Club Night 19/11/19

The Dundee A team began the defence of the TAFCA Handicap Knockout Cup in eventually convincing fashion against our friends from Newport. Dundee A’s handicap is usually me, but despite my playing in every round last year, we somehow managed to win the trophy. This was a pleasant first step in this season’s effort.

1st Round

Dundee A 2-2 Newport Knights B

A Borwell (1836) (B)  0-1       S Finnie (1379)

A Dawson (1806)       1-0       A Sneddon (1332)

F Stevenson (1647)     0-1       A Wallace (1200)

R Flood (1509)           1-0       F Rossiter (1200)

The handicap factor is of course time, and we were giving away quite a bit of it. I had 18 minutes to my opponent’s 42, and I was the best off! Our other boards had about 12 minutes each. This naturally leads to some strange and occasionally frantic play. You can be grinding along quite happily, then a glance at your clock shows you only have a few minutes left. I had convinced myself that my semi-accidental exchange sacrifice would bear fruit, but I had to rely on my opponent’s co-operation! Alan and Frank were not so fortunate, with Frank actually losing on time in a clearly advantageous position. This kind of thing happens all the time in this competition, but it left us in a tricky situation. A drawn match would put the lower rated team through on tie-break…

2nd Round

Dundee A 4-0 Newport Knights B

A Borwell (W)1-0       S Finnie

A Dawson       1-0       A Sneddon

F Stevenson    1-0       A Wallace

R Flood           1-0       F Rossiter

Dundee A 6-2 Newport Knights B

Fortunately we were able to navigate the second round of games without much incident to get through comfortably enough. A typical adventure, but it’s what makes this cup so much fun(!?) We live to fight again.


Club Championship Rd 2

N Carroll (948)            0-1       S Zdenek (1241)

T Rosazza                    1-0       M Wang


The Club Championship rolled along with the two games going to expectations. A reminder that due to the rather loaded nature of the first half of the season and all the events and fixtures taking place, the deadline for this round is extended to the end of January. Round 3 starts on Feb 4

One of those ‘events’ is the 2nd TAFCA Allegro which takes place at our club next Tuesday (26th November). This is a 5 round Swiss competition with each player having 15 minutes on the clock. It’s a huge fun night for those of you who have never taken part before, and we’ll have raffles and refreshments and other goodies on hand too. There will be no Junior club for this night only. Our shindig was the best attended of last season so let’s keep it going. Join in for a 7.30 sign-in on the night. Be seeing you.

TAFCA Update

Ray Noble has posted an update on the TAFCA website including the current J R Chalmers Grand Prix standings.


“The early leader after the Dundee Chess Congress and TAFCA Allegro, Kirkcaldy is Dundee`s Laurenziu Archip (1529) on 8½ pts. In 2nd place on 7pts is Andre Babin (Castlehill). Angus Sneddon (Newport Knights) is in equal 3rd place with Jan Barron-Majerik on 6½ pts. There is a very long way to go with a lot of events to be played!

Club Night 12/11/19

Another very busy night with three TAFCA matches and four of our teams in action. As well as Christine’s juniors, with prizes! And the small matter of the defending Club Champion being pushed to the limit.


Club Championship

D Findlay (2109)        0.5       A Dawson (1806)

Alastair’s Caro-Kann proved a tough nut to crack even for David’s patient persistence, and eventually the two combatants agreed to a draw. Notes kindly supplied by Alastair.


Dundee B 0.5-3.5 St Andrews A

F Stevenson (1647)     0-1       E Gray (2017)

J Anderson (1611)      0-1       D Chambers (1674)

G Robertson (1554)    0-1       C Trainer

J Robertson Jnr (1546)0.5       S Ballantyne


A tough night for the B team against a strong St Andrews side. The bright spot a fighting draw for the returning John Robertson after a lengthy spell out of the game. Good to see him back, and in time to prevent the whitewash.


Dundee D 1.5-2.5 Dundee C

G Burton (1350)         0.5       L Archip (1529)

Z Swaczyna (1241)     1-0       R Flood (1509)

M Whisson (948)        0-1       A Woodcock (1383)

H Meadows (840)       0-1       R Burnett (1374)


The C team’s favourite scoreline, happily for us ending in our favour this time after two reverses. I played my last(!) Scandinavian against ZZ and after a sharp opening he out-tactic-ed me. Alan and Robert won convincingly against Max and Henri, while George continues to impress on his own return to the game, holding Laurenziu.



Dundee E 2-2 Castlehill F

C Sim              0-1       R McLeod (980)

T Rosazza        1-0       L Paton (944)

A Aguila         0-1       R Kanodia  (882)

M Wang          1-0       Default


Two sharp encounters on boards 2 and 3 were split, and ‘Christine lost on time in a very good position’ is quickly becoming a website catchphrase. Young Max unfortunately didn’t get a game due to Castlehill’s lack of players, but he amused himself with friendly games, and being reunited with old friend Ramit.


Plenty of friendly chess around too, and Christine’s juniors were put to the test as Jim set them three mating problems to solve. All succeeded, and earned themselves an Aero bar each! Considerably more than I’m likely to win this season methinks…


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.

Club Night 5/11/19

Us chessplayers tend to forego the cold nights standing round bonfires in favour of being hunched over chess boards to focus on a different kind of dark knight.

And there was plenty of warming entertainment on offer, whether in Christine’s inestimable junior coaching classes (see Facebook) or the small matter of the Club Championships or the numerous friendly battles engaged in on the night.


Club Championships

L Archip (1529)          0.5       R Flood (1509)

A Keenan                    1-0       C Sim

P Gibson (815)            1-0       M Whisson (948)


Peter would be delighted with his surprise win, particularly after Max’s SNCL heroics just a couple of days previous. Christine’s nemesis surfaced again as she lost on time in a still very interesting position against Andy. Really need to work on that Chris! And Laurenziu and I’s game was considered rather higher quality by Stockfish than I’d given us credit for(!) We both missed chances though.

Who needs pyrotechnics when you have chess?!

SNCL 2019-20, Sunday November 3rd: Report of Rounds 1 and 2

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.


Alastair Dawson

November 4th 2019.

Out of Club Night 31/10/19

Castlehill E 0-4 Dundee D

M Kats (1091)             0-1       G Burton (1350)

J Lynch (1080)            0-1       N Carroll (948)

D Coleman (1056)      0-1       M Whisson (948)

R Vijayakamur (482)  0-1       H Meadows (840)

An excellent performance from our D team. Unfortunately I didn’t see any of it, being otherwise engaged (see below) but this is a good Castlehill team (Rishi is already way better than his rating and improving rapidly) so although an even match on paper, to take all four games is certainly something. Well played guys!


Club Championships

R Flood (1509)           0-1       A Borwell (1836)

I’m rapidly gathering enough material for a book – My Tragic Closed Sicilian Losses to Alan, this being the third in little over a year. Thanks to our gracious hosts at Castlehill for holding the game.


The score is unfortunately incomplete as we had both stopped recording moves, being down to about a minute each. Black is clearly better now after what was a definite White advantage in the opening faded to a sad defensive effort, only for me to reach what again seemed a better ending. Not sure how we got there, but the end position was winning for Alan, though when my flag fell I had apparently been in check for a couple of moves! OK, it was Halloween, but seriously…

Club Night 29/10/19

(photo Jean Chalmers)

Perhaps our most ambitious club night in a match sense as we had four TAFCA matches to contend with on the evening. We managed, in an organising sense at least, though the results were perhaps a little mixed.

Dundee A 4-0 Castlehill B

D Findlay (2109)        1-0       R Noble (1536)

S Hogg (2064)                        1-0       K Rose (1529)

E Spencer (2025)        1-0       S Banerjee (1483)

A Dawson (1806)       1-0       E Walton (1429)

As so often, the scoreline doesn’t reflect the closeness of the contest. Ed continued his fine form with a comfortable win over Subhayu, but the games on boards 2 and 4 were tough struggles before the higher rated player prevailed. Special praise to Ray Noble who pushed his illustrious opponent all the way before losing on time in a still unclear finish. It’s almost unknown for Ray to lose on time, but shows that he put everything into the game and came close to a spectacular result.


Dundee B 1.5-2.5 Kirkcaldy A

F Stevenson (1647)     0.5       R Kynoch (1827)

J Anderson (1611)      0-1       S Blyth (1595)

G Roberston (1554)    1-0       S Subramanian

N Carroll (948)            0-1       P Anderson

After a late call-off the B team drafted Norrie into their line-up and suffered a disappointing loss despite Frank’s good result against Russell. Could have been better but despite his pressure, he couldn’t quite convert his pawn advantage to a win in the ending. Jim bit the dust to Stuart’s Dutch, and Gordon made it a Double Dutch (sorry) with a nice win over Shiva.


Dundee C 1.5-2.5 Castlehill D

L Archip (1529)          1-0       G Thomas (1331)

R Flood (1509)           0-1       C Wilson (1323)

A Woodcock (1383)   0.5       G Atkins (1279)

R Burnett (1374)         0-1       I Ford (1164)

The C team again lost when grading-wise we may have expected better. Laurenziu did his job comfortably on board 1 continuing his excellent Congress form. Alan held for a draw with Graham who has been in good form lately. Robert would be disappointed with his game, and for mine, Cameron played very well, but I just missed so much. Getting old!


Dundee E 1-3 Kirkcaldy C

P Gibson (815)            0-1       S Deas (1037)

S McKenzie (530)       0-1       A Wood (1028)

C Sim                          1-D

M Wang                      0-1       J Christie

Our E team lost to an experienced Kirkcaldy C in a match which went much as expected, aside from one of Kirkcaldy players unexpectedly not arriving! Young Max made his competitive debut for us and played well if a little wayward as is to be expected. As he gains experience, he will do well.

Dundee Congress Premier

Two more games from our joint Dundee Premier champions. David’s crushing 2nd Round win v Stephen McQuillan with notes by David (thank you!) and Ed’s huge last round victory over Fide Master Alan Tate to complete a sensational tournament. Top quality tactical play gents!

Club Night 22/10/19

A busy club night with the juniors back and a healthy adult turnout too. Some of the Congress participants were no doubt resting their laurels or licking their wounds (mine take a fair bit of licking) but we did have the joint Dundee Premier Champions in attendance, David Findlay to play a Club Championship game, and Ed Spencer to give the benefit of his expertise to some new members and us lesser mortals.

In the Championship, David overcame Jim Anderson as his Philidor-style setup vanquished Jim’s Trompowsky favourite. Alan Woodcock’s solid London System held Frank Stevenson to a draw.

We had a return visit too from young Max Wang who enjoyed tuition from Jim and a few friendlies. Max’s parents also are hopefully catching the bug after sessions with myself and Christine!

An even busier week in store next week, with four(!) matches on at the club, plus the first TAFCA Allegro at Kirkcaldy on Wednesday. Chess never sleeps.