Dundee D  v  Perth B

Dundee D  1-3  Perth B

H Meadows (840)  0-1  J Warren (1480)
S McKenzie (530)  0-1  I Washington (1423)
R Bremner  0-1  J Williamson (1338)
T Rosazza  1-0  Default

The D Team were heavily outgunned here but put up a staunch fight. Bouyed by being 1-0 up before the start when Perth were unable to field a full side, they proceeded to belie their comparatively lower ratings and took the fight to their opponents. Ross, battle-hardened by his congress experience of the weekend, played strongly to discomfort John Williamson before succumbing to a kingside attack. Scott’s trademark stodgy system had Ian caught up in a mire before he gradually extricated himself. Henri went toe to toe with John Warren and fought to the bitter end but was eventually outmaneuvered by his experienced adversary.

A performanced to be proud of by a team who have consistently punched above their weight in this division.

Perth B v Dundee C

The C Team were on the road again as we headed to Perth just a day after the Congress there. Terrible weather, but undeterred as we sought to improve on last week’s 2-2 draw with our opponents.

Perth B  1.5-2.5  Dundee C

1. J Warren 1480  0.5  L Archip 1529
2. I Washington 1423  0-1  R Flood 1509
3. J Williamson 1338  1-0  T Harley 1439
4. T Wardlaw 1174  0-1  R Burnett 1374

A good start as Robert won quickly against Tom. Trevor is unfortunately rusty and currently in the stage of his comeback of making random tactical errors. Ian’s ambitious pressing against my French was perhaps not quite sound and I won a rook ending with my extra pawns. Laurenziu was in all kinds of trouble against John, a piece down but helped by an ending with two knights v bishop and just three pawns each on the same side. Stout defending held on, and secured a good win for the side.

A solid win and a continuation of a better run for the C Team. Our early season results probably rules out a promotion challenge, but lets hope to finish strongly.

Perth Congress 2020

The Perth Congress rolled into the new decade with a record entry. Doors were closed at the start of the week despite extra tables being put in to accomodate the number of players wishing to participate. A healthy sign for chess in Scotland.

As ever, the venue at the Salutation Hotel was warm and welcoming despite the weather. Perth may have been windswept, but the Congress is endlessly interesting.

The club had five representatives this time. Stephen Hogg and Alastair Dawson in the Open, myself, Trevor Harley and Ross Bremner in the Major. Stephen and Alastair took byes in the first round and performed creditably over the weekend games.

In the Major, Trevor had a solid run, with just one loss that he’ll be disappointed with. Ross found it tough in his first congress and debated whether he should have opted for the Minor instead. All good learning experience though. My own tournament started well, but faded somewhat with three successive draws, only one of them of any interest. Still, an improvement on recent months, and the first congress for a while that I’ve gone through unbeaten.

A hugely enjoyable event as ever, with thanks and appreciation to John McNicoll, Andy Howie and the organising team for an impeccable job once again.

46 entries               Rating       Rating Performance
11= S Hogg  3/5       2065               1912
15= A Dawson  2.5  1806               1823
51 entries
4= R Flood  3.5         1509             1654
42=T Harley  1.5       1439             1167
R Bremner  1.5             0               1128

TAFCA KO 5/2/20

The A Team motored into Kirkcaldy to continue the defence of our KO trophy. A large grading advantage, which naturally meant a large time handicap. Alan, Alastair and Frank had just 6 minutes against their opponents 54! I had the luxury of 11 minutes against my opponent’s 49.

1st Round
Kirkcaldy 0-4 Dundee A
P Selbie 1241  0-1  A Borwell 1836
A Owens 1149  0-1  A Dawson 1806
K Wan 1060  0-1  F Stevenson 1647
A Wood 1028  0-1  R Flood 1509

First Round clean sweep put us on easy street-ish. Alastair and I won quickly. This often happens when your opponent gets caught up and feels compelled to move almost as quickly as you have to. Alan and Frank’s opponents were more circumspect and they had to work hard for their wins, while of course moving almost instantly most of the time. You can think and formulate plans on your opponent’s time of course, but it’s not exactly the same thing! Anyway, we were in the driving seat now.

2nd Round
Kirkcaldy 1.5-2.5 Dundee A
P Selbie  0.5  A Borwell
A Owens  0-1  A Dawson
K Wan  1-0  F Stevenson
A Wood  0-1  R Flood
1.5 – 6.5

Alastair won quickly again to put us over the finishing line. With the pressure off, things were naturally more relaxed, and Alan conceded the draw with very little time left while Frank lost his return game. My opponent was determined to utilise his time advantage more carefully this time, and actually exceeded the time limit before I did(!), though I had built up a large material advantage by then.
So we move into the semis, where a likely different challenge will await us. Stronger opponents, but more even time distribution. All good fun…

Club Night 4/2/20

Two TAFCA matches at the club, along with the usual enthusiastic turnout of juniors.

Dundee C  2-2  Perth B

1. R Flood 1509  0.5  J Warren 1480
2. T Harley 1439  0-1  I Washington 1423
3. A Woodcock 1383  0.5  J Williamson 1338
4. R Burnett 1374  1-0  J Shovlin 866

Grading-wise not a poor result, though I somehow let a two pawn advantage slip into a drawn ending, Trevor blundered badly at the finish, Alan was material ahead but may well have lost on time had he not agreed the draw. Robert performed up to scratch with a comfortable win.

Dundee D  1-3  Castlehill E

1. Z Swaczyna 1261  1-0  N Waugh 1161
2. M Whisson 948  0-1  M Kats 1091
3. A Aguila  0-1  D Hayes
4. H Meadows  840 0-1  R McLeod 980

D Team outgunned on the night here by a slightly superior graded Castlehill team.

SNCL report

Scottish National Chess League, February 2nd, 2020 Rounds 3 & 4, Carnegie Conference Centre, Dunfermline.

Dundee City had 20 players on hand to compete in Rounds 3 and 4 of this year’s SNCL. Competition was extremely tough as usual. When silence descended in the hall except for the shuffling of chess pieces, our A team embarked on a bruising encounter against Edinburgh West who were led by IM Craig Pritchett on Board 1 down to George Neave (2116) on Board 5. It was a great debut for Jacque Ophoff on Board 1 who defeated Craig Pritchett. This was followed by fine draws by David Findlay (vs Joe Redpath), Stephen Hogg (vs Neil Farrell) and Ed Spencer (vs George Neave). So a 2.5/2.5 draw against arguably the strongest Division 1 team. In Division 2, Dundee City B had on the face of it not too hard a match against Dumfries but the match ended up drawn. Full points were collected by Ben Volland and Robert Jackson on Boards 4 and 5, Alastair drew against Nikos Argyroudis to secure the draw. In reality, it was not so good however, since he (this author) inexplicably threw away a simple win in time trouble. In Division 3, Dundee City C lost 2-3 against a strong Perth team. The highlight of this match was a superb win on Board 1 by debut Michael Dugdale over Martin Gourlay. But a win on bottom board by Ed Walton was not enough to prevent the loss. In Division 5, Dundee City were up against it in an encounter against Edinburgh and Fife Red Bulls. The latter team was hugely strong and led by WFM Rhian Hughes ably supported on Board 2 by Lloyd Hughes. So out-gunned and out-manoeuvred the team went down 0-5.
And so to the afternoon. Nothing is easy in the SNCL and nowhere was this more the case than in Division 1 where the Dundee City A team were up against Bon Accord A. With FMs Murad Abdulla and Hamish Olsen on the top two boards and Daniel Maxwell, Euan Gray and Duncan Harwood on boards 3,4 and 5 this was not going to be easy. In a tense encounter between Murad and Jacques Ophoff and with both players having no more than a minute each left on their clocks it was Murad who came out on top. But this was countered by fine wins from Stephen Hogg and Ed Spencer and draws from Andrew Wright and David Findlay. Ed, in particular, starred in a difficult position where he pulled off a magical Q sacrifice with a smothered mate threat to win the game. So the A team ended up winning by 3-2. In Division 2 there was some trepidation since Dundee City B were up against a very strong Kilmarnock team with Jamie Malkin, Eliot Frew and Kenny Malkin on the top 3 boards. In the end Kilmarnock proved too strong with the only points on the team sheet coming from Alastair with a win over Kenny Malkin and a draw by Ben Volland against Douglas Hamilton. So the final result was 1.5-3.5 to Kilmarnock. In Division 3, Dundee City played well against Pentland Hills but suffered a 2-3 loss. Here, the top performance was a very good win by Keith Rose over Andrew Clark supported by draws from Jan Barron-Majerik and Ray Flood. In Division 5 things turned out well for Dundee City D against Hamilton B. Here, Marten Kats gained a convincing win on Board 2. And there were wins also for Max Whisson and our young talent Rishi Vijaykumar – so a great 3-2 win.
To sum up – after 4 rounds in Division 1, Edinburgh West are marginally ahead on 6 points with 3 chasing teams on 5 points – Dundee City A, Stepps and Bon Accord A. In Division 2 Dundee City B are sitting mid-table on 3 points. The clear leaders here are Thistles and Kilmarnock –each on 8 points. In Division 3, things are looking not so good for Dundee City C who presently sit bottom of the Division. But some good performances in Rounds 5 and 6 will help considerably. In Division 5, Dundee City D are presently in 6th place with 4 points. Our Juniors are doing well and gaining priceless experience with every match played. Next up is the 3rd match day on March 1st – good luck to all. Star performance of the day in this case needs to be shared between Michael Dugdale’s win over Martin Gourlay and Jacques Ophoff’s win over IM Craig Pritchett.



With thanks to Ray Noble, report on last night’s event.

Entries 27 (19 last year!)

What a fantastic night at Perth Chess Club for the third installment of the TAFCA Allegro Championships 2019-20 series!

Perth Chess Club proved they have what it takes to accommodate and organise an event like this. There were raffles, a Quiz with a nice twist and food & drink on offer!

A big thank you to Perth Chess Club for hosting the event. Thank you to David Hall (Quizmaster!), Ian Washington (Raffles!), Martin Gourlay, John Shovlin and anybody else for being part of the successful organising committee!

Thanks to Jim Anderson for doing the computer work and to you the players that turned up and made it a night to remember.

For the full report, please go to the TAFCA website at:


Club Night 21/01/2020

Local derby night at the club, with C v D team match and a heavyweight Club Championship game.

Club Championship
A Borwell 1836  0-1  E Spencer 2025
A game Alan will quickly blot out, as an unfortunate blunder lost a piece after just 15 moves. No way back at this level.

Dundee C  4-0  Dundee D
L Archip 1529  1-0  Z Swaczyna 1241
R Flood 1509  1-0  M Whisson 948
T Harley 1439  1-0  N Carroll 948
R Burnett 1374  1-0  R Bremner
A slightly harsh scoreline on the D team, but at least the C team found their wings in time. ZZ’s Maroczy-type setup didn’t quite bind enough, Max lost too much time with his Scandinavian, Norrie’s rather passive structure caved against Trevor, and Ross allowed too many weaknesses round his king. The D team are punching above their weight in this division, and this setback shouldn’t dishearten them too much.

A reminder that due to boiler works in the church there will be no club night next week, 28th Jan.  We return Feb 4th.

Richardson cup 18th January 2020

The ¼ final of this year’s Richardson Cup was held at the Inchture Hotel on Saturday January 18th. The format of Richardson Cup matches consists of teams of 8 players and a playing session of 40 moves in 2 hours plus 30 minutes each in addition once the time control has been reached. This year Dundee were strengthened by our new Board 1, Jacques Ophoff – giving a team of Jacques, David Findlay, Andrew Wright, Ed Spencer, Stephen Hogg, Gary Weir, Alan Borwell and Euan Dawson – this is by any standard a very strong team but it could be argued that Edinburgh were even stronger, perhaps one of the top two teams in Scotland and led on Board 1 by FM Neil Berry.
All of the matches were lengthy and extremely tight. First to finish was Stephen Hogg who lost a very tight match as Black against Andrew Green. There followed several draws. Alan Borwell drew his match against the high-graded Hugh Brechin. Jacques used a Slav Defence to obtain equality against Neil Berry and eventually a draw was agreed in an evenly balanced and Queenless middlegame. Then, Euan Dawson reached a drawn R and P endgame against the highly-rated Raj Bhopal. But then a couple of reverses. Ed Spencer found it tough going against Adam Bremner in a Sicilian Morra Gambit and eventually resigned. Then Andrew Wright and Petros Walden on Board 3 reached a time scramble leading up the time control. Such was the speed of play by both as the time control approached that the game moves had to be reconstructed – and at that point it was found that Andrew has lost on time with his opponent only having himself 5 seconds left on his clock.
Shortly afterwards David Findlay and Calum MacQueen agreed a draw on Board 2. Which left Gary Weir up against Graeme Kafka on Board 6. Gary has not played much chess in the last 2 years but the standard of his play did not reflect that. He entered the middle-game a pawn up with Graeme struggling to hold a fragile position. But hang on Graeme did, and with the match already decided, a draw was agreed between the two players. The final result was 5.5 – 2.5 in favour of Edinburgh. Dundee should be proud of drawing 5 of the matches against higher-grade opposition. But at the end of the day, the strength in depth of the Edinburgh was probably the telling factor that enabled them to secure a place in the semi-finals. Overall it was an enthralling afternoon of high-quality chess and Dundee Chess Club should be proud of having put up such a fighting performance.

Click here to play through games.