The European Chess Union reports (again!) on last year’s She Plays To Win (SPTW) IM Norm event ….

A further report on the IM Norm event that the club hosted last year as part of our bicentenary celebrations appeared in the recent issue of the ECU’s E-Magazine:

ECU E-Magazine December 2023, Pg16
ECU E-Magazine December 2023, Pg17

Coincidentally this was issued just as we’re about to host another SPTW Scottish Invitational event at the club for girls and women in February 2024.

We currently have 10 players signed up and, with a maximum capacity of 20 players, there is space for more entrants.  If you have a FIDE rating please do get in touch with IM Lorin D’Costa (sheplaystowinuk @

There is no entry fee, but players are liable of course for costs of travel and accommodation etc.


A message received from club member Bob Kane who recently purchased “The Later Years of Paul Keres”, translated/edited by Harry Golombek which we had in duplicate in the club’s library.  This is the third and final volume in a series of three autobiographical books written by GM Paul Keres.  Bob wrote to say:

“My new purchase contained a few interesting margin notes so out of curiosity I googled previous owner Eric Dott.  It transpires he was a conscientious objector in WW1, a local Doctor, who lived to 100.  He has an interesting bio!

Anyone in the club with memories of Eric Dott (1898-1999)?

PS Estonian GM Paul Keres visited Scotland in 1955 playing matches in Glasgow as part of a UK tour sponsored by the Society for Cultural Relations with the USSR.  Amongst his simul opponents was a certain Erwin Knopfler [Ernö Knöpfler] – father to Mark and David Knopfler who formed the band ‘Dire Straits‘.

First club night event of the new season had the Club Champion’s Simul featuring 13 year old FM Freddy Waldhausen Gordon.

Freddy played 18 boards in the traditional Club Champions simul. He won seventeen with one draw (the draw was a wee bit kind as the lad had to to leave early).

Some stiff opposition.

An excellent show.

[Post and pictures by Geoff Chandler – also on facebook]

This lunchtime we were delighted to greet Laimonas Kudzuma (FIDE Trainer and vice-chair of the Lithuanian Chess Federation) accompanied by the father of his son’s bride-to-be (they were getting married tomorrow in Edinburgh).

The club’s archivist group (viz. Bill, Dennis and myself along with Colin who arrived half-way through) showed him around and we were then entertained by him demonstrating:

  • first an end-game study he’d devised, then
  • a tasty preview of a lecture on the scotch game and gambit, and finally
  • a high level summary of some of his detailed analysis of the Baltic defence!

Quite different to the normal Monday dusty dive into the archives …

Given that he may be visiting Edinburgh again in the future he indicated he would be delighted to present a lecture to the club and indeed he is considering joining the club taking away an application form!?

As part of our bicentenary year we were delighted to take part again in the Doors Open Days event last weekend when the club threw open its doors to over a hundred visitors!  A rota of ten members hosted over the Saturday and Sunday showcasing the playing area, the club’s trophies and various items in the library.

There were also special displays of some unique travelling chess sets and working demonstations of a variety of vintage computer chess consoles held as part of the club’s collections (most having been recently donated by Chess Scotland from Lord Kirkwood’s estate).

Feedback was great:

  • chess is fantastic!
  • what a lovely setup!
  •  that table is from the 1840s!

Several visitors were interested in joining the club!

Doors Open Days was coordinated nationally by the Scottish Civic Trust and is part of European Heritage Days alongside Scottish Archaeology Month, coordinated by Archaeology Scotland. Both are supported by Historic Environment Scotland.