Club Championship 17/6


Vlad Drabych 1160 1-0 Andrew Collins

A nice win for Vlad, and a reminder that the London System needn’t be just a plug & play ‘system’ as he expands with a delayed c4.

AGM Matters


All AGM business matters of course(!), but the particular business of this one concerned the future funding of the club. Membership fees have never been increased for as long as anyone can remember, last 20 years or so, but lately we have been victims of our own extremely welcome success.

The large increase in membership has resulted in a corresponding increase in teams entered in competitions, number of competitions entered, and the increasing costs of doing so – associations and competition organisers have been affected by the cost of living along with everyone else. Our biggest increase in cost has been the need to hire a second hall at the church premises for competitive play, as the large attendance on club nights makes it impossible to hold matches etc. downstairs. We have had to use our new match room most week nights during the league season, at a significant extra cost.

Treasurer Bruce raised concerns some time ago that the club was now operating at a significant loss. In subsequent discussions over ensuing months, it was clear that fees would have to rise for the first time in a generation. Bruce himself noted that the headline figure of an operating loss of some £250 is likely to be an underestimate, as the church has been somewhat generously irregular in their invoicing for charges.

We have excellent premises at the church – likely the best that most of the veteran members, going back 50 years or more(!) can think of. We have an excellent relationship with the church too, and we all feel that finding a way to remain here is by far the best option and in the best interests of the club. Bottom line outcome from the meeting was an increase in fees from £30 per annum to £48, payable by online payment at £4 per month. Junior fees to rise from £10 to £20. Less than £1 a week for all that the club offers must be an exceptional deal these days?!

We append the full minutes of the meeting for you to peruse at your leisure, and hope you agree with the decisions of the members attending, and continue to support the club in what we are all sure will be a very bright future.

Please click link bellow to view AGM Minutes or click button to download.


Club Championship 10/6/24


Round 5

Ed Spencer 2132  1-0  2163 David Findlay

David was caught in Ed’s preparation, and struggled early on, Ed at one point having used 4 minutes to David’s 37!

The game was a throwback to the Romantic era of chess, enhanced by modern technology, but you still have to work it out over the board. Rather them than me! The complications were huge, and David was unable to wend his way through them, as Ed scored a very impressive win over his old rival, in the latest chapter of the Battle of the Giants.

Club Championship Round 5 20/5


Joshua Crofts 1629 0-1 CM Jacques Ophoff 2253

Alastair Dawson 1764 1-0 Christine Sim 984

Ronnie Agnew 1150 0-1 Bruce Wallace 1435

Lewis Bisset 1-0 Kara McHugh

Richardson Cup Final


Saturday May 18th 2024 turned out to be a very signifcant day. Not since the days of Paul Motwani and Colin McNab over 20 years ago have Dundee been represented in the Final of the Richardson Cup. Having battled through earlier rounds against Cathcart and Bank of Scotland, we were paired in the Final against Edinburgh. On paper, Edinburgh were, by far, the strongest team in the competition. Their Rounds 1 and 2 matches illustrated a team that dazzled with International Masters, Fide Masters and Candidate Masters. In the preparation of the match, therefore, we anticipated opponents with IMs on the top boards down to players with FIDE grades in excess of 2000 on the bottom boards. As it turned out we were completely wrong as, on the day of the match, Edinburgh fielded a weaker team with  several of the strongest players missing. Although it still looked like a big ask for us, the reduction in the overall strength of our opponents at least meant that we had a realistic chance. That said, we were still out-graded on the lower boards – on the other hand with Jacques on Board 1 and strengthened by Declan Shafi and Rishi Vijayakumar on Boards 2 and 3 we were exceptionally strong on the top boards. So it was a big day – with all of the 8 games being streamed live on the Internet.

As the match unfolded, several of the bottom boards were the first to resolve themselves. First to finish was Alastair against Lindsay MacGregor on Board 8. In a Kings Indian, Alastair, with the white pieces, reached a blocked position where neither side thought they could progress without endangering their positions – and so a draw was agreed. Shortly after, Euan Dawson, up against Willie Rutherford’s London System, found himself in difficulty and could not resist white’s kingside breakthrough. Thereafter, Joshua Crofts played a Qb3 Nimzo-Indian against Hugh Brechin and eventually reached a drawn Queen and minor piece ending. So, halfway through the match, Dundee were 1-2 down. Shortly afterwards, Ed Spencer found himself in a valiant struggle against Petros Valden but it could not be sustained and resignation soon followed. 

In a difficult position therefore, with 4 matches remaining, there was a moment of joy when on Board 1 Jacques Ophoff made a winning exchange sacrifice against Keith Ruxton that forced resignation. At this point the score was 2-3. On Board 3 Rishi Vijaykumar was having a hard time against Craig Thomson and eventually had to resign. That left 2 matches with Dundee needing to win both. The first of the two matches was between Andrew Wright and Andrew Green. Andrew pushed hard for the win but once the Queens were exchanged, his pawn deficiency was exploited by his opponent and he had to resign. On Board 2 Declan had an equal Queen and Pawn endgame against Neil Berry but with the pawns locked, a draw was the only result. When the dust had settled, our efforts were not enough with the final score showing 2.5 – 5.5. That said, the tournament organisers at the prize-giving described a very tough match that had taken place between the two teams. When the match day was nearing its end, Dundee were left to contemplate what might have been. One thing was for sure, that we would be back again in the Richardson Cup next year ready to take on all-comers.

Alastair Dawson

Dundee 2½ – 5½ Edinburgh

  1. CM Jacques Ophoff 2262 1-0 FM Keith Ruxton 2289
  2. Declan Shafi 2226 ½ – ½ FM Neil Berry 2260
  3. Rishi Vijayakumar 2196 0-1 FM Craig Thompson 2247
  4. Ed Spencer 2123 0-1 Petros Valden 2174
  5. Andrew Wright 2128 0-1 CM Andrew Green 2113
  6. Joshua Crofts 1922 ½ – ½ Hugh Brechin 2047
  7. Euan Dawson 1892 0-1 William Rutherford 1935
  8. Alastair Dawson 1847 ½ – ½ Lindsay McGregor 1948

Club Championship Round Four


Jacques Ophoff FM 2253 1-0 Edwin Spencer 2132

A powerhouse performance by Jacques to move into a clear lead on 4/4 with a final round to come.

Club Championship Round 4


Joshua Crofts 1629 1-0 Vladyslav Drabych 1660

David Ewing 1300 0-1 Alastair Dawson 1764

Two very contrasting encounters. A surprisingly one-sided game in the first, but a very impressive performance by Joshua. David and Alastair kept us all late with a very hard fought encounter, with David pushing Alastair all the way. Well played folks 🙂

Club Championship Round 4


David Findlay 2163 ½-½ Adam Clark 1500

Keith Emery 1533 1-0 Ronnie Agnew 1150

Andrew Collins 1300 ½-½ Christine Sim 984

Doug Smart 1145 1-0 Thomas Watson 800

Bruce Wallace 1435 1-0 Lewis Bisset 1000

Robert Burnett 1318 1-0 Norrie Carroll 938

Steven Leaburn Jnr 1-0 Kara McHugh

TAFCA Knockout Final

On Wednesday evening (24th April 2024) Dundee Chess Club faced Newport in the Final of the TAFCA knock-out Championship. This is an unusual competition in which a handicap system is used to create an even competition between players of widely different grades. Two games are played by each player against his/her opponent in teams of 4. Our team that had battled its way through to the final was Alastair Dawson (Board 1), Joshua Crofts (Board 2), Keith Emery (Board 3) and Adam Clark (Board 4). An example of how the handicap system operates is for Alastair’s games against Roy Morris. The difference in grades between the two players is 398 points and this translated into Alastair having just 15 minutes to complete each of the two games while Roy had 45 minutes for each game. For the higher-graded player this can  be very stressful since 15 minutes does not last very long especially if a game is drawn out into a lengthy ending!
These comments aside, the evening turned out very well for Dundee. The pairings were Alastair Dawson versus Roy Morris, Joshua Crofts versus Angus Sneddon, Douglas Cairns versus Keith Emery and on Board 4 Adam Clark was paired against Alan Wallace.
In the first set of games, Alastair won over Roy, Joshua beat Angus, Keith Emery triumphed over Douglas while Adam agreed a draw with Alan. In the second set of games with colours reversed, Dundee won all 4 games giving a final score of 7.5-0.5. So, despite the difficulties of having less clock time on each board, we came through with a convincing victory and the Knockout Title.
Alastair Dawson
Newport Knights ½-7½ Dundee A
  1. Roy Morris 1366  0,0  –  1,1 Alastair Dawson 1764
  2. Angus Sneddon 1327  0,0  –  1,1 Joshua Crofts 1629
  3. Douglas Cairns 1327  0,0  –  1,1 Keith Emery 1533
  4. Alan Wallace 1132  ½,0  –  ½,1  Adam Clark 1500

Dundee B v Perth A


TAFCA Division 1

Dundee B 2-2 Perth A

  1. Joshua Crofts 1629 0-1 Shubham Lakudkar 2142
  2. Jim Anderson 1546 1-0 Martin Gourlay 1888
  3. Adam Clark 1500 0-1 Andrew Sutherland 1664
  4. Ray Flood 1442 1-0 David Hall 1590

The TAFCA season ended with a result that moved both sides up a place in the final table. Perth A now finish as runners-up behind Dundee A, while the B Team move up to a fairly respectable 7th. For the homesters it was an excellent result against a very strong Perth side, comfortably outgrading them on all boards, who certainly earned their 2nd place in the Championship table. Congrats to both sides!