Last weekend, former Suffolk Junior Justin Tan (playing as Black) gave a simultaneous display against 17 Suffolk Juniors with a time control of 30 minutes plus 30 seconds per game. Suffolk Junior Chess set up a Zoom call that ran in parallel. This allowed Justin to commentate on some of the games at the same time as playing them, and also answer questions posted and voiced by players and spectators. It was quite impressive to see the Grandmaster manage this on top of the simul display!
All of the players representing Suffolk played extremely well, especially out of the opening – developing their pieces towards the centre of the board and in most cases getting their King into safety early on. After the openings were completed, Justin had lost quite a bit of time already. However, the master’s strength began to show during the middlegame positions when he engineered a few checkmates. This also gave him a bit of respite on the clock. Even so, some of the games were still proving pretty tricky for the GM, who specifically called out how well Charlotte2000 and Mystic17 had played their opening moves, making some of his subsequent moves very tricky to calculate.
In the end, Justin did an amazing job, winning all 17 games. Despite the perfect score, the youngsters from Suffolk rustled the Grandmaster’s feathers on a few occasions, and at one point RowanKent ended up with a winning advantage when Black allowed White’s knight (previously stuck on the rim of the board) back into the game to dominate Black’s bad bishop.
Justin awarded a best performance/game award to two players: Mystic17 and RowanKent. These games were also the last to finish and are shown below. Justin has also very kindly offered to provide both players involved a joint Grandmaster online coaching class as a prize.
Suffolk Junior Chess are very grateful for the experience Justin gave the kids and are very keen for a rematch some time in the future. Everyone involved thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of the event, which also included a pre-simul quiz (won by MerryJazz) and the opportunity to play through some of the games afterwards with Grandmaster analysis.
GM Justin Tan currently resides in Melbourne in Australia and has just had his first chess book published titled: 1.e4! The Chess Bible – Volume 1 – A Complete Repertoire for White.