The club was well represented in last week’s Scottish Championship, held at Stewart’s Melville College in Edinburgh.

Dean Church Building

The championship itself had seventeen titled players competing (including 4 GMs and 4 IMs) out of 66 competitors with GM Mathew Turner winning on a tie-break with a score of 7/9.

Members best results in the championship were achieved by FM Neil Berry (Club President) and CM Andrew Green who each scored 5.5/9. This included Neil agreeing a final round draw against IM Roddy Mckay whilst Andrew, having lost in round 2 to GM Ketevan Arakhamia-Grant, beat FM Iain Gourlay in round 7.  

Neil & Andrew

Other members playing in the Championship included Mike Ridge (4.5), Raj Bhopal (4), Robert Kane, Keith Aitchison and Vipin Zamvar (all on 3.5), and Sams Dietah Connolly (Tiger Cubs – scoring 3).

Mike, Raj, Robert, Keith & Vipin

In the U1850 tournament Allan Buchan unfortunately drew a blank, whereas in the U1500 David Cubitt scored 2/5.

Allan & David

Full results accessible via Chess Scotland. Photos courtesy of Andy Howie.
And apologies for any omissions and errors (all on my part) ….!

I was recently asked whether there was much of a chess community on twitter. If you are interested in the global game, or its’ history then there is plenty! I thought it worth sharing some accounts you can follow to get you started. You can see others through their interactions with the below accounts, and follow from there.

Super GM tournaments will generate a lot of interest. A number of sites will tweet about the games – @chesscom, @chess24com and @fide_chess are some good examples. If Magnus is playing then chess journalist Tarjei Svensen (@tarjeiJS) will invariably be tweeting about it, and Norwegian Grandmaster Jonathan Tisdall (@gmtjis). The players themselves aren’t usually very active during tournaments, with Anish Giri (@anish_giri) a notable exception.

The AI-inspired supercomputer AlphaZero has generated a huge amount of interest from non-chess players, and its influence is often debated on twitter. Google’s DeepMind created AlphaZero, and the company’s CEO Demis Hassabis (@demishassabis) is a former player who credits his creation with reigniting his love for the game!

Tweets about Scottish chess are much rarer! Honorary member and Scotland’s strongest player Jonathan Rowson (@jonathan_rowson) is active on twitter, though he tweets on a variety of subjects. For lovers of chess history, Scottish FM Douglas Griffin (@dgriffinchess) is a ‘must follow’, and he shares much of his writing on Soviet chess history here.

Finally, a word of warning from the second highest rated player of all time:
[Player seeking advice]: Hi Kasparov.. i have a chess tournament tomorrow can u help me with the strategy to win the game.
[@kasparov63]: Stay off twitter.

The Bowes-Lyon Trophy (an individual tournament for players rated under 1600) took place during the weekend of 15th-16th June, with 30 players competing.

Two players shared first place – Ewan Trantor (Phones, Glasgow) and Sakthi Murugesa Pandian (Wandering Dragons), with Ewan winning the trophy as a result of having a higher Buchholz tiebreak score.

[Report by organiser Calum McGillivray]

The 4th team were playing in Division 2 again this season, after having finished 3rd in the 2017-18 season.

We won our first league match against Civil Service 2.  We then lost four games in a row (against Edinburgh University 2, Edinburgh West 2, Sandy Bells 1 and Pentland Hills 2) which put us in danger of relegation.

After narrow victories against Wandering Dragons C and Dunbar, we lost our penultimate match against Bank of Scotland 2.

This meant we needed a win away against Gorgie Dalry to avoid a relegation playoff. We won the game 3.5-2.5, which ensured we avoided relegation and finished 7th in Division 2.

Team:
Calum McGillivray (Captain), Bill Platts, Ian Whittaker, Niall Fergusson, Martin Brejter, Dietah Connolly Sams, Allan Buchan, Paul Stewart, Jennifer Shelley, Daniel Ranson, and Snorri Kristjansson.

Full Division 2 results available here.

[Report by team captain Calum McGillivray]

Club Blitz 2019 Championship

The end of season blitz tournament was ably run by Andre on Tuesday 18th June over 7 rounds. Raj, with supplemental assistance from David, ensured that we all were all well acquainted with the blitz rules (which enabled me to swindle a win against Keith in a totally lost position!).

The competition was contested by 19 players with the trophy (to be presented at the AGM in September) finally being won by Club President Neil who achieved an unbeaten score of 6.5/7.

Neil was closely chased into second place with a score of 5.5/7 by visitor Andy (now based in Washington DC but originally from Chicago). I had quickly lost my way playing the Benko Gambit against him ….. perhaps retribution for walking off with Andy’s home town trophy way back in 1988 (run by Chicago Lawn Chess Association)!?!?

Petros took 3rd place with a score of 5/7.

A great time was had by all – an excellent evening.

Unfortunately 2018 reigning champion Sergio Bermudez was unable to participate this year – but here’s belated recognition of his win last year:

Keith Ruxton, a past member of the club (see the newspaper clipping from the club’s archives!), has kindly donated his chess library to the club. This includes 65 books on a wide variety of topics, several volumes of both Scottish Chess and New in Chess magazines, New in Chess Yearbooks together with a number of opening DVDs.

A CLASS OF HIS OWN

There doesn’t appear to be much duplication of the books already in the club library and they have all been catalogued and placed in the club’s library with a full list of books and magazines to be posted shortly on the club noticeboard.

Many thanks Keith!