A quieter night at the club, aside from our ever enthusiastic juniors! Unfortunately our E Team’s match with St Andrews was cancelled at 45 minutes notice due to exams(?)
E Spencer (2025) 1-0 S Mackenzie (530)
With the draw just made, only one 4th Round game was played, but it was the Board 1 encounter (honestly) between Ed and Scott, which Ed finished with a pretty mate.
Otherwise we were visited by another very strong player who will hopefully become a regular member to join our other 2000+ rated players. Along with Jacques, our recruitment policy is proving almost as good as United’s.
Dundee A faced league leaders Perth A in a match that would go some way to decide the TAFCA league title for 2019-20 season. As expected it was a tense affair but with some unusual twists of fortune. David Findlay was white versus Martin Gourlay, Ed Spencer black against Gwenole Le Feuvre, Alastair was up against David Hall and Frank on Board 4 facing Andrew Sutherland,
First to finish was Ed. There was some ringing sound in the room. People were trying to figure out what it was but then it transpired it was the clock of Gwenole who had run out of time trying to unlock the secrets of Ed’s favorite Sicilian Kan. Next to finish was Frank who agreed a completely equal middle game position against Andrew Sutherland. The other two matches went the full distance. In the end David converted an extra pawn in a R and P endgame to a win. Shortly afterwards, Alastair who had quite a poor position throughout the game, managed to extricate a draw from the resulting R and P ending.
So in the end it was a convincing 3-1 win and a small step closer to the league title.
Dundee City prepared for play in Rounds 5 and 6 knowing that the outcomes of the various matches would go a long way to determine promotions, relegations and, of course, the national championship itself. The A team faced Stepps in the morning. It proved to be successful with a hard-fought drawn match. Jacques Ophoff drew with IM Doug Bryson on top board. There followed draws for Andrew Wright and Andre Babin and a win for Ed Spencer. In Division 2 a big setback took place an hour prior to the match with the late call-off by Gary Weir as a result of sickness. With the adjustment of board order Euan Dawson assumed the role of being top board. It worked – with him gaining a nice win over John Smith, On Board 2 Alastair secured a second game point but losses on Boards 3 and 4 resulted in a 2-2 draw but a 2-3 match loss owing to a default on Board 5. In the 3rd division, our C team was up against it. With losses on the top three boards, two wins from Ed Walton and Cameron Wilson were insufficient overall, the team losing 2-3. In Division 5, Dundee City D team gained the result of the morning. On Board 1, Max Whisson notched up a nice win and Rishabh Akula did likewise on Board 3. Krish Akula gained a comfortable draw – and this time, it was their opponents who were a player short and had to default on Board 5. The net effect was a 3.5 – 1.5 win.
In the afternoon Dundee City A faced a strong Hamilton team led by IM Andrew Muir. Once again, Jacque Ophoff excelled and gained a draw through a perpetual check sequence. There were draws also from Stephen Hogg and Andrew Wright. But the match was won on Boards 4 and 5 through victories from both Ed Spencer and Andre Babin. There was drama for our B team who faced a very strong Giffnock team led by FM Phil Giulian. Having lost in the morning, it was going to be a very tough task to get anything from this match. But then on Board 1, Euan’s game was first to finish with a remarkable win, his first against a Fide Master. Alastair drew with Neil Thomson on Board 2 and there were losses on Boards 3 and 4. On Board 5, Ray Noble arrived to replace Gary Weir for the afternoon match. Not only did he win well, but his win brought the match to a draw. So one point gained against such a strong team – an amazing result! The same was not true for our C team in Division 3 – they crashed horribly to a much stronger Wandering Dragons team – enough said! And the same was the case for Dundee City D team who also had an afternoon nightmare – a whitewash loss 0-5.
So at the end of Round 6 and with just the final round left, Dundee City A team is tied in 3rd place with 4 game pts and 17 match pts and 8 match pts. Above them are Bon Accord A on 17.5 pts also on 8 match points and Stepps in 1st place with the same 8 match points and 18.5 game pts. In the last round they face Edinburgh 1 – the final round will be a very tense affair! In Division 2, our B team sit in 4th place on 4 match pts and 14 game pts. Beneath them lie Giffnock also on 4 match pts but with 12 game pts, Further below are Edinburgh 2 also on 4 match points and 12 game pts. Dumfries and District A then sit 2nd bottom on 3 match points and 10 game pts. At the bottom Forth Valley A prop up the division with 2 match pts and 10.5 game points. Any permutation is possible from Round 7 – when the team faces Thistles led by IM Roddy Mackay – hopefully safety and steering clear of relagation can be managed – we shall see. For Dundee C there is certain relegation to Division 4 – not good but I am sure the players will live to fight another day. Lastly, in Division 5, our D team are safe on 6 match points – all our young players have performed well and have gained a lot of valuable playing experience over the course of the season – well done to you all.
For performances of the day there are two. One would be that of Ed Spencer on 2/2 who was in overdrive in Division 1 crushing opponents with apparent ease. The second was from Euan Dawson who not only scored 2/2 on top Board in Division 2 but beat an Fide Master in the process – well done Euan!
This round featured no surprises, but plenty of hard work for some of the more established players. Jim had to fight back from a piece down to overcome Norrie, and David, though nominally two pawns up, found it very tough to break down the fortress of the fast-moving Z. In the ensuing endgame, David was down to a couple of minutes, about an hour behind on the clock!
Kirkcaldy B 0-4 Dundee B (4/3/20)
S Subramanian 0-1 F Stevenson (1647)
P Selbie (1241) 0-1 J Anderson (1611)
P Anderson 0-1 G Robertson (1554)
A Owens (1149) 0-1 R Flood (1509)
A very good and very important win for the B Team, but the scoreline was very hard on Kirkcaldy. Gordon won handily with a strong attack, but for the others it was a case of a tough struggle right into difficult and unclear endings. Things could have been very different, but an excellent board score for the B Team which gives them a chance of avoiding the drop.
Next crunch is on Monday night when the A Team travel to Perth to face Perth A who are level on points at the top. Arabest guys.