Scottish National Chess League: 2022-23 Season
Rounds 1 and 2: 29th January 2023
With the pandemic hopefully behind us, there was a sense of excitement as Scotland’s chess players returned to the Carnegie Conference Centre in Dunfermline to start a new season of the Scottish National Chess League. With a start slightly later than usual, the tournament dates have been shifted slightly to start Rounds 1 and 2 on the 29thJanuary and finish with Round 7 on the 7th May 2023.
For this season Dundee City had 4 teams entered – our A team competing in Division 1, our B team in Division 2 while our C and D teams were both competing in Division 3. At the very outset in Round 1, the pairings led to a short straw being drawn with our C and D teams matched up against each other in Division 3. The matches were close, as always, but in the end the C team came out on top 3 with the key wins coming from Ray Noble and Baillie Armstrong. In Division 2 our B team started with a tie against the formidable Forth Valley A, the pre-tournament favourites. Although Andre Babin on Board 1, gained a full point when his opponent did not turn up, the remaining games did not swing enough in our direction with draws from Alastair Dawson and Rishi Vijaykumar insufficient to compensate for losses on Boards 4 and 5 – so a final loss to our opponents of 2-3. In Division 1, our A look likely title contenders and they shot out of the blocks with a win in Round 1 against Dunfermline. Wins on Boards 3, 4 and 5 from Ed Spencer, Andrew Wright and Stephen Hogg respectively and a draw from Helge Magnussen on Board 2 were enough to secure a 3.5-1.5 victory.
In the afternoon Round 2 in Division 3, our C team suffered at the hands of a strong Oban team. They went down 1-4 with our only win coming from Daniel Coleman on Board 4. The C team fared better securing a 2.5-2.5 draw against Lenzie. Here, our wins came from Ray Noble (a perfect 2 wins on the day) and Joshua Crofts with a draw and a half-point secured by Kit McEvoy Gould. In Division 2 our B-team hit top-form and convincingly beat Dumfries and District by 4-1 with wins coming from Rishi Vijaykumar, Alastair Dawson, Keith Emery and Iain Sneddon. Our A team also put in a strong performance with a 3.5-1.5 win over Wandering Dragons. Here, the wins came from Helge Magnussen, Andrew Wright and Stephen Hogg, the last two players both scoring impressively with 2 wins out of 2 on the day. A draw by Ed Spencer meant that our A team ran out easy winners.
So, after a day of gruelling competitive chess, our teams represented Dundee City very well. Top performers were our A team who now sit top of the league but closely followed by Edinburgh 1 and Bon Accord. In the second division, Forth Valley are out in front alongside CSBOS1 with our B team sitting mid-table. In Division 3, CSBOS2 sit at the top, our C team is mid-table while our D team has some catching-up to do sitting 2nd from the bottom.