Chess News July 2000
to "The Scotsman" chess column
THE Glorney Cup for boys, originally instigated in 1947 by the Dublin businessman, Mr C Parker Glorney, and later for the girls in 1967 the Faber Cup by Faber Books, is often regarded as the pinnacle in the career of juniors aged below 18.
It confirms their status as one of the top junior chess players in their respective country and gives them valuable experience against their counterparts in Europe, which stands them in good stead when they graduate up to the senior ranks.
The latest edition, which this year was hosted by Ireland at Dublin University, ended in double joy for the French as they lifted both Cups. Unable to field a girls team this year in the Faber, Scotland did, however, have some limited success in the Glorney.
Seeded seventh and heavily outgraded on each of the five boards, the Scottish boys defied the odds to come fifth, thanks in large to a superb performance by top board Joe Redpath. Taking the board one prize for the tournament with 4.5/5, the rapidly improving Edinburgh West junior also had a highly-impressive win over the top rated player in the tournament, Arnaud Rainfray, the French board one, rated at a near GM-strength of 2425.
Individual Scottish scores: 1 Joe Redpath (Edinburgh West) 4.5/5; 2 Gordon Rigg (Giffnock) 1.5/5; 3 Graeme Kafka (Paisley) 1.5/5; 4 David Sime (Wester Hailes) 1.5/5; 5 Duncan Grassie (Bon Accord) 3/5.
Rd.1: Czech Rep 3.5-1.5 Scotland; Rd.2: Scotland 2-3 France; Rd.3 Ireland 1.5-3.5 Scotland; Rd.4 Belgium 3-2 Scotland; Rd.5: Scotland 3-2 Wales.
1 France; 2 Netherlands; 3 England; 4 Czech R.; 5 Scotland; 6 Ireland; 7 Wales & Belgium
J Redpath - A Rainfray
Glorney Cup (2), Semi-Slav
1 d4 d5 2 c4 c6 3 Nf3 Nf6 4 Nc3 e6 5 Bg5 dxc4 6 e4 b5 7 e5 h6 8 Bh4 g5 9 Nxg5 hxg5 10 Bxg5 Nbd7 11 g3 Rg8 12 h4 Rxg5 13 hxg5 Nd5 14 g6 fxg6 15 Qg4 Qe7 16 Bg2 Bb7 17 Qxg6+ Qf7 18 Qxf7+ Kxf7 19 Ne4 Bb4+ 20 Ke2 Nf8 21 Rh6 Be7 22 f4 Rd8 23 Rah1 Kg7 24 R6h5 Nb4 25 Ng5 Rd7 26 Nxe6+ Nxe6 27 Rh7+ Kg8 28 Rh8+ Kf7 29 R1h7+ Ng7 30 e6+ Kxe6 31 Rxg7 Kd6 32 Rh6+ Kc7 33 Bh3 Ba6 34 Bxd7 Kxd7 35 f5 c3 36 bxc3 Nxa2 37 Kd2 1-0
The final position:
w: Kf2, Qb2, Rb1, Pc6, f4, g3, h4
b: Kh7, Qe7, Re3, Pc7, d6, f5, g6, h5
VLADIMIR BAGIROV, the former World Senior Champion, died literally with his boots on last Friday while leading the Heart of Finland Open tournament.
On a score of 3/3, Bagirov, playing Black in round four against Teemu Laasanen, reached the position in today's diagram after a frantic time scramble. As is the rules, both players moved to a separate board to reconstruct the position following the flag-fall. At this point Bagirov - who had safely made the time control and only needed to play 45 ..Qe4 to win - suddenly collapsed and died of a cerebral haemorrhage.
Born in 1936 in Baku, Azerbaijan, Bagirov's chess skills at school first came to the notice of the legendary USSR chess coach, Vladimir Makagonov, who took the youngster under his wing. From 1960 to 1978 he competed in nine USSR championships, achieving his best result (+7 =10 -2 and fourth place) in 1960 at Leningrad.
However he found his true niche in the game as a trainer and, as the Azerbaijan national coach, for a brief period in 1975 became the first full-time trainer for a "promising" young Baku junior, a certain Garry Kasparov. Following a dispute with the sports administrators in Azerbaijan, Bagirov moved to Riga in the late 1970s to become the Latvian national coach, working in the process with Mikhail Tal, Alexei Shirov and Alexander Shabalov.
Late in life, in a sort of seniors' tour in chess, Bagirov played more than ever before and in 1998 in Grieskirchen, Austria, he became the eighth World Senior champion.
V Bagirov - E Geller
Lvov (6), King's Indian Def. 1978
1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 g6 3 Nf3 Bg7 4 g3 0-0 5 Bg2 d6 6 0-0 Nbd7 7 Nc3 e5 8 e4 c6 9 h3 Qb6 10 Re1 exd4 11 Nxd4 Re8 12 Re2 Ng4 13 Rd2 Nge5 14 b3 Nc5 15 Rc2 Bxh3 16 Bxh3 Nxe4 17 Be3 Nxc3 18 Rxc3 c5 19 Nc2 Nf3+ 20 Qxf3 Bxc3 21 Bxc5 Qxc5 22 Qxc3 d5 23 Bf1 dxc4 24 Bxc4 Qf5 25 Rd1 Rad8 26 Rxd8 Rxd8 27 Ne3 Qf3 28 a4 h5 29 Qa5 b6 30 Qxa7 Rd2 31 Qb8+ Kg7 32 Qf4 Rxf2 33 Qxf3 Rxf3 34 Nd5 Rxg3+ 35 Kh2 Rf3 36 Kg2 Rf5 37 Nxb6 g5 38 Bd5 Re5 39 a5 Re2+ 40 Kf3 Ra2 41 Na4 Rd2 42 Bb7 Rd3+ 43 Ke2 Rxb3 1-0
THE Scottish Chess Association (SCA) has announced the result of their annual Player of the Year Award, with the 2000 title going to the ever-popular Cathcart IM, Steve Mannion.
He was presented with his title at the end of the Scottish Congress by the SCA president, John Glendinning. One of the most resilient players on the tournament circuit, Mannion, dubbed Scotland's "Mr Consistent", has a never-say-die attitude at the board that makes him one of the toughest players to beat.
Despite a glorious year that saw Jonathan Rowson (who won the award in 1996) go from strength to strength since becoming Scotland's third GM after he secured his first Scottish title last year, and WFM Elaine Rutherford (winner in 1998) becoming the Women's World Amateur Champion, both weren't eligible as the rules stipulate that previous winners have to have a five-year gap between titles.
The award, the James G McDonald Memorial Trophy, is voted on each year by the members of the SCA for the chessplayer who has achieved, or contributed, most during that particular year to, or for, the game in Scotland. Colleagues of Aberdeen chess enthusiast James G McDonald, who tragically died when his oil drill ship capsized in a typhoon in the Gulf of Thailand in 1989, donated the trophy and instigated the annual award in his memory.
Unable to compete in this year's Scottish Championships due to work commitments (he needs the time off later in the year to play for Scotland in the Chess Olympiad in Turkey), Mannion was in convincing form in the Scottish Congress Weekend tournament, which he won with his trademark winning score of 4.5/5.
S Mannion - P Giulian
Scottish Weekend (4), French Def.
1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 Nd2 Nf6 4 e5 Nfd7 5 c3 c5 6 f4 Nc6 7 Ndf3 cxd4 8 cxd4 h5 9 Bd3 Nb6 10 Ne2 Bd7 11 0-0 g6 12 Nc3 a5 13 a3 a4 14 Qc2 Rg8 15 Be3 Na5 16 Ng5 Nbc4 17 Bf2 Nb3 18 Bxc4 Nxa1 19 Rxa1 dxc4 20 Nce4 Be7 21 Nh7 Bc6 22 Nef6+ Bxf6 23 Nxf6+ Kf8 24 Qxc4 Rh8 25 f5 gxf5 26 d5 Bxd5 27 Qb4+ Kg7 28 Bb6 Qc8 29 Qf4 Rh6 30 Rc1 Qh8 31 Rc7 Bc6 32 Qg5+ Rg6 33 Nxh5+ Kg8 34 Qxg6+ fxg6 35 Nf6+ Qxf6 36 exf6 Rf8 37 Rg7+ Kh8 38 Bd4 1-0
THERE was a little bit of a dispute at the end of the recent Scottish Championships at Caledonian University in Glasgow as to who exactly held the 107th Scottish title.
With both IM John Shaw and FM Alan Norris tied in first equal on 6.5/9, in the past the Scottish title would have been decided in the time-honoured fashion with a play-off at a later date. However it was stipulated in the official programme that, in the event of a tie, the title would be determined on "tiebreak", a mathematical formulae that would give the title to the player who had played the stronger opposition.
Unfortunately there were one or two little problems with this. When the arbiter worked out the tie-breaking formula, the title was initially awarded to John Shaw. However your correspondent, and the Scotland On Sunday correspondent, Douglas Bryson, pointed out several "dodgy" problems with the arithmetic used to determine the tie-breaking scores.
Basically, one of the players in the tournament, Newcastle's John Young, had been mistakenly awarded two ratings from FIDE. With one rating (which was used in the tournament) at 2305, and the other being 2195 (which was more like his true rating), coupled with a badly worded piece of legislation in the SCA rulebook, this put reasonable doubt on Shaw's win.
In the end, thanks to the intervention by top BP lawyer Chris Morrison (working pro bono!), a case for an "unsafe" win of the title from John Shaw was brought to the attention of the tournament director and officials from the Scottish Chess Association. Happily, common sense prevailed in the end when, after a lengthy discussion, both players readily agreed to share the 2000 Scottish title.
A Norris - J Montgomery
Scottish Ch. (9), English Op.
1 Nf3 g6 2 g3 Bg7 3 Bg2 e5 4 d3 d6 5 c4 f5 6 Nc3 Nf6 7 0-0 0-0 8 b4 Nc6 9 b5 Ne7 10 Bb2 h6 11 c5 g5 12 Qb3+ Kh7 13 Rfd1 Ng6 14 cxd6 cxd6 15 b6 Qxb6 16 Qxb6 axb6 17 Nb5 Rd8 18 Rdc1 Ne8 19 e4 fxe4 20 dxe4 Be6 21 a4 d5 22 exd5 Bxd5 23 Ne1 Bxg2 24 Nxg2 Rd7 25 Ne3 e4 26 Bxg7 Nxg7 27 Rc4 Re8 28 Nc3 Rde7 29 Ned5 Ne5 30 Rxe4 Nf3+ 31 Kg2 Rxe4 32 Nxe4 Rf8 33 Nef6+ Kg6 34 Kxf3 Ne8 35 Rb1 Nxf6 36 Rxb6 g4+ 37 Kf4 h5 38 a5 Kg7 39 Rxb7+ Kh8 40 Nxf6 Rxf6+ 41 Kg5 Ra6 1-0
THERE was a dramatic reversal of fortunes in the last round of the 107th Scottish Championships at the Caledonian University in Glasgow.
Going into the ninth and final round, the championship leaders, IM Douglas Bryson and FM Tim Upton, with a half point lead over the field, needed just a draw to clinch the millennium title. However, in a surprise result on the two top boards, both players lost in dramatic style, respectively, to Neil Berry and WFM Elaine Rutherford.
With both leaders falling by the wayside at the final juncture, this left the door open for FM Alan Norris and IM John Shaw, with impressive last round victories, to share - thanks to the intervention of a top international lawyer! (more of which later in the week) - the 107th Scottish title. For Shaw, champion in 1995 and 1998, it was his third Scottish title. For Norris, who in the past has always been a leading contender for the Scottish crown, his first Scottish title.
The cruellest blow, however, must have been Upton's dramatic loss to Rutherford. Needing just a win to secure an IM norm and his first title, Upton, who was undefeated and by far the steadiest player throughout the week, was comprehensively outplayed by the Edinburgh junior.
Final placings: 1-2 FM A Norris (London) & IM J Shaw (Kilmarnock) 6.5/9; 3-4 FM T Upton (Luxembourg) & IM D Bryson (Shettleston) 6; 5-6 GM C McNab (Dundee) & N Berry (Edinburgh) 5; 7-8 WFM E Rutherford (Edinburgh) & J Grant (Edinburgh West) 4.5; 9 J Montgomery (Glasgow Montrose) 4; 10 J Young (Newcastle) 3.5; 11-13 J Parkin (Dingwall), P Roberts (Edinburgh West), J Stevenson (London) 3; 14 W Buchanan (Edinburgh West) 2.5
E Rutherford - T Upton
Scottish Championships (9), Scotch Game
1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 d4 exd4 4 Nxd4 Bc5 5 Be3 Qf6 6 c3 Nge7 7 Qd2 Bxd4 8 cxd4 d5 9 Nc3 0-0 10 Nb5 dxe4 11 Bg5 Qg6 12 Nxc7 Rb8 13 Bf4 Bf5 14 d5 Rbd8 15 h3 Be6 16 Bc4 b5 17 Bb3 a5 18 a3 Qxg2 19 0-0-0 Bf5 20 Rdg1 Qf3 21 Bd1 Nd4 22 Rxg7+ Kh8 23 Be5 Nb3+ 24 Bxb3 f6 25 Rhg1 e3 26 Qxe3 Qxe3+ 27 fxe3 Ng6 28 R7xg6 hxg6 29 Bc3 a4 30 Bc2 Bxc2 31 Ne6 b4 32 axb4 1-0
IT look's as if Scotland will be sending her strongest-ever team to the forthcoming Chess Olympiad in Istanbul, Turkey, this autumn.
Although the official announcement of the squad is still to be made by the SCA, it's understood that the top players have indicated that they are all available for selection. The team, therefore, in board order, is likely to be: GM J Rowson, GM P Motwani, IM J Shaw, GM C McNab, IM S Mannion and IM D Bryson; with the women's team being: WFM H Milligan, WFM E Rutherford, C Wilman and H Lang.
The 107th Scottish Championships at the Caledonian University in Glasgow is heading for an exciting finish with just one point separating the top five player's in the tournament.
Two FIDE Masters on the fringes of the Olympiad squad, Tim Upton and Alan Norris, are putting on strong performances in the Championship should any of the squad have to pull out and be replaced. With IM norms and a first Scottish title in the offing for both, Upton holds the joint lead with IM Douglas Bryson on 6/8, while Norris, who beat top seed IM John Shaw in round seven, is in third place alongside Shaw on 5.5.
Leader board: 1-2 FM T Upton (Luxembourg) & IM D Bryson (Shettleston) 6/8; 3-4 FM A Norris (London) & IM J Shaw (Kilmarnock) 5.5; 5 GM C McNab (Dundee) 5; 6-8 J Montgomery (Glasgow Montrose), J Grant (Edinburgh West), N Berry (Edinburgh) 4; 9 WFM E Rutherford (Edinburgh) 3.5; 10 J Young (Newcastle) 3; 11-13 P Roberts (Edinburgh West), J Parkin (Dingwall), W Buchanan (Edinburgh West) 2.5; 14 J Stevenson (London) 2.
J Parkin - A Norris
Scottish Championships (8), Two Knight's Def
1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bc4 Nf6 4 Ng5 d5 5 exd5 Na5 6 Bb5+ c6 7 dxc6 bxc6 8 Qf3 Be7 9 Bxc6+ Nxc6 10 Qxc6+ Bd7 11 Qc4 0-0 12 Nc3 Rc8 13 Qd3 h6 14 Nge4 Nh5 15 Ng3 Nf4 16 Qf1 Qa5 17 Rb1 Rxc3 18 bxc3 Qxa2 19 Rb2 Qa1 20 Ne2 Ba3 21 Rb3 Bxc1 22 Nxf4 exf4 23 f3 Qa5 24 Rb1 Re8+ 25 Kd1 Bb2 26 Qc4 Bb5 27 Qb4 Be2+ 28 Ke1 Qxb4 29 cxb4 Bd4 30 Rd1 Bd3# 0-1
EDINBURGH'S Elaine Rutherford, 17, goes from strength to strength in her chess career to find herself in the join lead in the Scottish Championships at the Caledonian University in Glasgow after four rounds.
On a score of 3/4, the young James Gillespie High School pupil now finds herself in equal first place with four Championship stalwarts, IM John Shaw, GM Colin McNab, IM Douglas Bryson and FM Tim Upton. After a disastrous first round loss, she has now won three games in a row - against James Parkin, John Young and Jim Montgomery - to set herself up with a fifth round, top board showdown with the Championship top seed, IM John Shaw.
Last year in Edinburgh Elaine became the first Scottish female player to play in the Scottish Championships. This was followed by her becoming the first Scottish female to win a national Grand Prix Open when she shared first equal at Perth with GM Colin McNab.
However, unquestionably the highlight of a glorious twelve months at the board was her fantastic victory in the Woman's World Amateur Championships at Hastings to become only the second Scot to lift a world title. Before the start of the Scottish Championships, Elaine was officially presented with her World Amateur Champion and FIDE Woman Master certificate from the president of the SCA, John Glendinning.
Round 4: McNab draw Bryson, Shaw draw Upton, Rutherford 1-0 Montgomery, Norris 1-0 Grant, Stevenson draw Berry, Roberts draw Young, Parkin draw Buchanan.
Leader board: 1-5 IM J Shaw (Kilmarnock), IM D Bryson (Shettleston), FM T Upton (Luxembourg), GM C McNab (Dundee), WFM E Rutherford (Edinburgh) 3/4; 6 FM A Norris (London) 2.5; 7 J Grant (Edinburgh West) 2; 8-11 J Montgomery (Glasgow Montrose), J Young (Newcastle), N Berry (Edinburgh), J Stevenson (London) 1.5; 12-13 P Roberts (Edinburgh West) & W Buchanan (Edinburgh West) 1; 14 J Parkin (Dingwall) 0.5.
J Young - E Rutherford
Scottish Championships (3), Semi-Slav Def
1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 Nf3 Nf6 4 Nc3 c6 5 Bg5 dxc4 6 e4 b5 7 a4 Qb6 8 Bxf6 gxf6 9 Qd2 h5 10 Qf4 Nd7 11 Be2 a6 12 0-0 Qb8 13 e5 Bh6 14 Qe4 Bb7 15 Qh4 fxe5 16 dxe5 Nxe5 17 Ne4 Ng6 18 Qf6 Qf4 19 Qxf4 Nxf4 20 Nd6+ Ke7 21 Rfd1 Nxe2+ 22 Kf1 Nf4 23 Nxb7 Nd3 24 b3 Bg7 25 Ra2 Nb2 26 Rb1 c3 27 Nc5 Rhd8 0-1
SO, whatever happened to "the talented Mr. Rowson"? After lifting his first Scottish title last year in Edinburgh, Scotland's greatest prospect in the game, GM Jonathan Rowson, wasn't available to defend his title this year.
Unfortunately the Scottish Championships clashed with a tour of some high-profile Canadian and American tournaments, which Rowson wanted to compete in. Guess what? The reigning Scottish champion turned in the performance of his career in the first tournament of his mini-tour to come equal first in the Canadian Open in Edmonton!
With an unbeaten score of 8/10, Rowson shared first place with the former world Candidate GM Kevin Spraggett (Cananda) and the recent World Open champion, GM Joel Benjamin (USA). With a $20,000 prize fund on offer in Edmunton, Rowson share of the prize money was $2,500.
Meanwhile, back in Glasgow, a four-way tie has developed in the Scottish championships after three rounds of play. The top board clash between Douglas Bryson and John Shaw was drawn, whilst Colin McNab and Tim Upton joined them in the lead on 2.5/3 after impressive wins over Jim Montgomery and Alan Norris.
Round 3: Bryson draw Shaw, McNab 1-0 Montgomery, Upton 1-0 Norris, Young 0-1 Rutherford, Grant 1-0 Stevenson, Berry 1-0 Parkin, Buchanan draw Roberts
Leader board: 1-4 IM D Bryson (Shettleston), IM J Shaw (Kilmarnock), GM C McNab (Dundee), FM T Upton (Luxembourg) 2.5/3; 5-6 J Grant (Edinburgh West) & WFM E Rutherford (Edinburgh) 2; 7-8 J Montgomery (Glasgow Montrose) & FM A Norris (London) 1.5; 9-11 J Young (Newcastle), N Berry (Edinburgh), J Stevenson (London) 1; 12-13 P Roberts (Edinburgh West) & W Buchanan (Edinburgh West) 0.5; 14 J Parkin (Dingwall) 0.
P Wells - J Rowson
Canadian Open (10), Tartakower Def
1 d4 d6 2 Nf3 Bg4 3 e4 Nf6 4 Bd3 e6 5 h3 Bh5 6 0-0 d5 7 Nbd2 Be7 8 c3 0-0 9 exd5 exd5 10 Re1 c5 11 dxc5 Bxc5 12 Nb3 Bb6 13 Bg5 h6 14 Bh4 Nc6 15 Bf5 g5 16 Bg3 Ne4 17 Bxe4 dxe4 18 Rxe4 f5 19 Re6 Qxd1+ 20 Rxd1 f4 21 Bh2 Rad8 22 Rxd8 Rxd8 23 Nfd2 Bf7 24 Re2 Bc4 25 Re1 Ne5 26 Nxc4 Nxc4 27 Kf1 Nxb2 28 g3 f3 29 g4 Bxf2 30 Kxf2 Nd3+ 31 Kf1 Nxe1 32 Kxe1 Re8+ 33 Kf1 Re2 34 Bg3 Rxa2 35 Nd4 a5 36 Nxf3 a4 0-1
IT was chess made easy for top seed IM John Shaw in the second round of the 107th Scottish Championships taking place in the Caledonian University in Glasgow.
Facing championship debutant John Young from Newcastle, Shaw, the 1995 and 1998 Scottish Champion and National Youth Coach, had the luxury of only having to play 11 moves of an Exchange Spanish as his opponent made the mistake of following the first 25 moves from an encounter between Alexei Shirov and Nigel Short from the 1996 Koop Tjuchem tournament.
Like Shirov, Shaw easily won the game to move into the joint lead in the tournament with 2/2. With the 1996 and 1997 champion and the "Scotland On Sunday" chess correspondent IM Douglas Bryson being the only other player on a 100 per cent score, the two IMs now must meet in the top board encounter in round three.
Despite pushing hard against GM Colin McNab, Alan Norris couldn't make much use of his extra pawn in the opposite coloured bishop ending, with the GM's legendary endgame technique securing the half-point.
Round 2: IM J Shaw 1-0 J Young, FM A Norris draw GM C McNab, IM D Bryson 1-0 J Grant, P Roberts 0-1 FM T Upton, J Montgomery 1-0 N Berry, J Stevenson 1-0 W Buchanan.
Leader board: 1-2 IM J Shaw (Kilmarnock) & IM D Bryson (Shettleston) 2/2; 3-6 GM C McNab (Dundee), FM T Upton (Luxembourg), FM A Norris (London), J Montgomery (Glasgow Montrose) 1.5; 7-10 WFM E Rutherford (Edinburgh), J Grant (Edinburgh West), J Young (Newcastle), J Stevenson (London) 1; 11-14 N Berry (Edinburgh), P Roberts (Edinburgh West), J Parkin (Dingwall), W Buchanan (Edinburgh West) 0.
J Shaw - J Young
Scottish Championships (2), Spanish Exchange
1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 a6 4 Bxc6 dxc6 5 0-0 Qd6 6 Na3 b5 7 c3 c5 8 Nc2 Ne7 9 a4 Bb7 10 axb5 axb5 11 Rxa8+ Bxa8 12 d4 cxd4 13 cxd4 Bxe4 14 Nxe5 f6 15 Nd3 Bxd3 16 Qxd3 c6 17 Bd2 Nd5 18 Ra1 Be7 19 Ra8+ Bd8 20 Qb3 0-0 21 Bb4 Qf4 22 g3 Qc1+ 23 Kg2 Be7 24 Ra1 Qxa1 25 Nxa1 Bxb4 26 Qc2 Rc8 27 Qe4 Rc7 28 Qe8+ Bf8 29 Nb3 Nb4 30 Nc5 Re7 31 Qc8 Kf7 32 Nb7 Re8 33 Nd8+ Kg8 34 Qd7 Re7 35 Qf5 Kh8 36 Nxc6 1-0
CHESS alfresco kicked-off the festivities for the 107th Scottish Chess Championships in Glasgow as a field of 40 players, including one international master and the reigning women's world amateur champion, took part in an open-air blitz tournament outside the City Chambers in George Square.
Cathcart's Alistair Maxwell, with a winning score of 4.5/5, was the surprise winner of the novelty event that proved popular with the many spectators. An enthusiastic organiser and arbiter for many years, Alistair has recently made an invaluable contribution to the Scottish Chess Association's website (www.scottishchess.com) by creating an archive of all games played by Scots in the Chess Olympiads from Folkestone 1933 up to Elista 1998.
After an official opening ceremony and civic reception hosted by the Lord Provost of Glasgow, play officially got underway at the Millennium Championships being held in the Hamish Wood Building at Glasgow Caledonian University.
All the seeds more or less got off to a winning start in the opening round of the 107th Championship, apart from the 1996 and 1997 champion, Douglas Bryson, who made life difficult for himself against one of Scotland's promising young juniors, James Parkin, from Dingwall.
N Berry 0-1 IM J Shaw, GM C McNab 1-0 P Roberts, J Parkin 0-1 IM D Bryson, J Young 1-0 J Stevenson, W Buchanan 0-1 FM A Norris, FM T Upton draw J Montgomery, J Grant 1-0 WFM E Rutherford.
J Parkin - D Bryson
Scottish Championship (1), Nimzo-Larsen Attack
1 b3 e5 2 Bb2 Nc6 3 e3 Nf6 4 Bb5 Bd6 5 Nh3 a6 6 Be2 Be7 7 f4 d6 8 Nf2 exf4 9 exf4 0-0 10 Bf3 d5 11 0-0 Bc5 12 d4 Bb6 13 c4 dxc4 14 Bxc6 bxc6 15 bxc4 Rb8 16 Bc3 Be6 17 c5 Ba7 18 Qd3 Qc8 19 Ne4 Nxe4 20 Qxe4 Bd5 21 Qd3 Qb7 22 Na3 Rbe8 23 f5 f6 24 Rab1 Qc8 25 Rb2 Re4 26 Bd2 Rfe8 27 Rf2 Bf7 28 Nc2 Qd7 29 Qc3 Bd5 30 h3 Qf7 31 Rb7 Bb8 32 Qb2 Qf8 33 Nb4 Rc8 34 Nxa6 Ree8 35 Rf1? [35 Qb4!] 35 ..Bc4 36 Nb4 Bxf1 37 Kxf1 Qe7 38 Nxc6 Qe2+ 39 Kg1 Qd1+ 40 Kh2 Qf1 41 Qb3+ Kh8 42 Be3 Qxf5 43 Nxb8 h5 44 a4 Re4 45 a5 Rce8 46 Bg1 h4 47 Qd3 Qf4+ 48 Kh1 Re1 49 Qf3 Rxg1+ 50 Kxg1 Re1+ 0-1
THE Ladies won the ninth series of the novelty Veterans vs. Ladies chess tournament with a dance theme, the Schuhplattler in Munich, by a score of 27-23.
Each edition of this peripatetic extravaganza, which sees the stars of yesteryear pitting their wits against some of the top female players in the game today, is named after a local dance starting with the Tumba in 1992 on the Island of Aruba.
Honours were almost exactly even before last year's event, the Flamenco in Marbella in which the Veterans scored a huge 30.5-19.5 victory. However a strengthened ladies team staged a wonderful recovery in Munich to win the latest edition, and in the process narrow the overall score in the tournament to 273-265 in favour of the veterans.
With an average age of 69 in the veterans team, their highest scorer was the 69-year-old two-time world championship challenger, Viktor Korchnoi, with 7.5/10. For the Ladies, with an average age of 29, their top scorers were Xie Jun, the reigning women's world champion, and Nana Ioseliani, both with 6.5/10. Thus the venerable Viktor yet again won the individual contest with 7.5/10, and Xie Jun and Ioseliani tied for 2nd-3rd with 6.5
Ladies 27: Xie Jun (China) 6.5/10; N Ioseliani (Georgia) 6.5; A Galliamova
(Russia) 6; Zhu Chen (China) 5; S Polgar (Hungary) 3.
Veterans 23: V Korchnoi (Switzerland) 7.5/10; V Smyslov (Russia) 5; V Hort (Czech Republic) 4.5; M Taimanov (Russia) 3.5; H Bouwmeester (Netherlands) 2.5
Zhu Chen - V Korchnoi
Veterans vs Ladies (9), Queen's Gambit Declined
1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nf3 d5 4 Nc3 Be7 5 Bg5 h6 6 Bh4 0-0 7 e3 Nbd7 8 Bd3 dxc4 9 Bxc4 a6 10 a4 c5 11 0-0 cxd4 12 exd4 Qa5 13 Qe2 Bb4 14 Rfc1 b6 15 Ne4 Bb7 16 Nxf6+ Nxf6 17 Ne5 Nh7 18 Qg4 Bd5 19 Bd3 Bd6 20 Nc4 Bxc4 21 Bxc4 Qb4 22 Bd3 Rfc8 23 Qe4 Nf8 24 Rxc8 Rxc8 25 Bxa6 Rc7 26 Qe2 Qxd4 27 Bg3 Bxg3 28 hxg3 Rc5 29 Bb5 Re5 30 Qc2 Rd5 31 Rb1 Ng6 32 b4 Ne5 33 Be2 g5 34 Qb2 Qe4 35 Bf1 h5 36 Rc1 h4 37 gxh4 gxh4 38 Rc8+ Kg7 39 Rc4 Qg6 40 Rxh4 Qf6 0-1
ITS now been confirmed that the Brain Games Network World Championship match between Garry Kasparov and Vladimir Kramnik will take place at The Riverside Studios in London - a venue made famous (or infamous?) by Chris Evans's with his recently demised "TFI Friday".
The sixteen game match, which starts on October 8th and runs until November 4th, will see the world no.1 and no.2 battling it out four times a week (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday) for the $2,000,000 prize fund, with the new champion also taking a specially commissioned trophy, The Howard Staunton Memorial Trophy, designed by Asprey and Garrard.
In a novel departure for the 116-year-old history of world championship matches, it's expected that both players could also agree to play "skins", with $400,000 taken from the prize fund to allow for a $25,000 win fee for each game. Should a game be drawn the win fee will continue to rollover until one of the two win a game. This was a proposal suggested by Kasparov for his last world title match in 1995 against Vishy Anand. Had the challenger agreed, he would have walked away from New York with an extra $225,000 as he won game nine after an opening series of eight draws.
Meanwhile, a rejuvenated Anand, who after a contractual dispute turned down another opportunity to be Kasparov's challenger and was replaced by Kramnik, dominates the Sparkassen Chess Meeting in Dortmund. After five rounds the Indian ace has the sole lead with 4/5 after defeating nearest rival, England's Mickey Adams.
V Anand - M Adams
Dortmund (5), Marshall Attack
1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 a6 4 Ba4 Nf6 5 0-0 Be7 6 Re1 b5 7 Bb3 0-0 8 c3 d5 9 exd5 Nxd5 10 Nxe5 Nxe5 11 Rxe5 c6 12 Re1 Bd6 13 d3 Qh4 14 g3 Qh3 15 Re4 Qf5 16 Nd2 Qg6 17 Re1 f5 18 a4 Rb8 19 axb5 axb5 20 Ne4 fxe4 21 dxe4 Bg4 22 Qd4 Bf3 23 exd5 c5 24 Qh4 Rbe8 25 Be3 Qf5 26 Rac1 Be4 27 Bd1 Bxd5 28 Bc2 Qf3 29 Qxh7+ Kf7 30 Qf5+ Kg8 31 Qxf3 Bxf3 32 Bd3 c4 33 Bf1 Re5 34 Bg2 Bh5 35 Bd4 Rxe1+ 36 Rxe1 Bf7 37 Ra1 b4 38 cxb4 Bxb4 39 Ra8 Rxa8 40 Bxa8 g5 41 Kg2 Kh7 42 Be4+ Kh6 43 Be3 Kh5 44 h3 Be6 45 g4+ 1-0
THE new Scottish season gets underway at the weekend with the annual Scottish Championships, organised by the Scottish Chess Association (SCA), which will run from 15-23 July at the Caledonian University in Glasgow.
Fourteen players will be vying for the 107th national title, the field being (in rating order): IM John Shaw (Kilmarnock) 2435, GM Colin McNab (Dundee) 2416, IM Douglas Bryson (Shettleston) 2370, John Young (Newcastle) 2305, FM Alan Norris (London) 2299, FM Tim Upton (Luxembourg) 2274, Neil Berry (Edinburgh) 2247, Jonathan Grant (Edinburgh West) 2208, Jim Montgomery (Glasgow Montrose) 2195, Paul Roberts (Edinburgh West) 2148, James Parkin (Dingwall) 2140, Jim Stevenson (London) 2133, Walter Buchanan (Edinburgh West) 2115, WFM Elaine Rutherford (Edinburgh) 2050.
Fittingly in this Millennium year, the peripatetic national congress returns to Glasgow, where in 1884 the SCA was formed and the first Championship was staged. In recognition of this milestone the Lord Provost of Glasgow, Cllr. Alex Mosson, will official open the tournament with a civic reception in the City Chambers this Saturday.
Weather (and pigeons!) permitting the SCA is running a novelty blitz tournament in Glasgow's George Square tomorrow afternoon to kick-off the Scottish Congress. If you would like to enter the speed event or any of the many tournaments running alongside the annual Championships, contact the SCA office at 15 Hope Street, Glasgow. Tel: 0141-221-6464.
The Scottish Congress will also be the first tournament of the new season for the popular Tod and Mitchell Scottish Grand Prix. With the recent Hawick Congress being the final tournament of last season, the 1999-2000 Grand Prix winners were: Candidates, Richard Wiltshire (Phones) 63 points; Challengers, James Hamilton (Cathcart) 81.5; Major, Richard Evans (Glasgow Montrose) 59; Minor, David Cubitt (Edinburgh) 66.5.
R Wiltshire - A Jelfs
West of Scotland Ch. (2), Grand Prix Attack
1 e4 c5 2 Nc3 Nc6 3 f4 g6 4 Nf3 Bg7 5 Bb5 a6 6 Bxc6 dxc6 7 0-0 e5 8 fxe5 Bxe5 9 Nxe5 Qd4+ 10 Kh1 Qxe5 11 Qf3 Be6 12 d3 g5 13 Be3 h5 14 Qf2 Nh6 15 Bxc5 Ng4 16 Qg1 0-0-0 17 d4 Qg7 18 Na4 Nf6 19 d5 Nxe4 20 dxe6 h4 21 Qe3 Ng3+ 22 Kg1 Nxf1 23 Rxf1 Rh6 24 Nb6+ Kb8 25 Nd7+ Kc8 26 Bd6 Rdh8 27 Nb6+ Kd8 28 Rxf7 Qxf7 29 exf7 Rxd6 30 Qe5 Rd1+ 31 Kf2 Rf8 32 Qxg5+ Kc7 33 Qe7+ 1-0
BRITISH No.1 Michael Adams has finally ended the eighteen-month and 83-game undefeated record of the world no.2 and world championship challenger, Russia's Vladimir Kramnik, to take the joint lead in the Sparkassen Chess Meeting in Dortmund.
After four rounds, both the "in-form" Adams and India's Vishy Anand are equal first, undefeated on 3/4. Half a point behind on 2.5 is the top Israeli chess computer, Deep Junior, and Hungary's Peter Leko.
Adams's form in Dortmund now confirms his status as a potential challenger to Kasparov's world crown after some highly impressive results over the last year. This was confirmed only last week when the world chess federation, FIDE, released their latest world-ranking list. Climbing a massive 40-points to 2755, the likable young Cornishman broke his own British record by becoming the new world no.5 - and putting him within striking distance of Kramnik and Anand for the world no. 2 and 3 spot.
Though Adams played his first international tournament at 12 and was a grandmaster and British champion at 17, he only started to make a dramatic impact at the higher echelons of the game in his mid-twenties.
Fortunately there are some top grandmasters, like Adams, who have matured relatively late in life to become world champions and title challengers: Korchnoi and Stein reached their peak by the mid-forties, Euwe and Smyslov in their mid-thirties. Perhaps Adams, 28, like a good bottle of wine, is maturing with age.
Leader board: 1-2 M Adams (England) & V Anand (India) 3/4; 3-4 Deep Junior (Israel) & P Leko (Hungary) 2.5; 5-6 E Bareev (Russia) & V Kramnik (Russia) 2; 7-8 V Akopian (Armenia) & A Khalifman (Russia) 1.5; 9-10 J Piket (Netherlands) & R Huebner (Germany) 1.
M Adams - V Kramnik
Dortmund (4), Sicilian Rossolimo
1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 g6 4 Bxc6 dxc6 5 d3 Bg7 6 h3 Nf6 7 Nc3 Nd7 8 0-0 e5 9 Be3 0-0 10 Qd2 Re8 11 Nh2 Qe7 12 Bh6 Bh8 13 Ng4 Nf8 14 Bg5 f6 15 Nh6+ Kg7 16 Be3 Ne6 17 Ne2 Ng5 18 Ng4 h5 19 Nh2 Rd8 20 Qc3 Ne6 21 f4 Nd4 22 Rae1 Kh7 23 Nf3 Be6 24 fxe5 fxe5 25 Ng5+ Kg8 26 Nxe6 Nxe6 27 Qb3 Kh7 28 Rf2 Rf8 29 Ref1 Bg7 30 Kh2 b6 31 Ng1 Nd4 32 Qa4 b5 33 Qa3 a5 34 Qc3 a4 35 Nf3 Ne6 36 b3 Kg8 37 Qd2 axb3 38 cxb3 Rad8 39 Qc3 g5 40 g3 Rd7 41 h4 gxh4 42 Nxh4 Rxf2+ 43 Rxf2 Qd6 44 Rd2 Nd4 45 Qc1 Bf6 46 Bxd4 Bxh4 47 Bxc5 Qh6 48 gxh4 Qf4+ 49 Kh1 Rg7 50 Qd1 1-0
THE eighth series of the chess world's answer to "Come Dancing", the annual Veterans vs. Ladies match, has once again taken to the dance floor with the Schuhplattler tournament in Munich, Germany.
Since 1992 this novelty event, sponsored by the Dutch software multi-millionaire, Joop Van Oosterom, and organised by the Monaco-based Association Max Euwe, has been held in different world locations and named after a famous local dance. In the past, we've had the Tumba, Waltzer, Palladienne, Polka, Foxtrot, Hostdans, Cancan and Flamenco.
This intriguing competition sees the stars of yesteryear pitting their wits against some of the top female players in the game today. After a heavy 30.5-19.5 defeat last year in the Flamenco in Spain, the Ladies fell way behind the Veterans in the overall score in the competition, at 238-250.
With an average age of 69, the Veterans team this year includes former world champion Vassily Smyslov, Viktor Korchnoi, Mark Taimanov, Hans Boumeester and Vlastimil Hort. The Ladies, with an average age of 29, includes the reigning women's world champion Xie Jun, Zhu Chen, Alisa Galliamova, Sofia Polgar and Nana Ioseliani.
Looking for revenge this year, the Ladies have got off to a good start in the tournament and hold a 14.5-10.5 lead over the Veterans after five rounds. As ever though, the biggest "lady-killer" in the tournament is the redoubtable figure of 69-year-old Viktor Korchnoi, who top scores for the Veterans with 3/5.
Veterans 10.5: V Korchnoi (Switzerland) 3/5; V Smyslov (Russia) 2.5;
M Taimanov (Russia) 2.5; V Hort (Czech) 1.5; H Bouwmeester (Netherlands)
Ladies 14.5: Zhu Chen (China) 3.5/5; Xie Jun (China) 3.5; N Ioseliani (Georgia) 3.5; S Polgar (Hungary) 2; A Galliamova (Russia) 2
V Korchnoi - S Polgar
Schuhplattler (2), Catalan Op.
1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 c6 3 Nf3 d5 4 Qb3 e6 5 g3 Nbd7 6 Bg2 Be7 7 0-0 0-0 8 Nc3 Qb6 9 Rd1 Qxb3 10 axb3 b6 11 e4 Bb7 12 e5 Ne8 13 Bg5 Bxg5 14 Nxg5 h6 15 Nh3 Nc7 16 Nf4 a5 17 h4 Ba6 18 Rac1 Rac8 19 cxd5 cxd5 20 Rd2 Nb5 21 Bf1 g5 22 Bxb5 Bxb5 23 hxg5 hxg5 24 Nh3 g4 25 Nf4 Rc6 26 Kg2 Rfc8 27 Rh1 Rxc3 28 bxc3 Rxc3 29 Rh4 Bc6 30 Ne2 Rxb3 31 Rc2 Nb8 32 Rxg4+ Kf8 33 Rh4 Rb4 34 Rh8+ Ke7 35 Rxb8 Rc4 36 Rxc4 dxc4+ 37 d5 1-0
IT was a victorious opening round for the pre-tournament favourites in the 28th Sparkassen Chess Meeting, which got underway in Dortmund at the weekend, as the players with the white pieces had a field day winning four of the five encounters.
The ten-player field in the category 19 tournament includes nine top players, Vladimir Kramnik (Russia), Vishy Anand (India), Mickey Adams (England), Peter Leko (Hungary), Evgeny Bareev (Russia), Alexander Khalifman (Russia), Jeroen Piket (Netherlands), Vladimir Akopian (Armenia), Robert Huebner (Germany), and one of the world's top chess playing computer programmes, Israel's Junior 6.
There were opening round wins for Vladimir Kramnik, against FIDE world championship finalist Vladimir Akopian, and Vishy Anand, over the FIDE world champion Alexander Khalifman, and defending champion Peter Leko over Robert Huebner. British No.1 Michael Adams was the more fortunate to win on the opening day as his opponent, Jeroen Piket, fell into time trouble and consequently lost on time in a roughly even position.
In the most double-edged opening round match up, Khalifman improved on a line of the Winawer French that he had against Anand from the recent Linares tournament, which put the Indian ace under great pressure. "Khalif's novelty [14 ..a6] was very strong," said Anand after the game. "I would have been in serious trouble if he had continued with 27 ..Nc6 28 Qxf7 Nd4."
Round one: E Bareev draw Junior 6; M Adams 1-0 J Piket; V Kramnik 1-0 V Akopian; V Anand 1-0 A Khalifman; P Leko 1-0 R Huebner
V Anand - A Khalifman
Dortmund (1), French Def
1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 Nc3 Bb4 4 e5 c5 5 a3 Ba5 6 b4 cxd4 7 Qg4 Ne7 8 bxa5 dxc3 9 Qxg7 Rg8 10 Qxh7 Nbc6 11 f4 Qxa5 12 Nf3 Bd7 13 Rb1 0-0-0 14 Qd3 a6 15 Ng5 Rxg5 16 fxg5 Nf5 17 Bf4 Qxa3 18 Rb3 Qa4 19 g3 d4 20 Be2 Na5 21 Rb1 Bb5 22 Rxb5 axb5 23 0-0 Nc4 24 g4 Ne7 25 Bg3 Nb2 26 Qh7 d3 27 cxd3 Nxd3 28 Qxf7 Qd4+ 29 Kh1 Qd5+ 30 Bf3 Qd7 31 g6 Nc6 32 Be4 Nc5 33 Bh4 Nxe5 34 Qxd7+ Rxd7 35 Bg3 Nxg6 36 Bxg6 Rg7 37 Be8 Nd7 38 Bxd7+ Kxd7 39 Be5 Rxg4 40 Bxc3 b4 41 Bf6 b3 42 Bb2 Re4 43 Rf3 Rb4 44 Re3 Rb5 45 Kg2 Kd6 46 h4 e5 47 h5 1-0
HARSH economic winds, which have reduced the number of one-round-a-day all-play-alls, are stimulating more flexible schedules.
The Independence Day holiday weekend in the USA featured the 28th annual World Open at the plush Adams Mark Hotel in Philadelphia; the largest and richest event of its kind with well over 1,000 entrants and a guaranteed $200,000 prize fund spread over seven sections.
For the first five rounds, players can choose their schedule: one game a day, or five games daily. Slow starters can withdraw and re-enter via a faster rate of play. All schedules then link up for the final four rounds of the GM infested Open, which had a top prize of $15,000.
And the big pots are not just for the masters. Lower sections range from the under-2200 down to the under-1600, each with 30 prizes ranging up to $10,000 for section winners. Entry fees are correspondingly high (about $200-250), but what a difference to some British congresses which have meagre and often not guaranteed rewards.
As the top players converged with the rest of the field for the final rounds, there was an eight-player GM log jam at the top between Joel Benjamin, Jan Ehlvest, Gregory Serper, John Fedorowicz, Alex Ivanov, Sergey Kudrin, Jay Goldin and Pavel Blatny, all tied on 7/9.
The only British player in with a chance with the title was England's "Grandmaster of Disaster", Julian Hodgson. Needing a last round win against Ivanov to take a share of the spoils, Hodgson, despite am all-out attempt to win with his trusty Trompowsky, couldn't find the win and had to settle for a draw in a fantastic duel.
With all the prize money equally shared between the eight, the only matter to be resolved was who would be the 2000 World Open Champion. This was resolved in a single round-robin blitz playoff, which was played late into the night, and was won by Joel Benjamin (the chess brains behind IBM's Deep Blue in the infamous 1997 match with Kasparov), earning him the 2000 World Open Champion title.
J Benjamin - E Tate
World Open (7), French Def.
1 e4 e6 2 d3 c5 3 Nf3 d5 4 Qe2 dxe4 5 dxe4 Ne7 6 Na3 Nec6 7 c3 Be7 8 Bf4 0-0 9 Qc2 Nd7 10 Bb5 g5 11 Be3 f5 12 exf5 exf5 13 0-0-0 f4 14 h4!! gxh4 [14 ..fxe3 15 hxg5 Rf7 16 Bc4 wins] 15 Bxc5 Bxc5 16 Rxh4 Qe7 17 Bc4+ Kh8 18 Rdh1 Nf6 19 Ng5 Be3+ 20 Kb1 h5 21 Rxh5+ Nxh5 22 Rxh5+ Kg7 23 Qh7+ Kf6 24 Rh6+ Ke5 25 Nf3 mate 1-0
THE world chess federation, FIDE, released on Monday their twice yearly official world rankings for the next six-months, which, since 1984, has been headed by Russia's Garry Kasparov.
With just a drop of two points, Kasparov again tops the latest list at 2849. However, there's a change in the second and third spot as his fellow Russian and former prodigy, Vladimir Kramnik (who plays Kasparov for his world title this autumn in London), has now overtaken India's Vishy Anand with an increase of 12-points to 2770.
At the expense of Alexei Shirov and Peter Leko, the biggest gainer on the latest list was the British no.1, England's Michael Adams, who enters the magic circle of the top six for the first time as he moves from 7 to 5 with an increase of 40-points. Also showing a big increase in his rating is Poland's Michal Krasenkow, who with a 41-point increase, forces his way into the top ten for the first time by replacing Evgeny Bareev.
The world rankings - or "Elo list" - was used for the first time in 1970 and was created by Arpad Elo (1903-92), the Hungarian born professor of physics and astronomy at Marquette University, Milwaukee. A former state champion of Wisconsin, Elo spent 20 years refining, developing, validating, and popularising his rating system, first adopted in the US and then accepted by FIDE in 1970 for international use as the official world rankings.
World top ten
1 G Kasparov (Russia) 2849; 2 V Kramnik (Russia) 2770; 3 V Anand (India) 2762; 4 A Morozevich (Russia) 2756; 5 M Adams (England) 2755; 6 A Shirov (Spain) 2746; 7 P Leko (Hungary) 2743; 8 V Ivanchuk (Ukraine) 2719; 9 V Topalov (Bulgaria) 2707; 10 M Krasenkow (Poland) 2702.
G Kasparov - V Kramnik
Frankfurt Giants (9), Sicilian Sveshnikov
1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 e5 6 Ndb5 d6 7 Bg5 a6 8 Na3 b5 9 Nd5 Be7 10 Bxf6 Bxf6 11 c3 Bg5 12 Nc2 Rb8 13 a3 a5 14 Bd3 Ne7 15 Nxe7 Qxe7 16 Qe2 0-0 17 0-0 Bd7 18 b4 axb4 19 Nxb4 Rfc8 20 c4 bxc4 21 Bxc4 Be6 22 Bd5 Qd7 23 Qa6 Rc3 24 Rfd1 Bg4 25 Rdb1 Rbc8 26 a4 h5 27 a5 Bh4 28 Qb7 R3c7 29 a6! Bh3! (29 ..Rxb7 30 axb7 is too dangerous for Black) 30 gxh3 Qxh3 31 Qb6 Bg5 (31 ..Qg4+! 32 Kf1 Rc5! wins for Black) 32 Nd3 Qg4+ 33 Kf1 Qh3+ 34 Kg1 Qg4+ 35 Kf1 Qh3+ draw
IT was a clear case of when the cats away the mice will play at the Hawick Millennium Congress held at the Tevoitdale Leisure Centre at the weekend, as, surprisingly, there were no titled players among the field.
With the Scottish titled players either on holiday or doing last minute preparations for the forthcoming Scottish Millennium Championships in Glasgow, there was an unexpected bonus for the lesser players as the Open suddenly became more "open".
And, with a final score of 4.5/5, Shettleston's Paul Hooper, who now lives in Edinburgh, was the unexpected winner of the Open. After beating the second seed Adrian Stalker in the penultimate round, Hooper secured the first prize of 350.00 with a last round draw with top seed Neil Berry.
The Hawick Congress, which was generously supported by the Hawick Common Good Fund, was the final tournament of the Scottish 1999-2000 season and therefore the last graded congress of the season, and also of the Tod and Mitchell Scottish Grand Prix. As ever, the Scottish Championships, which this year is held at the Glasgow Caledonian University (15-23 July), will be the first tournament of the new season. It's still not too late to enter one of the many competitions at the Scottish, and you can do so by contacting George Anderson on 0131-447-2149.
Open - 1 P Hooper (Shettleston) 4.5/5; 2 N Berry (Edinburgh) 4; 3-7
D Russell (Bon Accord), S Barnes (England), K Malkin (Kilmarnock), M Harkins
(Cathcart), M Ford (Lasswade) 3.
Major - 1 S Smith (Stirling) 4.5/5; 2 A Forbes (Scottish Widows) 4; 3-6 David Fowler (Aberdeen Univ), M Wallace (Galashiels), Derek Fowler (England), R Coulstock (Juniper Green) 3.5.
Minor - 1-2 D Cubitt (Edinburgh) & S Graham (Kelso) 4/5; 3-5 S MacKinney (Wester Hails), L Harvard (Edinburgh), W Miller (Selkirk) 3.5.
A Stalker - P Hooper
Hawick Open (4), The Sidekick
1 d4 d6 2 Nf3 Bg4 3 c4 Nd7 4 Nc3 g6 5 e4 Bxf3 6 Qxf3 Bg7 7 Be3 c5 8 d5 Bxc3+ 9 bxc3 Ngf6 10 Bd3 Qa5 11 Bd2 Ne5 12 Qe2 Nfd7 13 f4 Nxd3+ 14 Qxd3 Qa4 15 Ke2 Nb6 16 Rhb1 Rb8 17 Be1 0-0 18 Bg3 Nxc4 19 h4 f5 20 h5 Na3 21 Rh1 fxe4 22 Qd2 Qc4+ 23 Ke1 Rf5 24 hxg6 hxg6 25 Rd1 e3 26 Qd3 Rbf8 27 Ke2 Qxa2+ 28 Kxe3 Qxg2 0-1
ANOTHER tactical roller coaster over Vladimir Akopian, last year's defeated FIDE championship finalist, in the sixth and final round gave Alexei Shirov victory in the category XVII City of Merida international in Mexico.
Shirov, the Latvian genius who now plays under the Spanish flag, scored 4/6 in the four-player double round all-play-all, to finish half a point clear of the world's top female player, Hungary's Judit Polgar.
Remarkably, the world number four came from behind to win after a disastrous start to the tournament. He was lucky to score just a half out of two against Mexico's Gilberto Hernandez, the lowest rated player in the tournament.
However, the player whose entertaining book of best games is appropriately called "Fire On Board", set the tournament alight with an array of dazzling sacrifices that we've come to expect from the tactical genius who is widely regarded as one of the most aggressive and inventive player of the modern era.
Shirov completed a double victory over Akopian and had defeated Polgar in another brilliant game in the fourth round. Like Polgar before him, Akopian, in today's decisive final round game, lost his way in a complex position where both kings were exposed and was hit by a series of tactics.
1 A Shirov (Spain) 4/6; 2 J Polgar (Hungary) 3.5; 3 G Hernandez (Mexico) 2.5; 4 V Akopian (Armenia) 2.
A Shirov - V Akopian
City of Merida (6), French Defence
1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 Nc3 Bb4 4 e5 c5 5 a3 Ba5 6 b4 cxd4 7 Qg4 Ne7 8 bxa5 dxc3 9 Qxg7 Rg8 10 Qxh7 Nbc6 11 Nf3 Qc7 12 Bf4 Bd7 13 Bg3 0-0-0 14 Bd3 Qxa5 15 0-0 Qc5 16 Qxf7 Rdf8 17 Qh7 Rxf3 18 gxf3 Nxe5 19 Be2 d4 20 Rfe1 Bc6 21 Kf1 Nxf3 22 Bxf3 Bxf3 23 Re5 Bd5 24 Kg1 Kd7 25 Rd1 Qxa3 26 Qh4 Qa4 27 Rxe6 Rxg3+ (27 ..Kxe6 28 Re1+ Kd7 [28 ..Kf7 29 Rxe7+] 29 Qxe7+ Kc6 30 Qd6+) 28 hxg3 Nf5 29 Qh7+ Kxe6 30 Qg6+ Kd7 31 Qxf5+ Kc6 32 Qf6+ Kc5 33 Qe7+ Kc4 34 Qe5 Kc5 35 f4 b5 36 f5 Kc6 37 Qf6+ Kc5 38 Qe5 Kc6 39 Rxd4 Qa1+ 40 Kf2 Qh1 41 Rxd5 Qxd5 42 Qxc3+ Kd6 43 Qd3 a5 44 Ke3 a4 45 Qxd5+ Kxd5 46 Kd2 b4 47 Kc1 1-0
"EVERY move you make..." took on a new meaning for the Tantrically gifted Sting as he and his band members, Dominic Miller, Jason Rebello and Chris Botti, came face to face with world champion Garry Kasparov in a high-profile celebrity simultaneous at the ABC Studios in Times Square, New York.
The one-hour, exhibition game was staged to mark the successful completion of the first-ever World School Chess Championships, a competition that is the brainchild of Kasparov, which was run via his website, KasparovChess.com. More than 4,000 pupils representing 600 schools from 24 countries, and covering all five continents around the world, have been competing via the Internet.
The top two teams from each age category had an all-expenses paid trip to New York to play in the finals, which were held at the TriBeca Arts Performing Centre in New York. The competing teams being Elkana School (Israel); Dixie Bee School (USA); Nottingham School (England); Hunter School (USA); Norges Toppidrettsgymnas (Norway); and the Anglican Church School (Australia).
With hundreds of screaming Sting fans waving and yelling outside, the four celebrity games had maximum publicity with a live broadcast on the champion's website, live coverage at the premier webcam portal, EarthCam.com, and on the large Jumbotron screen on top of Times Square Studios at 44th Street and Broadway. By far one of the strongest celebrity chess players, Sting, who naturally was the last to finish (Tantric chess?) in the 4-0 Kasparov whitewash, had a perfectly sensible position in the middlegame before blundering a pawn and burying his bishop in the corner.
G Kasparov - Sting
Kasparov.com Simul, Reti Opening
1 g3 Nf6 2 Bg2 e5 3 d3 Bc5 4 Nf3 d6 5 0-0 0-0 6 c4 Nc6 7 Nc3 Bg4 8 h3 Bxf3 9 Bxf3 Qd7 10 Bg2 a6 11 e3 Bb4 12 Ne2 Rae8 13 a3 Bc5 14 Qc2 Re7 15 b4 Ba7 16 Nc3 Rfe8 17 Bd2 d5 18 cxd5 Nd8 19 e4 h6 20 Be3 b6 21 Ne2 Nb7 22 g4 Rc8 23 Ng3 Nd6 24 Qc6 Qxc6 25 dxc6 Rd8 26 a4 Nc8 27 Rfd1 Re6 28 b5 a5 29 Bf3 Red6 30 Be2 Nh7 31 h4 Ne7 32 Nf5 Nxf5 33 gxf5 f6 34 Ra3 Kh8 35 Rd2 Rg8 36 h5 Ng5 37 Kf1 Nh3 38 Bg4 Nf4 39 d4 exd4 40 Bxf4 Rdd8 41 Ke2 Rge8 42 Kd3 Re7 43 Bd1 Rde8 44 f3 Rd8 45 Bb3 1-0
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