PERTH CHESS CONGRESS 8-10th FEBRUARY, 2019: REPORT

Chess players from the two chess clubs in Dundee City – Castlehill Chess Club and Dundee Chess Club – took part in the Perth Chess Congress that was held this weekend, 8-10th February 2019, at the Salutation Hotel, Perth. It was a wonderful event, a great playing hall with sufficient playing space, good hotel hospitality, an excellent atmosphere and a packed room full of chess players. Perth is well-known for being one of the best Congresses on the Scottish Chess circuit and it was no surprise therefore that there were a high number of entries. The event was superbly managed by David Congalton and his team of arbiters – and credit is due to them (Andy Howie, Alastair Maxwell, Steve Nicoll) – apologies if we have missed anyone – without them there would be no Congress. In total there were 37 competitors in the prestigious Open, 51 in the Major, 43 in the Minor and an additional 18 in the separate Junior Tournament that took place throughout Saturday – a total entry of almost 150 players. There were a significant number of Dundee players competing in the various events. Back home, a commentary on Facebook of events in the tournament hall was provided by Keith Rose – and we are very grateful to Keith for all his help with this (indeed the pairings and results listed below are borrowed from Keith’s posts) – it is so valuable to those not present (parents, friends, families and the wider international chess audience) to keep track of individual player performances. The results lists below are those provided by Keith with additional comments given.

On the Friday evening and Round 1, many players took byes but the core of the tournament players were at their seats when play began at 6.30 pm.

Round 1 results: Open- Alastair Dawson (1792) ½ – ½ Willie Rutherford (1961) Euan Dawson (1762) 0 – 1 Rob Colston (1915) Andre Babin, Stephen Hogg and Ben Volland byes Major- Ray Noble (1482) 0 – 1 David Harvey (1728) Ray Flood (1649) ½ – ½ Ian Washington (1434) Subhayu Banerjee (1403) 0 – 1 Joseph Watson-McFie (1600) Marten Kats (1114) 0 – 1 Andy McCallum (865) Cameron Wilson, Colin Young & Jan Barron-Majerik = byes Minor- Charvi Kanodia (701) 1 – 0 William Reid (1174) Rishabh Akula (608) 1 – 0 Daniel Boyle (1128) Ramit Kanodia (757) 0 – 1 Angus Ruthven (1188) Krish Akula (488) 0 – 1 Andy McCulloch (1108) Lisa Paton & Robbie MacLeod byes.

On Saturday the tournament hall was filled further by the Juniors who played a separate Allegro tournament in an adjacent room. After 7 gruelling rounds for the players but probably more so the parents, Ramit Kanodia emerged in 2nd= place on 5/7 – a wonderful performance. A few places behind in 9th= place on 3.5/7 was Max Jednaszewski, a score that could have been higher had he not arrived late and missed the first 2 rounds! Junior Tournament Scores (from 7 rounds of play) Ramit Kanodia – 2nd=, 5/7  (tournament performance 538,) Max Jednaszewski – 9th=, 3½, (977) Krish Akula 12th=, (346),  Rishi Vijayakumar 12th=, (475), Alexander Barron-Majerik 16th=, (232), Rishabh Anthuvan 16th =, (529).

Meanwhile in the tournament hall there were some amazing results coming through in Round 2. In the Open, Ben Volland, who had a bye on the Friday evening, pulled off a great win over Raymond Wynarczyk while Stephen Hogg who also took a bye in Round 1 overcame Alan Jelfs. In the Major, old adversaries Ray Noble and Subhayu Banerjee faced each other this time the result being in favour of the latter. In the Major, Colin Young moved up the field with a nice win over Seigrun McGilchrist while Jan Barron-Majerik converted another fine win to move up the table.

Round 2 results – Open- Alastair Dawson(1792) ½ – ½ Chris James (1891) Euan Dawson (1762) ½ – ½ Michael Ridge (1886) Andre Babin (1844) ½ – ½ Euan Gray (2013) Ben Volland (1795) 1 – 0 Raymond Wynarczyk (1904) Alan Jelfs ( 1852) 0-1 Stephen Hogg (2009) Major- Ray Noble (1482) 0 – 1 Subhayu (1403) Ray Flood (1649) ½ – ½ Ritvik Maheshwari (1424) Cameron Wilson (1302) 0 – 1 Jonathan Mckay (1540) Colin Young (1360) 1 – 0 Siegrun Macgilchrist (1607) Jan Barron-Majerik (1629) 1 – 0 Steve Sawaryn (1422) Minor- Charvi Kanodia (701) 0 – 1 Alan Buchan (1252) Marten Kats (1114) 0 – 1 Iwo Labuda (0) Lisa Paton (926) 1 – 0 Munshi Aryan(475) Robbie MacLeod (952) 0 – 1 David Newton (653)

Saturday afternoon and Round 3 and the competition was hotting up. Tournament favourite in the Open, Hamish Olsen, moved up to top with a perfect 3/3. Elsewhere Andre Babin notched up a fine win over David Robertson while Ben Volland and Stephen Hogg fought out a tough draw. In the Major there was a fine win for Cameron Wilson over Seigrun McGilchrist. Notable in the Minor was a win for Marten Kats.

Round 3 results – Open- Ben Volland (1795) ½ – ½ Steve Hogg (2009) Andre Babin (1844) 1 – 0 David A Robertson (1960) Euan Dawson (1762) ½ – ½ Douglas Will (1886) Alastair Dawson (1792) ½ – ½ Raymond Wynarczyk (1904) Major- Ray Noble (1482) 0 – 1 George R McRobert (1373) Ray Flood (1649) 0 – 1 Michael McRobert (1469) Cameron Wilson (1302) 1 – 0 Siegrun Macgilchrist (1607) Colin Young (1360) 0 – 1 Jonathan Mckay (1540) Jan Barron-Majerik (1629) ½ – ½ Craig Fay (1350) Subhayu Banerjee (1403) 0 – 1 David Burke (1570) Minor- Charvi Kanodia (701) 0 – 1 Andy McCulloch (1108) Marten Kats (1114) 1 – 0 William Reid (1174) Lisa Paton (926) – Ross Blackford (612) Robbie MacLeod (952) ½ – ½ Athol Macgilchrist (1088)

And so we move into Sunday morning and Round 4. In the Open, Hamish Olsen continued his fine form as favourite for the event to move onto 4/4. Elsewhere Ben Volland overcame Stephen McQuillan in a King and Pawn ending, Stephen Hogg beat Andre Babin with the Black pieces while Alastair Dawson with a draw against CM Paul Roberts kept up his run of drawing every game in the tournament. In the Major, Ray Noble started to find some form to beat Donald Wilson very quickly (He had more time on his clock than he started with!), Colin Young battled out a draw against Keith Atchinson and Jan Barron-Majerik drew his match against Kalyan Kante.

Round 4 results – Open- Ben Volland (1795) 1 – 0 Stephen McQuillan (1984) Andre (1844) 0 – 1 Steve Hogg (2009) Euan (1762) ½ – ½ Keith Emery (1874) Alastair (1792) ½ – ½ Paul Roberts (2142) Major- Ray Noble (1482) 1 – 0 Donald Wilson (1420) Ray Flood (1649) 0 – 1 Subhayu (1403) Cameron Wilson (1302) 0 – 1 Richard Dowling (1596) Colin Young (1360) ½ – ½ A Keith Aitchison (1667) Jan Barron-Majerlik (1629) ½ – ½ Kalyan Kante (1511) Minor- Charvi Kanodia(701) 0 – 1 Thor Saemundsson (1098) Marten Kats (1114) ½ – ½ Vundi Karthekeya (857) Lisa (926) 0 – 1 Ishan Kumar (862) Robbie (952) 1 – 0 Krish (488) Rishabh (608) ½ – ½ Andy McCulloch (1108) Ramit (757) 0 – 1 Athol Macgilchrist (1088)

And so to the final Round 5 matches on Sunday afternoon and a large number of chess players near the point of exhaustion! There was a surprise in the Open, where Hamish Olson who had been leading the tournament was beaten by Chinese player Xian Junhao, the latter winning the tournament outright on 4.5/5. Ben Volland faltered in the final round against Helge Magnussen, Euan Dawson finished the tournament in style with a fine win over Alan Jelfs, Alastair Dawson made it 5 draws in a row but perhaps most credit should go to Stephen Hogg who beat Duncan Campbell to reach 4/5 and share 2nd place in the Open – well done Stephen. Ben Volland finished the tournament with the U-1850 grading prize, Jan Barron-Majerik excelled with a share (among 6 players) of 1st place in the Major on 4/5. Colin Young won the U1380 grading prize, Robbie MacLeod won the U1100 grading prize while Ramit Kanodia shared 2nd place in the Junior tournament with 5/7.

Overall, in terms of grading performances, the most notable grading results were: for the OPEN: Stephen Hogg (Dundee) +121 points, Ben Volland (Castlehill) +230, Alastair Dawson (Dundee) +202, Euan Dawson (Castlehill) +39, Andre Babin (Castlehill) +24. In the MAJOR it was, Jan Barron-Majerik (Castlehill) +145, Subhayu Banerjee (Castlehill) +248, Colin Young (Castlehill) +279, Cameron Wilson (Castlehill) +78. In the MINOR the best performances were, Robbie MacLeod (Castlehill) +2, Rishabh Akula (Castlehill) +400, Ramit Kanodia (Castlehill) +72 and Charvi Kanodia (Castlehill)+ 158. It is particularly nice to see so many junior players doing well and progressing so fast. We follow Keith’s excellent commentary on Facebook in leaving out above those individuals whose grading performances required the minus button!

Round 5 results – Open- Ben Volland (1795) 0 – 1 Helge Magnussen (2045) Andre Babin (1844) 0 – 1 Paul Roberts (2142) Euan Dawson (1762) 1 – 0 Alan Jelfs (1852) Alastair Dawson (1792) ½ – ½ Jake Sanger (1888) Stephen Hogg (2009) 1-0 Duncan Campbell (1924) Major- Ray Noble (1482) 0 – 1 Perter Doris (1477) Ray Flood (1649) 0 – 1 George R McRobert (1373) Cameron Wilson (1302) 0 – 1 Frankie Murray (1729) Colin Young (1360) 1 – 0 William Harkins (1438) Jan Barron-Majerlik (1629) 1 – 0 Jim Robertson (1595) Subhayu Banerjee (1403) 1 – 0 William Clinton (1682) Minor- Charvi Kanodia (701) 0 – 1 Walter Pearson (1334) Marten Kats (1114) 1 – 0 William Walker (827) Lisa Paton (926) 0 – 1 Mark smith (1210) Robbie MacLeod (952) 1 – 0 David Fowler (1104) Rishabh Akula (608) 0 – 1 Iain Hope (1355) Krish Akula (488) 0 – 1 Ramit Kanodia (757)

Alastair Dawson 11th February 2019.