All posts by Neil Berry

In the latest round of Premier Division matches, there were 2 wins for the 1st Team.

Clark’s Bar on Dundas Street is the new (temporary) home for Wandering Dragons. The first shock of the night of our match against them was finding out that the room was double booked with a Debating Society! A compromise was reached, meaning that 2 games were played in the main bar. So it was hard to get a feel of what was going on in the match as a whole. But I have the feeling we were doing well overall, and ran out winners with a 4-2 scoreline.

My game against Elliot Sloan featured a thematic exchange sacrifice:

Edinburgh 1 4-2 Wandering Dragons 1
Bremner ½ Orr
Wallden 1-0 Fleming
Berry 1-0 Sloan
Brechin 0-1 Heron
Rutherford ½ Taylor
Dawson 1-0 Kynoch

The following week we again won 4-2, this time against Badgers Brook. They surprised last season by maintaining a title challenge following promotion, and were level with us going into the match.

Edinburgh 1 4-2 Badgers Brook

Bremner ½ Cooke, S
Berry 1-0 McGeoch
Roberts ½ Bell
Brechin 1-0 Cooke, M
Kafka 0-1 Newton
Rutherford 1-0 Biancalana

Team chess for the 2019/20 season is now underway.

The club has 2 teams in the Edinburgh Premier League, and this means the opening fixture is a match between the 2. This fixture has often been hard fought, and this match was no exception. In fact, the first Team were lucky to escape with a 3-3 draw after wins from Mike Ridge and Bob Kane put the second Team in a strong position. In the next set of matches, the first Team had a comfortable win against Civil Service, while the seconds lost to a strong Edinburgh West side.

The SNCL season started on Sunday 3rd November. Both Teams had a tough set of fixtures, particularly with Edinburgh 2 winning promotion to Division 2 last season.

Edinburgh Premier League

Edinburgh 2 3-3 Edinburgh 1
Edinburgh 1 5-1 Civil Service
Edinburgh West 4.5-1.5 Edinburgh 2

SNCL Division 1

Edinburgh 1 2.5-2.5 Bon Accord
Edinburgh West 3.5-1.5 Edinburgh 1

SNCL Division 2

Kilmarnock 3.5-1.5 Edinburgh 2
Edinburgh 2 0.5-4.5 Thistles

The club was well represented at this year’s Dundee Congress on October 18-20. Held at the University and run very efficently by Keith Rose, the congress is established as one of the best on the Scottish circuit.

Going into the final round in the Premier competition, both myself and Willie Rutherford were in a large group half a point behind leader Steve Mannion. I was given the task of pegging back the tournament leader. We reached this position:

Steve played 16.Qc3!, sacrificing material to destroy the Black centre. After 16…Bb4 17.Qxc6 Bxe1 18.Rxe1 (18.gxf3!? is also interesting) the d5 pawn falls. 18…Be4 19.f3 Bf5 20.Bxd5 my Rooks are dominated by the Bishops, and White can try to arrange rolling his central majority. I made a draw, but was not happy with my position at this point.

One nice idea I found about after the game was to meet 16.Qc3 with 16…Rb8!?, intending 17.Qxc6 Rb6 and …Rg6 will follow. Black is doing at least fine here.

Unfortunately Willie lost to Murad Abdulla so did not join the winners, though he picked up a share of the grading prize as consolation.

Final Results:

Premier

Neil Berry 3.5
Willie Rutherford 3
Mike Ridge, Snorri Kristjansson 2
Robert Kane 1.5

Major

Vipin Zamvar 3 (also picking up a grading prize)
Calum Macgillivray, Keith Aitchison, Richard Scott 2.5
Alan Buchan 1

The new season is not far away now. We begin with the Club AGM this Tuesday, followed by a simultaneous display on September the 24th. Unfortunately our club champion Paul Roberts is unable to give the simul, so runner up Andre Antunes will take on the club members. Good luck Andre!

Full details of our Tuesday programme will be available soon in the Club Events section of the website. The Edinburgh League beings in October, and our internal tournaments in November.

The 2nd Northumbria Masters took place in the Novotel Hotel in Newcastle on August 22-27. 9 games in 5 days over the bank holiday weekend was a demanding schedule, but the venue was excellent and the Masters featured 6 GMs and 7 IMs. I managed to finish 5th= on 6/9, having played 4 GMs – my best tournament result in a while. TRaj Bhopal and Robert Kane played in the Challengers event.

The event will be held on the same weekend next year. Definitely worth a visit!