Richardson Cup January 2018

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.

Alastair Dawson