Congratulations to the Edinburgh 1 team who beat Dundee A to retain the national league title by board difference. Well played also to the second team who beat Stepps, unfortunately this wasn’t enough to prevent relegation. My thanks to all who took part this season
Congratulations to Edinburgh 1 who finished the season with a 3 – 2 win against Dundee A and took the national league title with seven wins out of 7. The second team drew with North Ayrshire Crusaders to finish safely above the relegation places. In the team lightning the first team finished third behind Hamilton and Dundee A, the second team eighth out of eighteen teams. My thanks to all who have taken part in the national league this season
Both teams started the new season with two wins. In the top division Edinburgh 1 beat Greenwood and East Kilbride A. In division 2 Edinburgh 2 beat Dunfermline Knights and Dragons A (the latter a particularly good result as we were outgraded on every board.)
Both the first and second teams finished their SNCL campaigns with good wins, leaving both in third place in the first and second divisions respectively.
Last Sunday (23 Feb) saw rounds 5 and 6 of this year’s national league. The final round is on 30 March with the lightning championship in the afternoon.
Our Richardson Cup defence began and ended at the quarter final stage. We had a tough draw, away to Glasgow Polytechnic. Things were not looking good after a couple of hours play, and we were under pressure on a number of boards. We showed great fighting spirit to stay within striking distance – Kafka winning from a dubious looking position, and Oswald taking great risks to also net a point. We were still a bit behind – with 2 games to play we were a point behind. MacQueen had decent winning chances, but I was a pawn down in a Rook Ending to John Shaw. I expected to suffer, but defended well and even came up with a sneaky trap:
Now if White plays 1.Rf3??, Black has 1…g2 2.Rg3 and now the deflection 2…Rf3+! forces promotion. John played 1.Rf1, and after 1…Kxf6 2.Rg1 Rf3+ 3.Kb4 Kg5 a draw was soon agreed as both sides will give up their Rooks for the remaining pawns.
John said afterwards that he nearly played 1.Rf3! I’m not sure how close he actually was, but that was probably the last moment where victory was possible. Calum’s game was also eventually drawn, so the final result was:
Colin McNab 1-0 Clement Sreeves (W)
So congratulations to Polytechnic. They will be hard to stop this year.
Home Director Keith Rose has tried to instigate a consolation tournament for the Richardson Cup losers. A very good idea in principle, but there hasn’t been too much interest. We will play one match at least, against last years’ finalists Edinburgh West next month at the club.
For the second time in three years, we sent a team to play in the European Club Cup. This years’ event was held in the splendid Rodos Palace Hotel in Rhodes, from October 19-27. We qualified as Richardson winners, and were joined by runners up Edinburgh West. We had an average rating of 2136, making us 43rd seeds out of the 53 Teams in the Open section. Here are my highlights:
1. Winning! We won 3 matches 3.5-2.5, which meant we finished in 33rd place. This was double our points total from last time (although we had a kinder draw this time around). Edinburgh West player John Watkins remarked that winning a game in the ECC was similar to winning a game in the Edinburgh Premier League. He meant it as a compliment…I guess we don’t have to face the mighty Edinburgh 1 so don’t have the same perspective!
2. Rubbing shoulders with the stars. It was nice having all the games in the one hall, and almost all of the Teams staying in the same Hotel. During meal times you would always see a number of galacticos. This extended to the local bars, where various groups of chess players gathered to watch the Champions League football matches or just unwind. Ukrainian GM Anton Korobov had the unfortunate experience of witnessing one of our worst pieces of analysis
3. The Morra Gambit! Well, not really, but it provided us with our first individual win, the following fine attacking effort from David Oswald:
19.g5! hxg5? [Too compliant.]
[19...Nd4 was better. The position is messy - White has a strong attack but Black has counterplay.]
20.hxg5 Bxg5 21.Rh1 [White's attack flows naturally.]
21…Bxe3 22.Qxe3 Nd4! [The best try. Black combines an attack on the ?c4 with defensive resources such as ...Nxf5–h6 or ...Qg5+–h6 in some variations.]
23.Bd3! [The most impressive move of the game. White takes a time out to move his attacked Bishop, while preventing ...Nxf5 and creating a new threat of f6. A very hard move to find when 'mid combination'.]
[Neither 23.Qh3 Qg5+; nor 23.Ne4 Nxf5 work for White.]
23…e4 24.Bxe4 d5 25.Rh5 [25.Rxh7+ mates immediately, but the move played is plenty good enough to win.]
25…dxe4 26.Rch1 Kg8 27.Rxh7 f6 28.Rh8+ Kf7 29.Rxf8+ winning either the Queen or the Knight on d4. Black resigned. 1–0
Rd1: Reichenstein SSB (SUI) 4.5-1.5 Edinburgh
1. Clement Sreeves 2.5/7
I have been asked by Gregor Schmatz, a photography student at Napier University, if he could take some photographs of the club and some members for his studies. Gregor might visit on club nights from time to time to take some photographs and have a chat to members
Membership subscriptions for the new season became due on 1 August 2013. Please help your committee members and team captains by paying your subscription promptly, so that we don’t have to spend time chasing slow payers. I will be at the club on Tuesdays for the next few weeks and happy to take your money!
The first round of this year’s SNCL is on 27 October. I’ve sent an email to those players who I know have been interested in playing in the past. If you didn’t get this and would like to play, please get in touch – we try to give games to everyone who would like one at some stage during the SNCL season.