The Edinburgh and Lothians leagues have recently been completed for the season, and our teams’ results were as follows.


Our 1st team relinquished their oft-held title to Edinburgh West 1, and finished 2nd, just a point behind.

Division 1

This year we had three of the six teams in this division and they finished in the top three places. The 2nd team won decisively with a perfect match score of 20/20, while the 4th team were second on 10/20, and the 3rd team a point further back. Well done to all.

Division 2

Having only been promoted from Div 3 last year, our 5th team secured a very fine 3rd place in this division, behind the winners Wandering Dragons 2, and runners up Corstorphine 1.

Division 3

Tiger Cubs inevitably varies in strength from one year to the next so it was no surprise that having won this division last year, they finished in 9th place this time. Many of their matches were very close and could easily have gone the other way and seen them finish higher.

We ran a 6th team for the first time this year, and for many of them it was their first taste of league chess, so it was no disgrace to finish in last place. Valuable lessons will have been learned and they can look forward to building on their experience for next year.

As part of its drive to support the take up of chess by women and girls, the club was pleased to host another She Plays To Win (SPTW) event in conjunction with International Master Lorin D’Costa during the February half-term. The event was made up of two 5 round Swiss-paired tournaments: one for FIDE rated players and one for Chess Scotland (CS) rated players. David Deary was Chief Arbiter and general support was provided by Jenny Wilson and Ian Whittaker.

Support was also provided by Chess Scotland.

Jenny kindly provided this event report:

Going into the fifth and final round of the FIDE rated She Plays to Win Invitational tournament at Edinburgh Chess Club on Wednesday, four of the eight players were on 2.5 out of five, making for an interesting pairing. The young women playing were all of a very similar rating and there had been many draws in the earlier rounds.

The computer decided that none of the joint leaders would be paired with each other, so there were many result combinations that could lead to a tie for first place. In the end Florence was the only one of the four to win her game and so was clear in the top spot. There was a tie for second place between Angharad and the unbeaten Elyzabeta, but Angharad had a better tiebreak so received the second place trophy.


In the CS graded section Shirya took first place with half a point lead over Maggie, and Melinda was a point behind her in third place.

Not only did the players have the opportunity to go through their own games with IM Lorin D’Costa, they could sit in on his analysis of the other games too. Despite the intense rivalry across the board the atmosphere of the tournament was friendly and supportive. There were players from primary and secondary school, University and beyond, and several different countries represented.

All the games from both sections are available to download

She Plays To Win is a UK Girls Chess Project to try and encourage more girls to participate and learn chess in a fun environment. SPTW is run by the current England International Women’s Chess Coach Lorin D’Costa who has successfully been coaching girls’ chess nationally and internationally for over 11 years.

[Pictures by Jenny Wilson and Ian Whittaker]


A highly entertaining talk by IM Lorin D’Costa was given to club members and visitors on Tuesday night – for over 2 hours! – illustrated with some fantastic attacking games by GMs Magnus Carlsen and Judit Polgar!

The games were used to present various themes:

  1. Carlsen, Magnus vs Blomqvist, Eric (2001: C79) illustrated how a very youthful Magnus pounced on an early Ruy Lopez opening deviation by a young Erik (who was himself later to become a Swedish Grand Master) opening up the position and attacking before black castled;
  2. Carlsen, Magnus vs Domatov, Sergey (2004: A04) where Magnus again energetically responded to an early weak opening move by his opponent, a Russian Grand Master and former World Junior Chess Champion;
  3. Pantsulaia, Levan vs Polgar, Judit (2011: A13) where, after a premature queen move by her opponent in the opening, Judit sacrificed a rook establishing an immensly powerful central bishop preventing white from castling and enabling her to then launch a crushing attack;
  4.  Hracek, Zbynek vs Polgar, Judit (2000: B48) after optimistic play by the Czech GM, Judit energetically countered with sharp play fisrt with a pawn sacrifice opening up one long diagonal then opening up another long diagonal for an overwhelming attack on white’s king!

Lorin interspersed his analysis of the games with some entertaining war stories and with generlous amounts of advice, such as to remember LPDO (Loose Pieces Drop Off – accredited by Lorin in the talk to Paul Motwani – whereas in a recent blog Paul credits it to John Nunn – but who cares!?).

After extensive replies to many questions from the audience an appreciative vote of thanks was given by President Raj Bhopal:


International Master Lorin D’Costa: England Women’s Chess Coach, Presenter & Author

We are delighted that Lorin has agreed give a talk to the club on the topic “From She Plays To Win to Magnus Carlsen”.  Please register your attendance here so we can ensure enough chairs are set out!

Lorin giving a simul at the club in 2023

Lorin is a professional chess coach helping children of all chess strengths to enjoy and play the game of chess. He also runs She Plays to Win (SPTW) a UK girls’ chess project to try and encourage more girls to learn, play and benefit from chess (further details of SPTW can be found here).

All members can attend for free however there is a £5 charge (£2.50 for concessions) for non members payable online.

(Note that the club is hosting a five round SPTW International Invitational event from Monday 12th to Wednesday 14th February where a dozen international juniors are paticipating.  There are still some free spaces available so any girls or women with a FIDE rating are welcome to contact Lorin asap @ if they are interested in playing.)