TAFCA Final Round-Up

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With thanks to Castlehill from whom we’ve borrowed and updated the following information. They’re provisional, dependent on errors, but likely accurate.

The final league tables tell the tale of a mixed TAFCA season for the club.

Division 1

#

Team

Pld

Won

Drn

Lost

Points

1

DUNDEE A

9

8

0

1

16

Champions

2

CASTLEHILL A

9

6

1

2

13

R/up

3

ST.ANDREWS A

9

6

0

3

12

4

CASTLEHILL B

9

5

1

3

11

5

CASTLEHILL D

9

4

1

4

9

6

CASTLEHILL C

9

3

2

4

8

7

CASTLEHILL F

9

3

1

5

7

8

CASTLEHILL E

9

2

2

5

6

9

DUNDEE B

9

2

1

6

5

Relegated

10

PERTH A

9

1

1

7

3

Relegated

A fine season for the A team, comfortably defending their title in the end, though some matches were scarier than others. With talent like Jacques Ophoff, David Findlay and Ed Spencer to draw on, they were always favourites and lived up to that billing, even if yours truly managed to blow their unbeaten record in the last match.

A big disappointment for the B team though. With the players available they really should never have been involved in a relegation tussle, but the results just didn’t come. Losing their first five matches, four of them by 2½-1½ shows it could have been very different. Relegation is a bit embarrassing, but…

Division 2

#

Pld

Won

Drn

Lost

Points

1

KIRKCALDY A

9

8

1

0

17   Champions

2

DUNDEE C

9

7

1

1

15  R/Up

3

KIRKCALDY B

9

5

1

3

11

4=

ST.ANDREWS D

9

3

4

2

10

4=

ST.ANDREWS B

9

5

0

4

10

4=

ST.ANDREWS C

9

4

2

3

10

7=

DUNDEE D

9

2

2

5

6

7=

CASTLEHILL H

9

2

2

5

6

9

DUNDEE E

9

1

1

7

3

10

CASTLEHILL G

9

0

2

7

2

The C team saved the B team’s bacon, as it’s likely both teams will stay where they are, being a bit impractical to have them swap divisions. Very nearly a title winning season, but unfortunately let down in a last round deciding match v Kirkcaldy A, losing by 2½-1½ including a defaulted game. Still a good season. Would have been nice to have three teams in the top division though!

A good performance too from the D and E teams. The main goal for these sides just now is to introduce new and provide not-so-new players with the delights of competitive chess. Play, enjoy and next season hopefully socialise.

TAFCA Update

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Apologies for the lack of updates recently. Hope to bring it reasonably up to date here.

Kirkcaldy A  2½-1½  Dundee C 

1. 1533  Stuart Blyth           0-1        Ray Flood  1411

2. 1499  George Herd       W-D        Bruce Wallace  1352

3. 1463  Euan Henderson   1-0        Thibault Rosazza  1164

4. u/g  Thea Newman         ½-½       Ashley Clayton  1155E

Sadly, we didn’t quite manage to get the draw we needed to win Division Two. We got off to the worst possible start when Bruce failed to appear, despite efforts to contact him. Still don’t know what happened, but nothing to be done now. Myself and Thibault’s games were reverse copies of each other. Stuart blundered a piece early on and never recovered, and Thibault unfortunately did the same against Euan. This left us 2-1 down and hoping for a win from Ashley. A lot of pressure on a new member. His game was solidly level for most of the time, till his opponent’s inspired exchange sacrifice that seemed to promise an edge. Was a bit of a see-saw from there as Thea slipped to allow Ashley a material advantage that in other circumstances might have been converted. But under time and other pressure, Ashley allowed a passed pawn to get on the verge of queening, and had no choice but to grab the draw by perpetual. A valiant effort.
A disappointing end to the C Team season, and our only loss. I’m sure we still get promoted in 2nd, but what might have been…
On other fronts, The A Team are solidly powering to a defence of their title, still on 100%
.
The B Team recorded their first win against Castlehill E to give them a fighting chance of survival in Division One, but have very difficult games to come v Castlehill’s A and B Teams! Two points would probably do it, but where to get them from?!
The D and E Teams have recorded one win each in Division Two, and are fulfilling their objective of allowing our new (and not so new) members to get experience of competitive chess, and most of all, to enjoy chess. The more the merrier.

Friendly Allegro 31/1

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Round 1

Ian 0-1 Ross Bremner

Ray Flood 1-0 Sam Burke

Shanmukha Sam 1-0 Nathan Larg

Christine Sim 0-1 David Ewing

Round 2

Ross 1-0 Sam S

David  0-1 Ray

Nathan 0-1 Ian

Sam B 1-0 Christine

Round 3

Ross 1-0 Ray

David 0-1 Sam S

Ian 1-0 Sam B

Christine 0-1 Nathan

Round 4

Sam B 0-1 Ross

Sam S 0-1 Ian

Nathan 1-0 David

Christine 0-1 Ray

Standings

  1. Ross 4/4
  2. Ian 3
  3. Ray 3
  4. Nathan 2
  5. Sam S 2
  6. Sam B 1
  7. David 1
  8. Christine 0

TAFCA week ending 4/2

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Mon, 31 Jan

Castlehill F 2½-1½ Dundee B

Division One

1. 1350e Saranraj Gurura 1-0 Alan Borwell 1883

2. 1327 Subhayu Banerjee ½½ Sir Philip Cohen 1784

3. 1318 Gordon J Thomas 0-1 Alastair Dawson 1734

4. 1300e Adam Crocker 1-0 James Anderson 1577

A very disappointing result in view of the grading difference, and the team’s fourth 2½-1½ loss this season. Not something you want as a ‘lucky’ scoreline.

Alan went astray after a sharp opening skirmish and Saranraj’s central pawn mass provided the basis for an irresistible attack and a nice finish.

Subhayu gained an early piece after an elementary error by Phil, but then rather carelessly let the material advantage slip. Phil even seemed to gain a slight edge, but the advantage swung back and forth as the time slipped away. Two pawns up, Subhayu really should have converted in the end, but time trouble saw him take the repetition.

Alastair gained an edge against Gordon early on, and a pawn advantage to boot, but his main trump was a gradual build up on the kingside that finally overwhelmed black, and led to a nice mating attack finish.

Jim’s fondness for cramped positions looked like it may prove his undoing, but an error by his opponent won Jim a piece and a clearly winning advantage. Unfortunately, an unwise queen excursion left his king shorn of protection and he too succumbed to a mating attack.

Not looking good for the side, with no points from five matches, and a big uphill task ahead.

Wed, 2 Feb

Dundee A 3-1 Perth

Division One

1. 2257 Jacques Ophoff ½½ Martin Gourlay 1877

2. 2150 David Findlay ½½ James Graham 1500E

3. 2016 Ed Spencer 1-0 Ian Washington 1423

4. 1734 Alastair Dawson 1-0 Aaron Gourlay 1396

Again looked a relatively straightforward task for the champions given the grading difference, and though a comfortable victory, certainly not as emphatic as might be expected. Ed’s new favourite Modern defence has been producing some weird and wonderful positions, and seemed to have bamboozled Ian sufficiently to gain a winning material advantage. But Ed went astray against a surprisingly potent counter-attack, made possible by the not-so-gay abandonment of his kingside defences. At one point, a knight capture on e5 would surely have won the game for Ian, but happily from a Dundee viewpoint, he missed it, and it was Ed who crashed through to his opponent’s defenceless king. Not one for the fainthearted.

Alastair had a rather more sedate procession to victory, establishing a positional plus early on, and despite a couple of slight misteps, converted it to a piece advantage which won the endgame handily.

If you’re a fan of sedate, you could do no better than Jacque’s game, which followed a peaceful path from beginning to the shared end. David’s game though, was nothing like so straightforward. A surprise and unwise piece sacrifice by his opponent left David with a clearly winning advantage which he would convert 99 times out of 100. He will be kicking himself for allowing the advanced queenside bind of his opponent, that forced him to not only relinquish his material edge, but actually left him a pawn down. Fortunately the ending was a clear draw at that level of play, but a rare slip for the Dundee legend.

So an adventurous two points for the title holders, setting them firmly on course for retention.

 

Wed, 2 Feb

Dundee C 4-0 Castlehill G

Division Two

1. 1565 Ross Bremner 1-0 Norman Waugh 1132

2. 1561 John Robertson 1-0 Judith Firth u/g

3. 1411 Ray Flood 1-0 Noah Dickson 637

4. 1352 Bruce Wallace 1-0 Josh Dickson 880

Ross had the only real prospective banana skin in his path against the experienced Norman, but he dealt with it handily. The exchange and piece sacrifices may not have been entirely sound, but neither were some of Tal’s! Norman was unable to find a way to rebut the attack, and a neat finish won the day. The rest of us carried the points comfortably enough against a young and inexperienced side, which nevertheless shows great promise.

Our fourth consecutive 4-0 win sets us up nicely for a Fife-based finish to the season against the two Kirkcaldy sides, who both look rather different propositions.

the week in TAFCA 28/1

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Mon, 24 Jan

Castlehill G 1-2 Dundee D

DivisionTwo

1. 1132 Norman Waugh 0-1 Thibault Rosazza

2. 1037Ramit Kanodia 0-1 Max Whisson

3. u/g Judith Firth 1-0 Christine Sim

4. Default – Default

An unusual encounter in more ways than one. Both teams were only able to field three players, and two of ours played from the club. Christine was on coaching duty, so Thibault provided the tech for them both to play out of the premises, the first matches to be played at the club for a couple of years! The unusual circumstances may have led to Christine’s confusion in being unable to convert a clear advantage, and even losing the full point at the end. We had compensation with Thibault turning round a material deficit with fine endgame play, and Max winning handily against another fine prodigy with a nice finish.

Thu, 27 Jan

Uni St Andrews B 4-0 Dundee E

DivisionTwo

1. u/g Hunter Webb 1-0 Peter Gibson

2. u/g Conan Liptrott 1-0 Max WangB

3. u/g Cailan Bailes 1-0 Nathan Larg

4. u/g Adam Brittain 1-0 David Ewing

The E team battled manfully against a very strong St Andrews side, but the final result was never in much doubt. Peter lost material early on, but had an attack which may have yielded some promise, before blundering his queen. Max’s knight was left hanging for a few moves before either player noticed, and brought an immediate resignation when it was finally captured. Nathan was playing solidly again, before giving up a piece he didn’t really need to. The deficit proved too much. David too had a promising looking position, and even missed a chance for a decisive material win. Then his pieces got too tangled and he fell into a snap mate, though well behind anyway.

20/20 Chess. Round 5

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20/20 Chess. Round 5

Dundee City played well to overcome Strathclyde University 6-2 on 21/01/2022. The hero of the previous round, Alan Borwell, suffering after an uncharacteristic blunder then a well played game by his opponent but Mikey Groves, Graham Mooney and Robert Jackson all persevered to achieve 2-0 scorelines. This earns the team a meeting with ChessKidsNation, who beat Dundee City A in Round 4, on 26/02/2022 when hopefully more than 4 boards can be secured.

Dundee City A then followed up with a 9.5-2.5 result against the talented juniors of Hawaii Scholastic on 23/01/2022. Richard Polaczek, Andrew Wright, Declan Shafi and Steve Hogg all navigated various levels of complications to record 2-0 scorelines but Andrew Greet’s utterly uncompromising approach to endings others would give up as draws backfired for once. Ed Spencer was involved in one tactical maelstrom which left the streaming commentators completely gobsmacked but also had another game best quickly forgotten.

Dundee City A received the Fair Play award for this round after shifting the date to accommodate the first OTB congress for a while in Honolulu (sadly no invites were received!) then the time to let the opposition’s two top players attend church. The reward for all this is a tie against Kyiv Chess Club on 27/02/2022 and if this potentially daunting match (remember 2-16 against Belgrade!) can be played with Ukraine still at peace that will be a result in itself.

David Findlay

This week in tafca

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Wed, 19 Jan

Dundee B  1-3  Uni of St Andrews A 

DivisionOne

1.1784 Sir Philip Cohen  0-1  Elliot Cocks 1836

2.1734 Alastair Dawson  1-0  Stuart Ballantyne 1642

3. 1577 James Anderson  0-1  Alexandre Kings 1688

4. 1155e Ashley Clayton  0-1  Ash Curry-Machado 1500E

Phil misplayed his bright start and wound up two pawns down, with a poor structure to defend and connected passed Qside pawns for his opponent. It proved too much.

A disaster for Jim, who lost space and mobility early on, and faced an unstoppable mate after just 13 moves. Unlucky indeed.

Ashley was rather thrown in at the deep end with player shortages, but performed creditably. A few unfortunate tactical errors left him too far behind in material in the ending.

Alastair avoided the whitewash with a fine performance. A pawn to the good from early on, his opponent sealed his fate by blundering a piece.

A disappointing result in a difficult fixture, and the B Team have it all to do now after four straight losses.

 

Wed, 19 Jan

Dundee D  0-4  Dundee C

DivisionTwo

  1. 1164 Thibault Rosazza  0-1  Ross Bremner 1565E
  2. 1053 Max Whisson  0-1  John Robertson 1561
  3.  985 Christine Sim  0-1 Ray Flood 1411
  4.  899 Norrie Carroll  0-1  Bruce Wallace 1352

Ross and Thibault started with a typical solid Spanish, but Thibault tried to get active too quickly and left himself struggling for space. Missing a chance to exchange peices, his knight ran out of room, forcing a desperado bishop sac. Further inaccuracies let Ross finish in an impressive flourish with a pretty mate.

Max started solidly but took too many liberties allowing  John a dangerous kingside build up, and a wrecked pawn front. He defended quite stubbornly for a spell, but John gradually turned the screw for the point.

Christine had a solid but slightly passive Sicilian setup, and was also a tad passive in defending the kingside attack. I could have handled it better, but it’s easy for Black to go astray in these circumstances.

Norrie’s perplexing habit of throwing caution and pawns to the winds proved his undoing again, and Bruce invaded the resulting weaknesses impressively to complete the clean sweep.

Three 4-0 wins in a row and 11 points from 12 for the C Team. It’s all going well, but three tough games to come.

 

TAFCA Matches w/e 14/1/22

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Wed, 12 Jan

Dundee E 1-3 Uni St Andrews C

Division Two

1. 872 Henri Meadows 1-0 Allan Player u/g

2. 559 Max Wang 0-1 Jan Thiel u/g

3. u/g Nathan Larg 0-1 Josh Cargill 1059

4. u/g David Ewing 0-1 1017 Krisztian Kos u/g

A hardly unexpected result for the E team against a strong St Andrews side. Henri managed to save the whitewash via an extraordinary blunder from his opponent, who had a mate in three but instead gave away his queen! The losses were down to tactical errors as ever, something that will get better with practice. Less so with Nathan who played a mostly solid game, but he too missed a fork which would have won a rook. All about experience, and that’s what the team is all about too, giving experience to our new players, hopefully an enjoyable one.

Thu, 13 Jan

Castlehill B ½-3½ Dundee A

Division One

1. 1722 Dariusz Kosznik 0-1 Jacques Ophoff 2257

2. 1619 Michael Dugdale 0-1 David Findlay 2150

3. 1610 Euan Murray 0-1 Ed Spencer 2016

4. 1608 Jan Barron-Majerik ½ Alan Borwell 1883

Another big step towards retaining the title for the champions. Jacques had Dariusz cramped and under pressure from early on, and his kingside buildup culminated in a nice smothered mate. David introduced a kingside fianchetto into his trademark Philidor, but the result was the same as he established a huge central and kingside pawn front that overwhelmed Michael. Ed’s prowess in open games shone through in a sharp Two Knights where he made the most of his kingside piece activity to launch a direct attack that Euan succumbed to in another mating finish. Alan always seemed better with his Nimzo manoeuvring , and with the centre completely blocked he looked to have broken through on the kingside with a passed h pawn. Unfortunately he mistimed the push and allowed Jan to block effectively with his king, and the game faded to a repetition. Nevertheless, the side maintain their 100% record, and are well on course.

Kirkcaldy A  v  Dundee E

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Wed, 15 Dec

Kirkcaldy A 4-0 Dundee E

Division Two

1. 1533 Stuart Blyth 1-0 Henri Meadows 872

2. 1463 Euan Henderson 1-0 Peter Gibson 780

3. 1353 John Kane 1-0 Scott McKenzie 649

4. 773 Brian Morley 1-0 Max Wang 559

A not entirely unexpected result for the E team against a strong Kirkcaldy side. The grading differences show what they were up against, and they gave it their best. Scott’s opening play included just two piece moves in his first 13, and they were Nh3 and Rg1! He battled on for 51 moves though. Maybe Morphy was wrong after all?!

Speaking of Morphy, our new problem this week features perhaps his most famous finish ever. You can puzzle over and admire it here https://www.dundeechessclub.co.uk/chess-problem-3/

Our problem page will eventually morph into a dedicated archive of tactical play, essential at club level.

20/20 chess dundee city

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After encouraging wins for Dundee City B on the evening of Friday 05/11/2021 (17.5 – 4.5 against Team Italia Live with Mikey ‘commentator’ Grove 2-0, Alan Borwell 1.5-0.5, Graham Mooney 1-1, Andy Rowe 1.5-0.5, Robert Jackson 0.5-1.5, Ray Noble 1-1, Ray Flood 2-0, Jim Anderson 2-0, Trevor Harley 2-0 and Subhayu Banerjee 2-0) and for Dundee City A just an hour later (8 -2 against Team New Zealand with IM Richard Polaczek 1.5-0.5, IM Andrew Greet 2-0, David Findlay 1-1, Ed Spencer 1.5-0.5 and Steve Hogg 2-0 by default) life was to prove more testing on Saturday 04/12/2021 against two teams who had played each other in Round 3.
The A team faced the promising Indian juniors of ChessKidsNation and went down 7.5 – 2.5  (Richard Polaczek 0-2, David Findlay 0-2, Declan Shafi 1-1, Ed Spencer 0.5-1.5, Steve Hogg
1-1) with all the (half-) points scored by us hard earned. An hour later the B team performed much more creditably to draw 4-4 with Poti Chess Club from the Black Sea in Georgia. Mikey played well to score 1-1 against a WFM  and Alan’s exceptional 2-0 combined tactical flair with consistent positional pressure. Rishi fought gamely and gained valuable experience in going down 0-2 against another titled female player with Robert battling his way back to 1-1 and a match as well as personal tie.
With the Dundee City A team now on 3/4 and the B team on 2.5/4 the likelihood of further tough opposition remains high in a competition which has just seen matches against teams from three continents in just two rounds! Roll on, Round 5
David Findlay