Round 4 of the club championship has started and games must be played by the 28th March. After round 3 there is 4 players in contention for the championship David Findlay on 3, Ed Spencer, Dominic O’Rourke and Alan Woodcock all on 2.5. Alan is also the highest player in the under 1500 section.
Scottish National Chess League, Rounds 5 and 6, February 18th 2018
The penultimate Sunday of this season’s SNCL started off for the three Dundee City with a range of expectations. For the A team it was all about maintaining top spot and being able to reach the last Round in good shape for the final match against favourites Edinburgh 1. The team also had an important change. Andrew Greet was down in Newcastle playing in the prestigious Northumbria Masters. In his place came Andrew Wright, a very strong player in the Dundee chess scene from years past. In the morning the opponents were Steppes. On Board 1, David lost against IM Douglas Bryson, both Ed and Andrew Wright drew on Boards 2 and 4. But wins from Declan over Alex Gillies and Stephen Hogg over Jim Small were enough to secure a 3-2 win. In the afternoon, Dundee A were up against a substantially weakened Hamilton team. The top Boards were fiercely contested: David was beaten by Joe Redpath, Ed had a nice win against Tom Donohue but Declan lost to Stephen McQuillan. Then Boards 4 and 5 came to the rescue with straightforward wins for Andrew and Stephen giving a 3-2 win.
In Division 2 the expectation was to keep challenging for promotion. With Bon Accord runaway leaders there was a chance to push towards the 2nd place promotion slot. On the face of it the morning match against lower graded Perth was the easier match and the afternoon pairing against Giffnock much more difficult. But things did not go to plan. Against Perth, Carey Groves was beaten on Board 1 by Martin Gourlay, on Board 2 Alastair could get no more than a draw out of David Hall. But with young guns Euan Dawson and Ben Volland both winning on Boards 3 and 4 and Keith Rose losing on Board 5 the match ended up tied 2.5-2.5. So on to the afternoon. Carey had her work cut out against FM Phil Giulian and lost. Then Euan took a hard-fought draw against Rosie Giulian. He was followed by wins from both Ben and Keith. Last to finish was Alastair who overcame Antonios Floros giving us a 3-2 win!
In Division 4, our C team had a different look about it – Robert Burnett was on Board 1, Ray Flood on 2, Subhayu on 3, Josh Cargill-Brown was making his team debut on Board 4 as was Jack Gibson on Board 5. Leaders in this group were Oban and Musselburgh. So the plan was to continue picking up points and keep in touch with 2nd place. But Musselburgh were the opponents and it proved a daunting task. Robert was beaten on Board 1 but Ray Flood continued his good form with a win on Board 2. With Subhayu drawing on Board 3 the match outcome was going to be determined by what happened on Boards 4 and 5. But after superhuman efforts neither Josh nor Jack were able to hold their positions and the team lost 1.5-3.5. Things were better in the afternoon against CS BOS 2. Draws from Robert, Ray and Jack (especially well-played) plus a nice win by Josh earned the team a 2.5-2.5 draw.
So where do these results leave the teams? In Division 1, the A team lead Edinburgh 1 by half a game point. Thus in the final match at the end of March a draw would be enough to secure the title – easier said than done, however, given the strength of Edinburgh 1. In Division 2 the B team are tied in second place with Kilmarnock – who they play in the final round. Dundee, however, have a better game point score and so here also a draw would secure promotion to Division 1. In Division 4, the C team are sitting in 3rd place and only a 4-0 score in the final might be enough to catch the top two team, but even then only if some other matches go in Dundee’s favour. So, overall, Rounds 5 and 6 went well for the Dundee City teams. Certainly, no other teams in Scotland are in the position going into Round 7 of both playing for the Championship and also for promotion to Division 1. Special mention should go to Andrew Wright, Jack Gibson and Josh Cargill-Brown who all had their debuts and who all put in fine performances.
Dundee Chess Club: Richardson Cup 2017-18 Report
Dundee were drawn this year against a very strong Bon Accord team in the quarter-finals due to be played on Saturday January 20th. So on a cold winter’s morning the team set off up the A90 to Aberdeen in high spirits. The match pairings were published on Friday night and it was obvious that we were going to have a tough time. Bon Accord were represented on top board by the new Scottish Champion Murad Abdulla, Board 2 by Adam Bremner, three by Hamish Olson, four Sean Gordon, five Robert Lothian, six Daniel Maxwell. Indeed it was not until we reached Board 7 that they had a player rated below 2000 the last 2 boards being represented by Richard Jennings and Neil Irving. For our part the order was David, Ed, Andrew Wright, Alan, Dominic, myself, Jim and Ray Flood. This left us roughly outgraded by around 200 points on most boards, sometimes more – the only match that was close on grading was the Board 1 clash between David and Murad.
The venue was Aberdeen Bridge Club in Rubislaw – great accommodation, great hospitality including a nice spread of tasty sandwiches and a tray of chocolate eclairs and condiments. Once the game started things looked not so bad. Ray, in particular, was developing a very impressive position against Neil. All the other matches were close. Ed finished first succumbing to a tactic from Adam in a K Indian. The remaining matches continued for a long time with most matches delicately poised. But then the strength of Bon Accord made itself felt. First Alan, then Alastair, then Jim, resigned. Then Ray’s position slipped and he found himself in a lost ending. So with the score at 0-5 it did not look great. To make matters worse the sandwiches and the eclairs had all finished! So it was left to Dominic to battle out a draw in a minor piece ending. And then the next thing that happened was Hamish Olson resigning against Andrew. Andrew has always been an exceptionally strong player and it was great to see him back on the Scottish chess scene. Many years of inactivity made little difference to the quality of his play as he outmanoeuvred Hamish to clinch the only win of the day. The last match to finish was David and Murad who agreed a honourable draw ina N and P ending. So when the scores were added up it was a 2-6 defeat. But a terrific win from Andrew, a hard-fought draw from David and an excellent draw for Dominic against his highly rated opponent.
We left Aberdeen in the early evening. It was freezing cold and it seemed quite a long drive at the end of the day. But the cold outside was matched by the warmth of the hospitality we received from Bon Accord. A great day was had by all and we live to fight another day in next year’s competition. We wish Bon Accord all good fortune in their semi-final match.
Report: Scottish National Chess League, Rounds 3 and 4, November 26th 2017: Dundee City
Following their outstanding start in Rounds 1 and 2 of this year’s SNCL, Dundee City started Rounds 3 and 4 of the tournament on Sunday in good spirits. As usual, the Carnegie Conference Centre in Dunfermline was packed with chess players from across the country. Dundee City had 3 teams respectively in Divisions 1,2 and 4.
For the Dundee City A team the morning session started well with a 4-1 win over Wandering Dragons A. Wins came from IM Andrew Greet over CM Andrew Dunn as well as from Ed Spencer and Declan Shafi. Ed arrived late but then proceeded to win in 13 moves. So fast and emphatic was this win that with his game completed and the the board reset, some spectators couldn’t work if the match had not in fact started! David Findlay drew with the Black pieces against IM Mark Orr so that with an additional draw from Stephen Hogg on Board 5, the team had made a convincing start. Dundee City B team found it much harder going in Division 2 against Forth Valley A. A win from Alastair Dawson plus draws from Sam Gregory and Dominic O’Rourke was not enough and the team went down 2-3. In Division 4, the C team had a tough battle on their hands against Oban illustrated by Ben Volland paired against Duncan Campbell (1899) on Board 1. It was not to be for the C team with a fine win from Ray Noble plus draws by Ray Flood and Subhayu Banerjee being not enough to avert a 2-3 defeat.
In the afternoon more difficult matches against high-graded opponents were to follow. In Division 1 Dundee City A team faced a strong Edinburgh West team led by IM Craig Pritchett. This time wins from Andrew Greet over Craig plus an excellent win by David Findlay over George Neave as well as a draw from Declan Shafi against Alan Bell resulted in a 2.5-2.5 draw. In Division 2 the B team were up against favourites Bon Accord A. This time an excellent win from Dominic O’Rourke over Euan Gray (1915) plus draws from Sam Gregory and Euan Dawson resulted in a narrow 2-3 defeat. In Division 4 the C team put on a display of ‘power chess’ to defeat Dumfries and District B 4.5-0.5. Wins from Ben Volland, Ray Noble (his second of the day), Ray Flood and Subhayu Banerjee were supplemented by a draw from Agnijo Banerjee.
This season the winners of each division are to be determined by game points rather than match points. So after 4 rounds the Dundee City A team is sitting in top spot with 14.5 game points ahead of nearest rivals Edinburgh 1 on 13.5 points. In Division 2, Dundee City B team sit in 2nd place on 11.5 points behind leaders Bon Accord A who are on 16 points. In Division 4, the Dundee City C team are sitting in first place with 14.5 points ahead of Oban who are on 13.5 points. So overall the 3 teams are doing very well with 2 leading their respective Divisions and the 3rd in second place. After Christmas and New Year, these various chess battles will recommence with Rounds 5 and 6 due to take place on Sunday February 18th 2018.
World Senior Chess Championship, Acqui Terme, Italy, 6-19th November 2017
Five intrepid Scots headed out to Italy for 11 rounds of chess at the World Senior Championships in Acqui Terme. Leading the group was IM Craig Pritchett as well as Jonathan Grant, IM Stephen Mannion, Jim Webster and Alastair Dawson. The ‘youngsters’ Jonathan and Stephen were entered in the 50+ event while the other three ‘old gits’ were entered into the 65+ championship. Alastair was the ‘baby’ of this group having reached his 65th birthday just 3 weeks earlier. Players from 57 nations took part, 105 were entered in the 50+ of which the top seeds were GMs Granda Zuniga and Khalifman. In the Womens 50+ tournament the top seeds were WGMs Elvira Berend from Greece and Galina Strutinskaia from Russia. In the Mens 65+ championship 174 players took part led by GMs Evgeny Sveshnikov, Anatoly Vaisser and Eugenio Torre. In the Womens 65+ the top seed was legendary GM Nona Gaprindashvili from Georgia. With entrants from so many countries and with each player having years of tournament chess experience behind them it was guaranteed that there were no easy chess games to be had with all possible opponents likely to be as tough as nails.
Round 1 concluded with wins from Craig, Jonathan and Alastair, the latter having the best of starts against Arno Nikel (2125) from Germany. In Round 2, Stephen and Jonathan gained important wins, Craig drew while Alastair and Jim both lost. There were setbacks for Jonathan and Stephen in Round 3 and draws for the others. By the morning on which Round 4 was to take place, feelings were mixed. On a fine sunny morning and with each round starting at 2.30 in the afternoon, team Scotland went on a restful walk along the riverside. Jim had a stomach upset that was getting worse by the hour, there was a lot of general blethering and banter. By the end of the morning we were all invigorated, glad of the fresh air and ready to face whatever our opponents could throw at us.
The effect on Stephen was electric. He immediately picked up a win and then continued undefeated for the rest of the tournament. The rest of us gained creditable draws. But for Jim it was the end of the tournament and on doctor’s advice he headed home to Scotland the next day to make a proper recovery. With our team down to 4 we battled on. In Round 5 Craig was the only one to win, Stephen drew while Jonathan and Alastair both lost. Round 6 was more of the same, this time with Stephen picking up the win, Jonathan and Craig both drew while Alastair was finding it tough going and lost again. With such an arduous tournament of 11 rounds there was then a rest day to recover lost energy and recharge the batteries. The break must have done us all good because we came out in Round 7 playing some fine chess. This time Jonathan and Alastair recorded wins while Stephen and Craig picked up draws. But in Round 8 it was Craig who gained the full point, Stephen and Jonathan got the draws while Alastair slipped up.
We then entered the cutting edge of the tournament. It was clear that Craig, Jonathan and Stephen were playing well because they had started to play regularly on the live boards on the top tables at the top of the hall. Team spirits were high. Each morning we would meet in a local coffee shop, have our cappuccinos while Jonathan had his strange gloopy looking and unpronounceable chocolate drink. Then we would venture outside, some final preparation, a spot of light lunch and into the tournament hall. Our last 3 rounds were magnificent. Out of our 12 games played we lost only one. In Round 9 there were wins from Jonathan, Stephen and Alastair and a draw from Craig. In Round 10 Craig recorded his only loss of the tournament, Stephen and Alastair both won again while Jonathan drew. Then in the last round, a draw from Alastair was topped by final round wins from everybody else. In this round, Stephen had the most miraculous wining sequence of moves over Jhunjhnuwala from the United States.
So how did everything finish? In the 50+ tournament, GM Granda Zuniga dominated the field and became World Senior Champion with an impressive 9.5/11. Jonathan started the tournament ranked 43rd but finished an excellent 14th place with 7/11, a tournament performance of 2265, and a nice Eurocheque. Stephen put in a whirlwind performance after his shaky start. He started ranked 17th but charged through the field to finish 10th with 7.5/11, a tournament performance of 2133, and an even bigger Eurocheque. In the 65+ tournament, Evgeny Sveshnikov became the World Seniors Champion sweeping nearly everyone aside and winning with 8.5/11. Craig, who enjoyed the tournament and, as ever, the international camaraderie, played well in parts, especially in the opening and middle game, but was dissatisfied with his sub-par rating performance, which he explained was in large part due to serious failure to convert clear, even winning advantages, at the critical stages in three or four of his games. He started ranked 23rd and finished 25th on 7/11 and a tournament performance of 2219. Alastair had a good time. He started ranked 144th but finished in 90th place on 5.5/11 and a tournament performance of 1950. For this he won the U1800 rating prize, also a nice Eurocheque plus a glittering trophy.
So a great time was had by all. Italy is always a wonderful place to visit. We were looked after well by our hosts, everyone very friendly and welcoming. Jim has now made a full recovery and back working on his duties as Chess Scotland President. For the rest of us, it is back to the dreich weather of a Scottish winter. For all those aspiring to soon becoming 50+ as well as those who are already bona fide ‘old gits’, the World Seniors Chess Championships come highly recommended. For those who may be interested, they will be held next November in the stunning town of Bled in Slovenia.
Find more photo’s at http://www.dundeechessclub.co.uk/ws2017
Scottish National Chess League 2017-18, Dundee City, Rounds 1 and 2, October 29th, 2017 – Report
Chess players in Scotland met on Sunday for Rounds 1 and 2 of the Scottish National Chess League, held at the Carnegie Conference Centre in Dunfermline. In Division 1, the Dundee City A is once again hoping to contend for the National Championship that they have so narrowly missed time and again in recent years. In Division 2, the Dundee City B team is hoping for a successful season and contending for promotion. The Dundee City team in Division 4 is also overdue promotion to Division 4 – although the competing teams hold a different viewpoint! This season, the sense is that Dundee City although having the same A team as last season, has more strength in depth in its B and C teams and could do well. So the scene was set. In Round 1 in Division 1, the A team overcame Inverclyde in convincing fashion by 4.5-0.5 with wins from Andrew Greet, Ed Spencer, Declan Shafi and Stephen Hogg and a draw from David Findlay. In the afternoon, the Round 2 match against Thistles was always going to be much tougher facing IM Roddy McKay, Alan Grant, Sai Kong Tsang, Alastair Maxwell and Ian Marks. As it turned out, wins from Andrew, Ed and Declan and a draw from David Findlay sealed the win with 3.5-1.5. In sum, a very promising start with 100% match points but with some very tough matches still to come.
In Division 2, Dundee City B team opened their account facing IPCC led by Elliot Frew. It was not going to be easy but wins from Sam Gregory and Ben Volland supplemented by draws from Alastair Dawson, Euan Dawson and Carey Groves gave the B team a 3.5-1.5 win. Sam’s win over Gary McPheator was particularly elegant with a nice exchange sacrifice than led to a completely winning endgame. In the afternoon, the B team had a much more difficult encounter against Dumfries and District A. There was a lesson also to be learned in not paying attention to ratings. For example, Alastair’s opponent was showing as having a grade of 1310 but it later transpired that the has an English ECF rating of 165 that coverts to around 1830. The afternoon again went well with wins from Sam, Alastair and Ben plus draws from Euan and Carey giving us a very nice 4-1 victory.
In Division 4 the day started well in the morning with a 3.5 – 1.5 win over Forth Valley B. The team of Joshua Crofts, Robert Jackson (the latter two making their SNCL debuts) , Keith Rose, Agnijo Banerjee and Ray Flood is a strong one and will do well this season. Against Forth Valley B, there were wins from Joshua, Keith and Ray plus a draw from Agnijo – so a great start to the campaign. In Round 2, the C team crushed Bon Accord B. There were wins from Robert, Keith and Agnijo while Ray continued to make mincemeat out of his Board 5 opponents! A draw from Joshua completed the match.
So at the end of the day, the Dundee City C team sit equal first with Oban but half a point behind in game points. In Division 2, Dundee City B team sit equal first with a very strong Bon Accord A team but behind them by 1.5 game points. But pride of place after Round 2 goes to Dundee City A team who are in first place and half a game point ahead of Edinburgh 1 and 1.5 game points ahead of Stepps Warriors. I cannot remember, although I may be mistaken, a previous occasion when all three Dundee City teams on an SNCL day won all their matches with 6/6 – so well done to all.
Pictures and report from the Simul by David Findlay
Tuesday night’s simultaneous was very successful. David Findlay played 18 opponents and won 16, lost 1 and drew 1. Alan Borwell from our own club won his game and Keith Rose from Castlehill managed an impressive draw. There was a mixture of ages from juniors right through to senior players. Refreshments were on hand including stovies, sausage rolls, pizzas, mince pies. There were Christmas crackers on the tables to add to the festive element.
Hopefully people will see that chess can have a fun side as well as the serious side. When the season resumes on 5th January, it would be nice to see a few new members coming along to our club and that we have created a renewed interest in chess. David was very generous in giving his time to do this simultaneous and must have been exhausted by the end of it. Thanks David.
Jean and David did interviews for STV news and they are to be shown on Thursday at 6pm. In the New Year the Club Championship will resume and the ladder competition will continue. All our teams will continue their TAFCA matches and hope that we have the same success as last year.
Thank you to all who contributed to the success of this event and let’s hope we can have a few more social events in the future. If you want to make a comment or suggestion please contact Jm Anderson or Jean to have this posted to the website. Anyone who fancies doing occasional blogs should also get in touch.
The 14th Bobby Gow Memorial was a great event with Dundee chess club turning up to play against Castlehill chess club with 16 players including 3 juniors. Congratulations to Castlehill who won 11.5 to 4.5. For individual results click here
THE 14TH BOBBY GOW MEMORIAL 2017
On the evening of September 21st, Tayside chess players met at Castlehill Chess Club to contest the annual Bobby Gow Memorial start of season match between Castlehill Chess Club and Dundee Chess Club. The venue was the Castlehill club premises at the Chaplaincy Centre, University of Dundee. With the growth of interest in chess in Dundee and following the internationally acclaimed Grandmaster chess tournament held in the city this summer, it was no surprise that attendance was high. Over 60 people were at the Club on the evening and there were scarcely enough tables, sets and clocks to enable everyone to play. The Bobby Gow Memorial match was, however, played over 16 boards with the top four boards being played in the Library upstairs and the remaining 12 matches in the main hall downstairs.
Dundee were under strength on the evening with David Findlay and Alan Borwell both overseas and Ed Spencer unavailable due to poor health. Castlehill also had greater strength in depth and emerged convincing winners by the end of the evening by 11.5 – 4.5. With Ed defaulting to Declan Shafi on Board 1, the battle was tight on the top boards. Joshua Crofts lost a tense and very close match to Sam Gregory. On Board 3, Dominic O’Rourke’s Philidor defence was sufficient to defeat Darius Kosznik while Alastair Dawson and Ben Volland fought out an interesting draw in the Ruy Lopez exchange. In the main hall, full points were picked up by Jim Anderson who recovered from material down to defeat Robert Jackson and also by Frank Stevenson who defeated Paul Shafi. On Board 10 Ray Flood continued his fine form from the Scottish Championships in the summer to convincingly beat Agnijo Banerjee. But elsewhere there were losses. That said, our players on the bottom boards gained much valuable experience from their matches. Above all, everyone thoroughly enjoyed the evening and the start of season competition and all are looking forward to the new league season.