All posts by Neil Berry

On May 23rd, we played an online match against Andre’s old club from Germany, SK Bebenhausen. The format was a 9 player Scheveningen tournament, which means that each player from Edinburgh plays 1 game against each of the Bebenhausen team (and vice versa). The time control was 5 minutes + 3 second increment, so all games were played in one session. The system was very efficient, you challenged each opponent in turn and submitted the result afterwards on the lichess group forum.

The final Score was Edinburgh 42 – 39 Bebenhausen. We edged a close match! Our top scorers were Calum MacQueen (7/9), Adam Bremner and Sven Stocklose (both 6.5).

Some highlights from the event:

Rudolf Brauning top scored for Bebenhausen, but ran into an inspired performance from Alastair. Notes mainly from the winner.

Thanks to our opponents, and to Andre for arranging the match. It was great fun and played in a friendly spirit.

We’re going to run this season’s Johnny Marr Allegro on Tuesday 26th May through lichess. We will make and publish the pairings during the event. Please sign up by emailing myself ( or Andre ( by Sunday 24th May.

Our usual tournament activity continues. We retailed our title in this week’s UK CLubs Self Isolating Pawns battle on Saturday, and the Wednesday blitz event saw the biggest turnout so far with 52 players. Grandmaster Matthew Turner was victorious, with Calum MacQueen top club member in 3rd. On Tuesday we are looking at the effect of changing time controls for our club night.

This week, you can join the Tuesday friendly allegro night here, and our Wednesday blitz here. Password is 1822 again.

This Week’s Activity

Today: UK Clubs Self-Isolating Pawns Team Battle at 8pm. You can sign up through the club’s homepage on lichess, or directly to Edinburgh Chess Club Community

Tuesday: Informal Club Night – allegro chess. Sign up through the club homepage and also use password 1822 (see comment above!).

Wednesday: Blitz Arena 7.45pm start: Blitz Arena.
Password again is 1822 to join.

Last Week

Last Saturday we made our debut in the UK Clubs Self-Isolating Pawns Team Battle. This is a Team competition that works in a similar way to the blitz arena on Wednesdays, except we all play against players only from other clubs. We finished in second place – report elsewhere on the blog.

We had a Tuesday club night featuring allegro games. I’m still learning about lichess, and we created a members only event to avoid having lots of random people who we didn’t know join. Our set up just meant that they asked to join the club first! This week we’ll use a password as well to keep private.

On Wednesday night again there was another blitz arena. As with last week this was opened up to a wider audience to increase the numbers. This time the visitors led the way, Andrew Greet from Bearsden won, and Rudolf Brauening was second. Rudolf is the president of Andre’s former club SK Bebenhausen, and we are looking to arrange a future online match. Best club member was Andrew Green in third place. 43 players competed.

Other Chess

A couple of recommendations. Let me know if you have any others!

For anyone with a Smartphone, the Play Magnus app is set to play at the same strength of World Champion Magnus Carlsen at various young ages (from 5 upwards). You can work your way to the next level once you master a lower level.

There are 3 English players running a regular podcast – TheChessPit (@chesspitpod on twitter). The latest episode featured a tribute to the UK’s first Grandmaster, the late Tony Miles, and there were mentions for club stalwarts Hugh Brechin and Geoff Chandler.
Latest Podcast

On Saturday evening we took part in a UK blitz team tournament online. The “UK Clubs Self Isolating Pawns Team Battle” featured 8 clubs, and was run on the lichess server using the Team Battle Arena option. The tournament ran for 2 hours, and you played as many blitz games as you could fit in against players from other clubs. The top 5 scorers from each club were used to calculate final standings.

The pairing system itself is a bit unpredictable, it is some combination of the Swiss pairing system and using the players who are available, given there are no set round times. You just go with it! It is possible to pause in between to get a cup of tea for example (or something stronger), and joining late or leaving early is possible too.

We managed a highly creditable 2nd place behind winners Hackney. Clement and Calum were out top scorers, and in fact were top scorers for the whole tournament! Final results can be seen here

We’ll be trying to go one better next Saturday at 8pm! To play just go to the Team homepage on lichess and sign up to the UK Self Isolating Pawns Team Battle on 2nd May.

Tuesday Program

We are back up and running on Tuesday nights. To begin with we’re using this for members looking to play allegro style matches, so around 20 mins plus increment. In due course we’ll run the blitz and allegro championships at this time. Please make sure you have joined the Club group: Edinburgh Chess Club Group, and sign up to the Tuesday Allegro Arena through the group.

Club Events this Week

Exciting new event – we are playing in a Team Battle with 9 other clubs tonight at 8pm. All players are welcome, and the top 5 points scorers will count towards the Club total. You can sign up through our lichess group, or directly through this link:
UK Team Battle

The Wednesday Blitz will continue as usual, and I will announce details tomorrow.

Last Week’s Results

We opened up the blitz to friends and team mates, and the Scots Gambit Arena increased to 39 players. Tournament winner was guest (and Scottish Chess editor) Andy Burnett, with Clement 2nd and Willie a fine 3rd.
There was a little confusion regarding the “go beserk” option in the tournament. This allows players to halve their time but get an extra point if they win. Arena Rules
I had previously disabled this for our tournaments, and wanted to test it at some point. To be honest, I had forgotten to disable on this occasion! Will make more transparent if used in future.

We’re on Twitter!

The Club now have a twitter account – @edinburghchess so if you are on this platform do give us a follow. We’ll use it mostly to promote club events and member results.

Another week with restrictions in place. I hope you are all coping ok and are staying safe. For those who participate, online chess activity offers an enjoyable distraction.

Wednesday Night Blitz

Last week’s Blitz Result: 1. Adam Bremner 2. Neil Berry 3. Calum MacQueen. Another good turnout of 30 players.

This week’s blitz is again on Wednesday 22nd at 7.45pm on lichess. please use the link below to sign up. The password is 1822. I’m also keen to expand the competition, so please share the details with friends and competitors:

Lichess Blitz Wed 22nd

Return of the Tuesday Program

Council have decided to continue with the blitz and allegro championships and a talk on engines and tablebases from Ian Whittaker. These events will be held online and details will be confirmed over the next few weeks. We are also keen to run less formal events, in particular have slower play games between members on some of the other Tuesdays. I am looking for a volunteer to help coordinate – even just suggesting events and being on hand for some Tuesdays.

2022 Bicentenary Committee Volunteers

As you will all be aware, Raj has been leading the committee for our 2022 preparations. There has been much work done, and while the coronavirus epidemic has meant certain activities are on hold, there is still much we are looking to progress. I will share progress with you over the coming weeks, but in the meantime if anyone outside of the committee would like to be involved, please let myself or Raj ( know. In particular, we are looking for some help with:

Fundraising. Options could include sale of duplicate assets, crowdfunding or sponsorship. Someone to work through the options and come up with a proposal. Experience in fundraising preferable.

Archives. Ian and David have put a great deal of work into going through our archives, but there remains lots more to do.

Other Events

Glasgow Polytechnic are running their quickplay tournament online on the evening of Thursday 30th April. You can find more details on the link below. Note that you need a account to play.

Ken Stewart Quickplay

Chess Scotland are hosting an online allegro on Sunday 26th April. Details below

Scottish Chess Tour