TAFCA Allegro Championship Dundee


The TAFCA Allegro Championship roadshow rolled into Dundee Chess Club for our local version, and proved another huge success in a line of huge successes for this revamped tournament.

This was perhaps the strongest entry of the series to date, with three 2000+ rated players and a host of other very strong competitors taking part. Despite this, our own David Findlay stormed through the evening and, though not without incident, recorded a perfect 5/5 shutout to take the title, all the more remarkable considering he was recording all his games, even at 15 minutes per game!

David conquered Alan Woodcock, A Patzer, Alastair Dawson, and fellow colossi Ed Spencer and Stephen Hogg in the last two rounds for a superb triumph, defending the title he shared last season with Declan Shafi.

The turnout of 34 players equalled last season’s top attendance, despite appalling weather, and many thanks to all players who came, saw, and hopefully enjoyed a fine night’s chess.

1st D Findlay (Dundee) 5/5

2nd= S Hogg

E Spencer

A Borwell

R Flood

L Archip (All Dundee) 4/5

These events are fast becoming the highlights of the chess season, and those regular attendees can testify to the evenings of good chess, and great fun all round. A vote of thanks is owed to Newport Knights who hosted the inaugural tournament last season, and made it so much more than a chess tournament with great food and prizes at a time when nobody knew what to expect from the new addition to the calendar. They set the bar, and happily all other clubs have taken the baton and run with it, each imparting their own slant to a great night’s entertainment.

Huge thanks for the buffet on this night to Jean Chalmers who provided a veritable feast for everyone and served it all up with aplomb. Jean also found time to cajole (?!) the sales of the raffle tickets for many fine prizes generously donated by our members, and books donated by Alan Borwell. Thanks as ever to irrepressible MC Ray Noble for orchestrating the evening, and Jim Anderson for running the technical aspects of the tournament. Thanks also to the army of volunteers who cleared up in record time after the event. Much appreciated.

The circuit rolls on to Perth Chess Club on Monday 27th January 2020. Over to you guys!

Many Thanks again to everyone who contributed to and enjoyed a great night.


Kirkcaldy B  v  Dundee A  27/11/19


The A team continued the defence of their Division 1 title with a comfortable win in Kirkcaldy.


Kirkcaldy B 0-4 Dundee A

E Henderson (1267)    0-1       D Findlay (2109)

P Selbie (1241)            0-1       E Spencer (2025)

C McDonald               0-1       A Dawson (1806)

P Anderson                 0-1       R Flood (1509)

Castlehill F  v  Dundee E  21/11/19



(With thanks to Ray Noble for results and pictures)


Castlehill F 1.5-2.5 Dundee E

  1. R McLeod (980) 1-0 P Gibson (815)
  2. L Paton (944) 0.5 S McKenzie (530)
  3. R Akula (J 683) 0-1 T Rosazza
  4. K Akula (J 569) 0-1 A Aguila

A very good win for the E team, in the rematch between the teams of their 2-2 draw just ten days previous!

Club Night 19/11/19


The Dundee A team began the defence of the TAFCA Handicap Knockout Cup in eventually convincing fashion against our friends from Newport. Dundee A’s handicap is usually me, but despite my playing in every round last year, we somehow managed to win the trophy. This was a pleasant first step in this season’s effort.

1st Round

Dundee A 2-2 Newport Knights B

A Borwell (1836) (B)  0-1       S Finnie (1379)

A Dawson (1806)       1-0       A Sneddon (1332)

F Stevenson (1647)     0-1       A Wallace (1200)

R Flood (1509)           1-0       F Rossiter (1200)

The handicap factor is of course time, and we were giving away quite a bit of it. I had 18 minutes to my opponent’s 42, and I was the best off! Our other boards had about 12 minutes each. This naturally leads to some strange and occasionally frantic play. You can be grinding along quite happily, then a glance at your clock shows you only have a few minutes left. I had convinced myself that my semi-accidental exchange sacrifice would bear fruit, but I had to rely on my opponent’s co-operation! Alan and Frank were not so fortunate, with Frank actually losing on time in a clearly advantageous position. Alan won a piece and then exchanged into the ending, but with only one minute remaining, left a rook en prise!

This kind of thing happens all the time in this competition, but it left us in a tricky situation. A drawn match would put the lower rated team through on tie-break…

2nd Round

Dundee A 4-0 Newport Knights B

A Borwell (W)1-0       S Finnie

A Dawson       1-0       A Sneddon

F Stevenson    1-0       A Wallace

R Flood           1-0       F Rossiter

Dundee A 6-2 Newport Knights B

Fortunately we were able to navigate the second round of games without much incident to get through comfortably enough. A typical adventure, but it’s what makes this cup so much fun(!?) We live to fight again.


Club Championship Rd 2

N Carroll (948)            0-1       S Zdenek (1241)

T Rosazza                    1-0       M Wang


The Club Championship rolled along with the two games going to expectations. A reminder that due to the rather loaded nature of the first half of the season and all the events and fixtures taking place, the deadline for this round is extended to the end of January. Round 3 starts on Feb 4

One of those ‘events’ is the 2nd TAFCA Allegro which takes place at our club next Tuesday (26th November). This is a 5 round Swiss competition with each player having 15 minutes on the clock. It’s a huge fun night for those of you who have never taken part before, and we’ll have raffles and refreshments and other goodies on hand too. There will be no Junior club for this night only. Our shindig was the best attended of last season so let’s keep it going. Join in for a 7.30 sign-in on the night. Be seeing you.

TAFCA Update


Ray Noble has posted an update on the TAFCA website including the current J R Chalmers Grand Prix standings.


“The early leader after the Dundee Chess Congress and TAFCA Allegro, Kirkcaldy is Dundee`s Laurenziu Archip (1529) on 8½ pts. In 2nd place on 7pts is Andre Babin (Castlehill). Angus Sneddon (Newport Knights) is in equal 3rd place with Jan Barron-Majerik on 6½ pts. There is a very long way to go with a lot of events to be played!

Club Night 12/11/19


Another very busy night with three TAFCA matches and four of our teams in action. As well as Christine’s juniors, with prizes! And the small matter of the defending Club Champion being pushed to the limit.


Club Championship

D Findlay (2109)        0.5       A Dawson (1806)

Alastair’s Caro-Kann proved a tough nut to crack even for David’s patient persistence, and eventually the two combatants agreed to a draw. Notes kindly supplied by Alastair.


Dundee B 0.5-3.5 St Andrews A

F Stevenson (1647)     0-1       E Gray (2017)

J Anderson (1611)      0-1       D Chambers (1674)

G Robertson (1554)    0-1       C Trainer

J Robertson Jnr (1546)0.5       S Ballantyne


A tough night for the B team against a strong St Andrews side. The bright spot a fighting draw for the returning John Robertson after a lengthy spell out of the game. Good to see him back, and in time to prevent the whitewash.


Dundee D 1.5-2.5 Dundee C

G Burton (1350)         0.5       L Archip (1529)

Z Swaczyna (1241)     1-0       R Flood (1509)

M Whisson (948)        0-1       A Woodcock (1383)

H Meadows (840)       0-1       R Burnett (1374)


The C team’s favourite scoreline, happily for us ending in our favour this time after two reverses. I played my last(!) Scandinavian against ZZ and after a sharp opening he out-tactic-ed me. Alan and Robert won convincingly against Max and Henri, while George continues to impress on his own return to the game, holding Laurenziu.



Dundee E 2-2 Castlehill F

C Sim              0-1       R McLeod (980)

T Rosazza        1-0       L Paton (944)

A Aguila         0-1       R Kanodia  (882)

M Wang          1-0       Default


Two sharp encounters on boards 2 and 3 were split, and ‘Christine lost on time in a very good position’ is quickly becoming a website catchphrase. Young Max unfortunately didn’t get a game due to Castlehill’s lack of players, but he amused himself with friendly games, and being reunited with old friend Ramit.


Plenty of friendly chess around too, and Christine’s juniors were put to the test as Jim set them three mating problems to solve. All succeeded, and earned themselves an Aero bar each! Considerably more than I’m likely to win this season methinks…



In an early fixture of the 2019-20 TAFCA League, Dundee A the current title-holders faced a very strong University of St Andrews team on Thursday November 7th. In the end the score was a 2-2 draw. There was only one winner for Dundee on the evening with Ed Spencer beating Daniel Chambers. A loss from Stephen Hogg against his highly-rated opponent plus draws from David Findlay on Board 1 and Alastair Dawson on 4 was sufficient to earn the draw.

Club Night 5/11/19


Us chessplayers tend to forego the cold nights standing round bonfires in favour of being hunched over chess boards to focus on a different kind of dark knight.

And there was plenty of warming entertainment on offer, whether in Christine’s inestimable junior coaching classes (see Facebook) or the small matter of the Club Championships or the numerous friendly battles engaged in on the night.


Club Championships

L Archip (1529)          0.5       R Flood (1509)

A Keenan                    1-0       C Sim

P Gibson (815)            1-0       M Whisson (948)


Peter would be delighted with his surprise win, particularly after Max’s SNCL heroics just a couple of days previous. Christine’s nemesis surfaced again as she lost on time in a still very interesting position against Andy. Really need to work on that Chris! And Laurenziu and I’s game was considered rather higher quality by Stockfish than I’d given us credit for(!) We both missed chances though.

Who needs pyrotechnics when you have chess?!

SNCL 2019-20, Sunday November 3rd: Report of Rounds 1 and 2


SNCL 2019-20, Sunday November 3rd: Report of rounds 1 and 2.


And so that new 2019-20 Scottish National Chess League started at the Carnegie Conference Centre, Dunfermline, yesterday. The SNCL is one of the premier chess events in Scotland and this year no less than 40+ teams and over 200 players competed across five Divisions. In the top division our Dundee City A team embarked on the defence of their Championship title; in division 2 our B team embarked on a new battle to maintain their place against some formidable opposition; in division 3 our newly-promoted C team faces a series of strong opponents and in Division 5 our Junior team, relegated from Division 4 last season,   should gain valuable experience playing against a range of difficult opponents.


In a packed conference centre in the morning the A team got off to a good start with a convincing win against Dunfermline Knights 3.5-1.5. With Andrew Greet playing in the Hull 4NCL Masters tournament and with Declan now at University, the A team welcomed Andre Babin onto Board 5. And it proved to be a great start for Andre with a win over John McBride. Another win for Ed Spencer and draws on the remaining boards signified a solid start to the title defence. In Division 2, Dundee City B were up against Forth Valley A. Here convincing wins by Euan Dawson over Douglas Will and Ben Volland over Stephen Smith plus draws on the remaining boards was enough to give a 3.5-1.5 win. In Division 3, it was going to be a tough call for Dundee C. A whitewash was avoided against East Kilbride A through a fine effort from Subhayu Banerjee who earned a creditable draw with the black pieces against Tom Brisbane – the team result ending 0.5-4.5. In division 5, our Junior team started their campaign against Lathallan Community Chess. There was a star performance on Board 1 from Max Whisson  who beat Duncan Lyall (1437 rating) and another great performance on Board 5 from young Rishi Vijaykumar whose rating of 482 is no indication of his talent at the tender age of 8. The result of the match was a 2-3 loss but nevertheless a good start for our young players and huge amounts of experience gained.


In the afternoon, Dundee City A were up against a powerful Wandering Dragons A team. Andre Babin continued his good form with a draw on Board 5 while Andrew Wright earned a very good win against Candidate Master Andrew Dunn (2104). But it was not to be – with a draw by David Findlay on Board 1 not enough to prevent a 2-3 loss. In division 2 Dundee City were also up against a very strong CSBOS1 team. Outgraded on all boards, a fine win by Ben Volland over Nigel Chapman plus draws from Alastair Dawson and Sam Gregory were not enough to prevent a 2-3 defeat. In division 3 Dundee City faced an exceptionally strong Lenzie side led by Mark Sanger and the very-talented Jake Sanger. Despite a good win for Cameron Wilson on Board 5 plus another battling draw from Subhayu Banerjee the team went down to a 1.5-3.5 defeat. In the bottom division, our Dundee City D Juniors turned out to be the only team winners of the afternoon. Up against Silly Sicilians there were wins on the top three boards. Max Whisson starred again on Board 1 and was ably supported with wins from Ramit Kanodia and Rishabh Akula – so a 3-2 win and a great afternoon for our young team.


So all in all not a bad start. Star player of the day has to be young Max Whisson leading the Junior team on Board 1 with 2 straight wins – a fine performance. Special mention should also go to Andre Babin scoring 1.5/2 on his debut on Board 5 in the A team. Not to be forgotten also are the two fine draws gained by Subhayu Banerjee for our C team. It is very obvious from looking at the strength of the teams in Division 3 that Dundee City are going to face very strong opposition in all 7 matches throughout the season – hence Subhayu’s performance is all the more creditable. Lastly one must not forget the excellent win by Andrew Wright against a Candidate Master in the afternoon. Well done everyone and we look forward to 2020 and Rounds 3 and 4 on Sunday February 2nd.


Alastair Dawson

November 4th 2019.