In an early fixture of the 2019-20 TAFCA League, Dundee A the current title-holders faced a very strong University of St Andrews team on Thursday November 7th. In the end the score was a 2-2 draw. There was only one winner for Dundee on the evening with Ed Spencer beating Daniel Chambers. A loss from Stephen Hogg against his highly-rated opponent plus draws from David Findlay on Board 1 and Alastair Dawson on 4 was sufficient to earn the draw.
SNCL 2019-20, Sunday November 3rd: Report of rounds 1 and 2.
And so that new 2019-20 Scottish National Chess League started at the Carnegie Conference Centre, Dunfermline, yesterday. The SNCL is one of the premier chess events in Scotland and this year no less than 40+ teams and over 200 players competed across five Divisions. In the top division our Dundee City A team embarked on the defence of their Championship title; in division 2 our B team embarked on a new battle to maintain their place against some formidable opposition; in division 3 our newly-promoted C team faces a series of strong opponents and in Division 5 our Junior team, relegated from Division 4 last season, should gain valuable experience playing against a range of difficult opponents.
In a packed conference centre in the morning the A team got off to a good start with a convincing win against Dunfermline Knights 3.5-1.5. With Andrew Greet playing in the Hull 4NCL Masters tournament and with Declan now at University, the A team welcomed Andre Babin onto Board 5. And it proved to be a great start for Andre with a win over John McBride. Another win for Ed Spencer and draws on the remaining boards signified a solid start to the title defence. In Division 2, Dundee City B were up against Forth Valley A. Here convincing wins by Euan Dawson over Douglas Will and Ben Volland over Stephen Smith plus draws on the remaining boards was enough to give a 3.5-1.5 win. In Division 3, it was going to be a tough call for Dundee C. A whitewash was avoided against East Kilbride A through a fine effort from Subhayu Banerjee who earned a creditable draw with the black pieces against Tom Brisbane – the team result ending 0.5-4.5. In division 5, our Junior team started their campaign against Lathallan Community Chess. There was a star performance on Board 1 from Max Whisson who beat Duncan Lyall (1437 rating) and another great performance on Board 5 from young Rishi Vijaykumar whose rating of 482 is no indication of his talent at the tender age of 8. The result of the match was a 2-3 loss but nevertheless a good start for our young players and huge amounts of experience gained.
In the afternoon, Dundee City A were up against a powerful Wandering Dragons A team. Andre Babin continued his good form with a draw on Board 5 while Andrew Wright earned a very good win against Candidate Master Andrew Dunn (2104). But it was not to be – with a draw by David Findlay on Board 1 not enough to prevent a 2-3 loss. In division 2 Dundee City were also up against a very strong CSBOS1 team. Outgraded on all boards, a fine win by Ben Volland over Nigel Chapman plus draws from Alastair Dawson and Sam Gregory were not enough to prevent a 2-3 defeat. In division 3 Dundee City faced an exceptionally strong Lenzie side led by Mark Sanger and the very-talented Jake Sanger. Despite a good win for Cameron Wilson on Board 5 plus another battling draw from Subhayu Banerjee the team went down to a 1.5-3.5 defeat. In the bottom division, our Dundee City D Juniors turned out to be the only team winners of the afternoon. Up against Silly Sicilians there were wins on the top three boards. Max Whisson starred again on Board 1 and was ably supported with wins from Ramit Kanodia and Rishabh Akula – so a 3-2 win and a great afternoon for our young team.
So all in all not a bad start. Star player of the day has to be young Max Whisson leading the Junior team on Board 1 with 2 straight wins – a fine performance. Special mention should also go to Andre Babin scoring 1.5/2 on his debut on Board 5 in the A team. Not to be forgotten also are the two fine draws gained by Subhayu Banerjee for our C team. It is very obvious from looking at the strength of the teams in Division 3 that Dundee City are going to face very strong opposition in all 7 matches throughout the season – hence Subhayu’s performance is all the more creditable. Lastly one must not forget the excellent win by Andrew Wright against a Candidate Master in the afternoon. Well done everyone and we look forward to 2020 and Rounds 3 and 4 on Sunday February 2nd.
November 4th 2019.
The Dundee Congress started yesterday with a few club members playing in the 3 tournaments. In the Premier tournament after 3 rounds David Findlay and Ed Spencer are on 2.5, Stephen Hogg has 2 and Alastair Dawson 0.5. In the Major Laurenziu Archip is on 3 out of 3 and Ray Flood on 1.5. The Minor has Thibault Rosazza is on 2 out of 3, Max Whisson, George Burton and Scott McKenzie are on 1.5 and Christine Sin on 1. Also in the Minor Castlehill have 2 on full points Graham Aitkins and Rishi Vijayakumar who is a junior 8 years old.
Tuesday October 15th saw Dundee Chess Club up and running with internal competitions and external TAFCA league matches. Several matches for Round 1 of the Club Championship were completed on Tuesday October 8th. Tuesday October 15th, however, witnessed one of the first matches of the TAFCA season between Dundee B and Dundee A with the latter winning by 3.5-0.5. The remaining matches for Round 1 of the Club Championship are due to take place next Tuesday October 22nd. Then the following week, a busy evening is anticipated with four TAFCA league matches scheduled to take place on the same evening. Updates on the Club Championship and a match report for Dundee B versus A are available elsewhere on the website.
The New season of the TAFCA League starts on the14th October with the D team away to Perth B Then on the 15th October the first home match of the season The B team play the A team. The 16th October sees the C team away to Newport Knights B.
Some of the fixtures have been added to the events calendar and more will be added soon. There is also been a update to the TAFCA page results and reports will be added as soon as we get results.
The C team are away to Newport Knights.
The E team match against Castlehill F was cancelled from the 15th October till the 12th November.
The A and B teams kicked off their TAFCA campaigns with a match against each other. The B team were heavily outgunned grading-wise, but ready to fight the good fight.
As so often, the scoreline belied the hard fought contests that were played out. Unusually, the games finished neatly in board order! Frank went slightly astray in a sharp Sozin Sicilian and David took the first point. Jim’s trademark Trompowsky was solidly rebuffed by Stephen’s King’s Indian setup, and Jim was left with a lost ending. Ed and Laurenziu fought out their second Sicilian in a matter of weeks, a closer contest this time, but Laurenziu’s weak e pawn proved fatal in a tough struggle. Your correspondent also got into a tough ending against Alastair, but managed to hold with a bit of good fortune.
So a 3.5 – 0.5 win for the A team to kick-start the defence of their title, but a hearty performance from the B team.
The D teams first match of the season is away to Perth B. This match was cancelled and a new date will be announced soon.