SNCL report March 2018


Round 7(March 25th 2018)

So the big day finally arrived. Dundee City A team had to face Edinburgh 1 in the final round (7) of the SNCL on March 25th 2018. They needed a draw to secure the national championship but as it turned out they emerged with a convincing 4-1 win. So many congratulations, after many years of near misses, Dundee City A-team are Champions of the Scottish National Chess League! At the start of the round Dundee City lined up with David Findlay (1), Andrew Wright (2), Ed Spencer (3), Declan Shafi (4) and Stephen Hogg (5). First to finish was Ed against Hugh Brechin. It happened early on when what looked like an evenly balanced position shifted drastically to an outright and sudden win for Ed. This gave the team a much-needed boost knowing that , thanks to Ed, they now just needed another 1.5 points. It took quite a long time for the remaining games to finish. David was always equal against FM Sergio Adan Bermudez and so also was Andrew Wight against FM Neil Berry. Both matches finished in draws which left Declan and Stephen to battle it out. Declan came into the ending comfortably ahead in an N and P endgame which he duly converted. He was followed soon after by Stephen who converted a win over Raj Bhopal. So, in the end a great 4-1 win and celebrations all round.

In Divison 2, Dundee City needed at least a draw over Kilmarnock to secure promotion to Division 1. Kilmarnock turned up with a weaker team than we all expected but like their football team at the moment their chess team was in very good form! On Board 1, Carey was up against Chukwuka Allor, Sam was on 2 against Kenny Malkin, Dominic faced Jim Kleboe, Alastair played David Congalton and Euan played John McNicoll. It all started so well since after half an hour Euan had made a simple winning B sacrifice and mated Black very quickly. But things went pear-shaped thereafter – Carey succumbed on Board 1 to Chukwuka, Sam lost to a sacrifice by Kenny Malkin and Dominic was ground down by an inspired Jim Kleboe. All three lost and despite a win from Alastair on Board 4 the team went down in flames 2-3. So a sad end to the season and our promotion push will have to wait for next season!

The Dundee City C team faced Corstorphine in Division 4. Keith Rose lost to Richard Dowling, Robert Burnett despite feeling unwell fought out a brave draw the exchange down against Analben Mehta. But Ray Flood overcame David Watson and Subhayu Banerjee produced a great win over Ernesto Salvatore and Josh Cargill-Brown battled hard against James Crerar but succumbed in the end. So a 2-3 loss but a brave performance by all and the team lives to fight another day. Maybe next year – promotion to Division 3 is overdue!

Overall, it has been an okay season by the Dundee City teams with one golden performance. Pride of place and congratulations go of course goes to Dundee A-team, new national champions! Scores for individual players were Andrew Greet 4/4, David Findlay 3/7, Ed Spencer 5.5/7, Declan Shafi 5.5/7, Stephen Hogg 4.5/7 and Andrew Wright 1.5/2. For Dundee City B scores were Carey 1/7, Sam Gregory 3/5, Alastair 5/7, Euan 4/7, Ben Volland 4/4, Dominic 1.5/3 and Keith Rose 1/2. In the C team the scores were – Joshua Crofts 1.5/2, Robert Jackson ½, Keith Rose 2/3, Agnijo Banerjee 2/4, Ray Flood 6/7, Ben Volland ½, Subhayu Banerjee 3/5, Ray Noble 2/2, Robert Burnett 0.5/3, Josh Cargill Brown 1/3 and Jack Gibson 0.5/2.

Alastair Dawson