ending. Many congratulations to John.

Leading scores: 1 John Cawdery, 5½/6 – Lightning Champion; 2 Terry Whitton, 5; =3 Mark Murrell, Philip Staniland, Istvan Karacsony, 4; 20 entries

Links: Vega Tournament pages | Conditions for the Lightning Championship

Rules for Lightning chess

For those of you new to Lightning Chess, here is a synopsis of the Rules:

1) A buzzer sounds every 10 seconds. The player whose turn it is to move must make his/her move while the buzzer sounds (two seconds); move on the buzzer, not before, not after.

2) The “touched piece” rule applies.

3) Completed illegal moves lose.

4) A move which is made after the buzzer has finished sounding (a “late move”) is counted as an illegal move and allows the opponent to claim a win.


a) A move is complete when the hand has released the piece on its new square. In the case of a capture – …and the captured piece has been removed. In the case of a promotion – …when the new piece has replaced the pawn on the promotion square and the pawn is removed. In the case of castling – …the king is moved first, the rook second, using ONE hand, the move is complete when the hand has released the rook.

b) An attempt to replace an (incomplete) illegal move with a legal move (cf touched piece rule) will probably amount to a late move (see Rule 4).

c) A king left in check should be claimed as an illegal move. [Earlier versions of Lightning rules used to say ‘capture the king’ but capturing the king is an illegal move, so would lose! Claim the original king left in check as an illegal move.]