A good if expected win for the A Team in the defence of their title, putting them back on top on board count. The league is very tight and shaping up to be a very close finish. As close as last season when we won by the slimmest of tie-breaks? Maybe!
An important TAFCA match and the start of the 3rd Round of the Club Championship were just part of the fare on the menu at the club last night.
We also had a visit from a gentleman bearing a historic trophy. The Scotsman Scottish Schools Chess Championship trophy dating back to the 1960s was presented to us from its hibernation at St Saviours, the last winners of the trophy in the late 70s. This (the latter years!) is where I grew up in chess, though we have a few members who can remember the older era! It’s such a shame that the infrastructure no longer exists in schools chess – it’s where Dundee produced Grandmasters like Paul Motwani and Colin McNab. We are always trying to get something similar back on track, and meanwhile Ed is going to attempt to bring the old trophy back to something of its former glory.
TAFCA Division 2
Dundee D 0-4 Castlehill D
N Carroll (948) 0-1 G Thomas (1331)
M Whisson (948) 0-1 C Wilson (1323)
H Meadows (840) 0-1 G Atkins (1279)
P Gibson (815) 0-1 I Ford (1164)
Norrie’s heavily outrated D Team went down as would have been anticipated to Cameron’s side which have been very impressive this season, and are on course for promotion at least, with this win taking them back into 1st place with games in hand.
A Woodcock (1383) 0-1 A Borwell (1836)
C Sim 0-1 L Archip (1529)
Time a big factor in both these games. Christine was holding her own but running desperately short of time as ever, and made a fatal slip in the final throes. She sportingly resigned her lost position before her flag fell.
The two Alans served up a heavy positional struggle, with Alan W giving his illustrious opponent a lot of food for thought, but taking a long time to do it! Alan B takes up the story, with thanks.
“Quick look at game – early part was quite good by both players but end was poor with time being determining factor – Alan”
The B Team scored their first win of the season to give themselves a chance in Division 1. Henri was up against it as a last minute replacement, but Jim Anderson survived a hair-raising ending to level the scores. Frank was the recipient of a last gasp slip from Roy to put us in the driving seat, but Gordon almost blew it, despite holding the advantage. The standard mistake of playing too quickly in your opponent’s time trouble. Thankfully Colin was just too short of time and a draw emerged from the fog. A good win, but still a fair bit of work to do to survive.
Castlehill D 1.5-2.5 Dundee C
G Thomas (1331) 0-1 L Archip (1529)
C Wilson (1323) 1-0 R Flood (1509)
G Atkins (1279) 0.5 A Woodcock (1383)
I Ford (1164) 0-1 R Burnett (1374)
My teammates carried me over the threshold again in another important win for the club. Robert is on a fine run and continued with his win over Innes. Alan played out a solid draw with Graham, while Cameron simply outplayed me in what is likely to be my team-chess swansong. There comes a point when letting people down kinda gets to you. Fortunately, Laurenziu held his nerve in a precision ending to pull us through. It gives us a chance of promotion, though others may have too many games in hand.
H Meadows (840) 0-1 J Warren (1480)
S McKenzie (530) 0-1 I Washington (1423)
R Bremner 0-1 J Williamson (1338)
T Rosazza 1-0 Default
The D Team were heavily outgunned here but put up a staunch fight. Bouyed by being 1-0 up before the start when Perth were unable to field a full side, they proceeded to belie their comparatively lower ratings and took the fight to their opponents. Ross, battle-hardened by his congress experience of the weekend, played strongly to discomfort John Williamson before succumbing to a kingside attack. Scott’s trademark stodgy system had Ian caught up in a mire before he gradually extricated himself. Henri went toe to toe with John Warren and fought to the bitter end but was eventually outmaneuvered by his experienced adversary.
A performanced to be proud of by a team who have consistently punched above their weight in this division.
The C Team were on the road again as we headed to Perth just a day after the Congress there. Terrible weather, but undeterred as we sought to improve on last week’s 2-2 draw with our opponents.
Perth B 1.5-2.5 Dundee C
1. J Warren 1480 0.5 L Archip 1529
2. I Washington 1423 0-1 R Flood 1509
3. J Williamson 1338 1-0 T Harley 1439
4. T Wardlaw 1174 0-1 R Burnett 1374
A good start as Robert won quickly against Tom. Trevor is unfortunately rusty and currently in the stage of his comeback of making random tactical errors. Ian’s ambitious pressing against my French was perhaps not quite sound and I won a rook ending with my extra pawns. Laurenziu was in all kinds of trouble against John, a piece down but helped by an ending with two knights v bishop and just three pawns each on the same side. Stout defending held on, and secured a good win for the side.
A solid win and a continuation of a better run for the C Team. Our early season results probably rules out a promotion challenge, but lets hope to finish strongly.
The Perth Congress rolled into the new decade with a record entry. Doors were closed at the start of the week despite extra tables being put in to accomodate the number of players wishing to participate. A healthy sign for chess in Scotland.
As ever, the venue at the Salutation Hotel was warm and welcoming despite the weather. Perth may have been windswept, but the Congress is endlessly interesting.
The club had five representatives this time. Stephen Hogg and Alastair Dawson in the Open, myself, Trevor Harley and Ross Bremner in the Major. Stephen and Alastair took byes in the first round and performed creditably over the weekend games.
In the Major, Trevor had a solid run, with just one loss that he’ll be disappointed with. Ross found it tough in his first congress and debated whether he should have opted for the Minor instead. All good learning experience though. My own tournament started well, but faded somewhat with three successive draws, only one of them of any interest. Still, an improvement on recent months, and the first congress for a while that I’ve gone through unbeaten.
A hugely enjoyable event as ever, with thanks and appreciation to John McNicoll, Andy Howie and the organising team for an impeccable job once again.
46 entries Rating Rating Performance
11= S Hogg 3/5 2065 1912
15= A Dawson 2.5 1806 1823 Major
4= R Flood 3.5 1509 1654
42=T Harley 1.5 1439 1167
R Bremner 1.5 0 1128
The A Team motored into Kirkcaldy to continue the defence of our KO trophy. A large grading advantage, which naturally meant a large time handicap. Alan, Alastair and Frank had just 6 minutes against their opponents 54! I had the luxury of 11 minutes against my opponent’s 49.
1st Round Kirkcaldy 0-4 Dundee A
P Selbie 1241 0-1 A Borwell 1836
A Owens 1149 0-1 A Dawson 1806
K Wan 1060 0-1 F Stevenson 1647
A Wood 1028 0-1 R Flood 1509
First Round clean sweep put us on easy street-ish. Alastair and I won quickly. This often happens when your opponent gets caught up and feels compelled to move almost as quickly as you have to. Alan and Frank’s opponents were more circumspect and they had to work hard for their wins, while of course moving almost instantly most of the time. You can think and formulate plans on your opponent’s time of course, but it’s not exactly the same thing! Anyway, we were in the driving seat now.
2nd Round Kirkcaldy 1.5-2.5 Dundee A
P Selbie 0.5 A Borwell
A Owens 0-1 A Dawson
K Wan 1-0 F Stevenson
A Wood 0-1 R Flood 1.5 – 6.5
Alastair won quickly again to put us over the finishing line. With the pressure off, things were naturally more relaxed, and Alan conceded the draw with very little time left while Frank lost his return game. My opponent was determined to utilise his time advantage more carefully this time, and actually exceeded the time limit before I did(!), though I had built up a large material advantage by then.
So we move into the semis, where a likely different challenge will await us. Stronger opponents, but more even time distribution. All good fun…
Two TAFCA matches at the club, along with the usual enthusiastic turnout of juniors.
Dundee C 2-2 Perth B
1. R Flood 1509 0.5 J Warren 1480
2. T Harley 1439 0-1 I Washington 1423
3. A Woodcock 1383 0.5 J Williamson 1338
4. R Burnett 1374 1-0 J Shovlin 866
Grading-wise not a poor result, though I somehow let a two pawn advantage slip into a drawn ending, Trevor blundered badly at the finish, Alan was material ahead but may well have lost on time had he not agreed the draw. Robert performed up to scratch with a comfortable win.
Dundee D 1-3 Castlehill E
1. Z Swaczyna 1261 1-0 N Waugh 1161
2. M Whisson 948 0-1 M Kats 1091
3. A Aguila 0-1 D Hayes
4. H Meadows 840 0-1 R McLeod 980
D Team outgunned on the night here by a slightly superior graded Castlehill team.