SNCL Report 5th November

Scottish National Chess League: 2018-19 – Rounds 1 and 2, November 4th, 2018, Dunfermline

The new 2018-19 SNCL chess season kicked off in Dunfermline yesterday. Dundee City have 4 teams registered this year. The A team start as reigning champions; the B team seeking promotion to Division 1 having come so close last season; the C team is trying to gain promotion to Division 3 while we have a new Junior team, also in Division 4.

Round 1 started with a surprise for the A team. Up against Stepps they suffered a loss when Andrew Greet lost to Douglas Bryson. But with Stephen Hogg winning well on Board 5 and draws from David Findlay, Declan and Andrew Wright, the match was drawn 2.5/2.5. In the afternoon, the A-team came into their own with a 4.5/0.5 win over Hamilton. Wins from Andrew, David, Declan and Stephen supplemented with a draw from Andrew led to a very convincing performance and a step towards their title defence. Special mention should go to Stephen for two straight wins.

In Division 2, the Dundee City B team started their campaign with a thumping win 5-0 over Dumfries and District A. The team has changed slightly from last year. Andrew Babin now takes up Board 2 with Carey Groves moving down to Board 4. Strength in depth is a feature of the team now, not only with Carey on Board 4 but also with Ben Volland on Board 3 and Euan Dawson on Board 5. The impressive nature of the 5-0 win was highlighted by Sam Gregory’s win on Board 1 over Michael Green (2076). The afternoon match proved to be much tougher. The team was up against Dunfermline Knights led by Ian Robertson (2045). Unfortunately both Sam and Andre lost their games but this was countered by win by Ben and Euan on Boards 3 and 5. A draw from Carey led to the match being drawn 2.5/2.5. Deserved credit goes to both Ben and Euan for winning both their matches.

There were both new and old faces in the Dundee City C team in Division 4 now composed of Alastair Dawson, Paul Shafi, Ray Flood, Keith Rose and Ed Walton. The first match was a whitewash 5-0 over Hidden Dragons. Special mention goes to Ray Flood who crushed his opponent in only 13 moves. Whereas the opponents in Round 1 were relatively inexperienced, the match in the afternoon was very much more difficult against Dumfries and District B. Again the team completed a 5-0 whitewash win with, again, Ray Flood being first to finish after only 35 minutes of play. Some of the matches were very tight indeed, particularly those of Alastair and Keith. Overall a great start to the promotion push and a rare 10-0 score for the day.

The first SNCL tournament day of the 2018-19 season was most special, however, for our Dundee City Junior (D) team. For all of them it was their second outing in weekend chess following the highly successful Dundee Congress in October. The prime objective for them all is to have fun and enjoy their chess and also gain valuable experience. In the morning they were hugely out graded against Corstorphine, typically in excess of a 500 point difference. There were losses on all boards except that of Rishabh Akula (608) who pulled off an amazing win over Angus Ruthven (1188) – a brilliant performance. So the match result was 1-4. In the afternoon the Junior team were again heavily out graded against CS BOS2. This time the grading differences were individually between 500-700 points and this time there was a 0-5 loss. The Junior team players performed exceptionally well during both the morning and afternoon sessions. In fact they played two of the strongest teams in the group and they surely will relish playing some of less strong teams in Rounds 3 and 4 on November 25th.

Undoubtedly, the performance of the day has to go to Rishabh Akula while special mention should also go to Stephen Hogg, Ben Volland and Euan Dawson in the A and B teams for 100% game scores.

For a complete list of results click here.

Alastair Dawson
5th November 2018

Games from Dundee D versus Dundee C

Here is 2 games from the TAFCA league match Dundee D Versus Dundee D.

With Analysis from Fritz.


For our club members this is one of the busiest months of the season:

Thursday 1st November: Castlehill B – Dundee A

Saturday 3rd November: Chess Scotland Annual General Meeting, Novotel Hotel, Glasgow 12.00-19.00

Sunday 4th November: Scottish National Chess League, Carnegie Conference Centre, Dunfermline, Rounds 1 and 2, start of play 10.00 am.

Monday 5th November: Perth B – Dundee C

Tuesday 6th November: Dundee Chess Club Championship, Round 1, St Peters.

Thursday 8th November: University of St Andrews – Dundee D

Tuesday 13th November: Dundee A – Dundee B

Tuesday 13th November: Dundee D – Perth B

Friday 16th -Sunday 18th November: Oban Chess Congress, Royal Hotel, Oban (one of best weekend congresses on Scottish chess circuit).

Tuesday 20th November: TAFCA Knock Out Cup: Dundee A – Castlehill E (St Peters rearranged venue).

Sunday 25th November: Scottish National Chess League, Carnegie Conference Centre, Dunfermline, Rounds 3 and 4, start of play 10.00 am

Tuesday 27th November: Dundee B – Castlehill B

Thursday 29th November: 2nd TAFCA Allegro, Castlehill Chess Club


1st TAFCA Allegro: Newport Knights Chess Club 24/10/18

The first of the new format TAFCA Allegro tournaments took place last night at Newport Knights Chess Club. There was an excellent turn out of 29 players from all of the clubs in Tayside and Fife. – 7 each from Castlehill, Dundee and Kirkcaldy chess clubs together with 8 from our hosts Newport Knights.  The format for these events is gruelling with each contestant playing 5 matches during the evening and with the clocks set at 15 mins per person per game to make all moves. All of the matches were tightly contested. Prior to the start of the final round only Euan Dawson and Alan Borwell remained on maximum points of 4/4. The final match between them was tightly contested. Alan slipped behind on time somewhat and as the time limit for all moves approached, Euan steered his way through the ending complications to become the outright winner of the tournament on maximum points on 5/5. Following close behind and tied in 2nd place on 4/5 were Alan Borwell, Paul Shafi, Alastair Dawson and Jim Anderson. This was the first of 5 Allegro events to take place this season and a huge debt of gratitude should go to Marcus Wylie and his team at Newport for so generously hosting such a successful event.


Scotland’s top men and women chess players are presently representing the country in the World Chess Olympiad, Batumi, Georgia. the tournaments are excellently covered in the media. For the most rapid links, see the Chess Scotland website – you can follow all the latest results and individual performances by clicking on the ‘Chess Results’ icon. The event is also being superbly covered by various national media – one of the best to view on You Tube is via ‘Chess India’. The Olympiad started on September 23rd and continues until October 6th, 2018. Scotland’s men are represented by Andrew Greet, Alan Tate, Clement Sreeves, Murad Abdulla and Roddy McKay. The womens’ team is led by Keti Arakhamia-Grant together with Ali Roy, Rosie Giulian, Monica Espinosa Cancino and Caitlin Reid. After 7 rounds the men’s Open tournament is being led by USA and Azerbaijan followed by Armenia and Poland (Russia are currently sitting in 9th place). In the Women’s Championship the leading teams (also after Round 7) are the Ukraine and Armenia closely followed by China, Romania, USA and Italy. Keti is presently the leading points scorer in the Women’s tournament with 6.5/7. In the Men’s Open the top points scorers on 6/7 is shared by Anish Giri (Netherlands), Nils Grandelius (Sweden), Wesley So (USA), Andre Stratonowitsch (Seychelles), Dejan Marhanovic Bosnia & Herzegovina) and Eiti Bashir (Syria).


Thursday October 4th 2018: Konrad Wierszbicki Memorial Allegro, Castlehill Chess Club, Dundee

Monday October 8th: TAFCA League Division 1: Perth A – Dundee B

Tuesday October 9th TAFCA League Division 1: Dundee A – Kirkcaldy A

Wednesday October 10th TAFCA League Division 2: Newport Knights B – Dundee D

Friday October 19th – Sunday October 21st: Dundee Chess Congress, Chaplaincy Centre, University of Dundee (5 rounds)

Tuesday October 23rd TAFCA League Division 2: Dundee C – University of St Andrews

Wednesday 24th October: TAFCA Allegro Series, Event No. 1 (of 5): venue – Newport Knights Chess Club, The Newport Club, 6 Cupar Rd., Newport DD6 8AE

Tuesday October 30th TAFCA League Division 2: Dundee D – Dundee C



Congratulations to Castlehill Chess Club for overcoming Dundee Chess Club at the annual Bobby Gow tournament held last night at Dundee Chess Club. In total 24 players from the respective clubs competed with the score over the 12 boards of 7.5-4.5 in favour of Castlehill.  The match was one of fierce competition with individual games swaying to and fro over 3 hours of competitive play. On the top boards David Findlay and Declan Shafi battled out a draw in a R + N + pawns ending. On board 2, Alastair Dawson could not break through the defences of Paul Shafi and this match also ended in a draw. On Board 3, Euan Dawson converted a won ending against Jim Anderson. Elsewhere there were wins for Keith Rose over Robert Burnett, Ray Noble against Alan Woodcock, Colin Young against Peter Gibson, L Archip over Norrie Carroll and A Ramsay over C Patterson. Appreciation should also go to Jim Anderson for doing much of the organization as well as to Ray Noble for his running of the event on the night. And so the new 2018-19 chess across Tayside and Fife has started and we look forward to much exciting chess in the forthcoming months.

Here is one of the games played on the night. it was a very hard fought game and a great victory for Euan.

12/09/18 Game

The following is a game from the British Chess Championships seniors tournament game and report is from Alastair.

At the end of July, Euan and I travelled to Hull to take part in the British Chess Championships. While Euan was taking part in the exceptionally strong Major tournament, I had a go at the Seniors championship. On first sight one might imagine that such a tournament would not be tough, the opposite was the case. Nearly all of the players were rated over FID 1900 and most had a fine sense for strong uncompromising and positional play. The tournament lasted 7 gruelling rounds and I emerged at the end with one win, one loss and 5 draws. In the Major, Euan gained a very creditable 3/9 performing excellently against some very strong opposition.

The British Championships is a real festival of chess. The championships were held in Hull City Hall. There were over 900 competitors in a range of tournaments ranging from Under -8 to the Championship packed with GMs , IMs and FMs. A live commentary room was in the basement as well as adjoining analysis areas as well as a highly popular chess stall. If there is a difficulty with tournaments such as this it is being able to last the pace and not succumb to exhaustion with one round following another in quick succession. The following game took place in Round 1 with a fortunate stroke of good luck arriving in the late afternoon.



7-9th September: Inverness Chess Congress,

Tuesday 11th September: 3rd Allegro tournament, Dundee Chess Club.

Saturday 15th September: Isle of Arran FIDE Rapidplay, 11.15 – 16.30, See homepage of

Tuesday 18th September: Bobby Gow (Castlehill Chess Club vs Dundee Chess Club); venue Dundee Chess Club.

Wednesday 19th September: Chess Scotland Management Board, Connal Building, 3rd floor, 34 West George St, Glasgow G2 1DA.

Tuesday 25th September: TAFCA committee meeting, Dundee Chess Club, 19.30.

Thursday 27th September: Glasgow Polytechnic Quickplay, Wellington Church Hall, Southpark Avenue, Glasgow G12 8LE. See homepage of