Day 3: Glorney Gilbert International, Co. Meath, Ireland.
So the final day started with pairings against England. With aggregate game points deciding the team places, all was to play for. In the Gilbert, Scotland struggled against much higher graded opponents with Stuthi Hegde continuing her good form with a very creditable draw but the team losing 0.5-2.5. In the Glorney, Scotland also found it tough going with Lennart Koehn and Jamie Underwood being the only two to draw their matches. The scoreline of 1-4 does not reflect the huge effort the boys put in with most matches going down to complex endgames. In the Robinson, the team excelled with wins from Kai Pannwitz and Lukah Connolly-Sams and draws from Euan Gray, Callum Smith and Siddarth Berera. This resulted in cheers all round with a whopping 3.5-2.5 win over the auld enemy. From the games, special praise goes to Kai Pannwitz for quality power play where two pawns on the 6th rank supported by major and minor pieces decided the game. In the Stokes, the U-12s found the strength of the England juniors too much on the day with successes limited to a winning Kingside attack from John Morrison together with draws from Jake Sanger and Andrew MacMillan leading to a 2-4 loss.
And so to the afternoon and Wales. After lunch and a short interlude out in the fresh air, the players returned to their boards for the final push. In the Gilbert, losses on boards 1 and 2 were compensated for by yet another fine performance by Stuthi Hegde who won the individual board prize with 2.5 points. The result confirmed Scotland in 4th place and England as the winners on board count. Caitlin, Rachel and Stuthi played some sparkling chess throughout the tournament and they deserve every credit for their respective performances against much higher-graded opponents. In the Glorney, Scotland turned on the style in the afternoon with a whitewash 5-0 victory over Wales. Declan Shafi won the board prize with 3.5 while Ireland and England tied for first place. There was little between the teams but Ireland were awarded winners on a Board Count of +1. So many congratulations to Ireland as the winners of the 2015 Glorney Cup.
In the Robinson, wins from Kai Pannwitz, Euan Gray together with a win late in the afternoon from Euan Dawson forced a 3-3 draw with Wales. Overall the tournament was won by a very strong Ireland team with Scotland just a single game point behind Wales in 4th place. Euan Gray, Kai Pannwitz and Euan Dawson were top scorers each with 3 with Kai Pannwitz deservedly being awarded the individual board medal. In the Stokes, Scotland also drew 3-3 with Wales with wins from Ben Volland, Jake Sanger and James Hartman. Ben Volland was Scotland’s top scorer in all competitions with 4 points and won the individual board medal. Scotland finished in 4th place while England edged out Wales by half a point for 1st place.
To conclude, sincere thanks goes to the Irish Chess Union for putting on such a fantastic tournament enjoyed by all. Special thanks should also go to Calum MacQueen for the huge effort in the management of the Scotland teams – he is an inspiration to all of us. Thanks should also be expressed to the coaches, Hamish Olson, Calum and GM Matthew Turner. In particular Matthew’s coaching continues to be inspirational for the children. Finally thank you to the parents, especially to Liz Connolly-Sams, Billy Reid and Alison Smith whose efforts behind the scenes held everything together.