Sunday, 23 July 2017

Scottish Chess Championship Day 8 - One Day More

Another day, another destiny.  This never ending road to Calvary....

There is just one more day to go.  I am counting down the hours until I leave.  I am no longer tired, I am numb!  It was Alan's turn today to go to the wall.  We are now 3/3!!

The Rapidplay has gone really well.  Along with the Blitz last weekend, we have realised both financially and in terms of coping ourselves, it is better to have this than a weekend congress.  The OMG how late are we finishing Friday night is now no more and we get to our beds at a reasonable hour.

Well Murad did it.  He won today and now is FM Murad Abdulla.  We are over the moon for him.

Scotland's Newest Titled Player
I was speaking to him after his game. His ambition is to play board 1 for Scotland at the Olympiad.  I am not taking bets on him not doing that.

In the Open, Murad is leading the Scottish players by half a point.  In the chasing group we have Calum MacQueen and Neil Berry.  Should they all lose tomorrow, pick a name out of the hat as there are a further 8 players a full point behind.

Should Murad lose and Calum draw.  I am not going to guess who would be champion as their tie break is too close to call.

In the All Play All.  Andrew and Martin  are leading by half a point over Keti and  Spyridon.  Going to be interesting to see who wins that one.

In the main open event, after a flurry of draws on the top boards, GM Andrei Maksimenko and FM Tim Wall are leading on 6.5 with Murad, GM Oleg Korneev, GM Mark Hebden and GM Daniel Gormally a half point behind.

One more day, just one more day to go :D

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Scottish Chess Championship Day 7 - We have a winner!

Captains log, day 7.  The U1850 / Seniors is over, we no longer have to get up early in the morning for the tournament.  Ah wait I hear you say, what about the Rapidplay???  Curses foiled again!!!

I don't know who's brilliant idea it was to have a morning session and afternoon session, but I honestly wish they become infamous and have a disease named after them.

I was the first to crack (yesterday).  Today it was Alex's turn.  That is a rare occurrence.  You know we are overdoing it when Alex is suffering.

So the U1850 is now officially over and we have some new champions to crown.

Without much further ado allow me to introduce...

Winners of the U1850 with 5/6 were Geoffery Brown and Robert Clegg from England.

The Scottish Seniors Champions were Jim Anderson, Adam Walkowaik and William Clinton

Scottish Schools Champion was Jonathan McKay

After todays result, we are once again on Murad watch.  After a really nice win against FM Charlie Storey, he is once again a win away from becoming an FM.  Hopefully tomorrow we will be reporting good news.

Strangely it has been a quiet day.  We caught up on the PGNs.  Dave left us to head down to the Glorney and the Chief Arbiter of the ECF is joining us to add a bit of decorum to proceedings.  Lara will be joining us later on tonight.  It is always good fun when Lara joins us.

With the results in the Open being as difficult to predict as the football pools at the moment, we have no idea who is going to emerge as Scottish Champion.  I have a feeling we are going to see a new name this year as we have Calum MacQueen, Lennart Koehn and Murad in the leading Scottish group along with Jonathan Grant (who has won this before).  It is entirely possible that three of them can win today which puts them in a pretty good position.  If they slip up in the next 2 rounds, Roddie and Neil Berry are waiting to pounce.  Really it is anyones game at the moment.

In the APA Keti is continuing her fine form with a win over win over Pia, but Andrew, Spyridon and Martin are sitting just behind.

It is going to be a very interesting 2 days of chess!

Friday, 21 July 2017

Scottish Chess Championship Day 6 - The Next Day!!

There was me sitting last night wondering where on earth the "wall" was.  Normally on the Wednesday I am walking around like a zombie.  Well dear readers, it hit today and it hit hard!!!  So that's what getting older means, it just takes a bit longer!

There was hilarity abound today.  When we were putting up the name cards for the Open, we noticed we had hit a "magic" pairing.  This one had a really strong Sherlock Holmes theme to it.  Who were the two players?  Well it was no mystery...

Lennart showing Alex what he thought of the joke
Everyone likes reading Koehn-Doyle....

For years we wanted to get Tate - Lyle but never managed it.  Did get Marks - Spencer quite a few times!

I had a first today in my arbiting career!  Not often I can say this.  I had my first ever 5 fold repetition.  Not even the great Alex has had that!  I am honoured :)

 One of the strangest complaints this year passed the desk.  During the U1850, a hand shot up.  When the Arbiting team walked over, the player complained that their opponent was not recording the moves.  On checking the clock, the opponent had 3 minutes and 50 seconds remaining.  We pointed this out but were non-plussed with the reply we got.  "He is 8 moves behind.  There is no way he could have made 8 moves in 10 seconds....".  Must be something in the water when someone mixes up 10 seconds and 1 minute 10 seconds!

Not to be out-done, an unnamed player in the Open went to the toilet (I promise I will keep this clean!).  When he returned, he sat down at the wrong table, looked puzzled at the position, then even more puzzled at his opponent.  Realised his mistake and moved 1 table to the left which was still the wrong table...   We guided him to the right table, exactly where the placecard with his name was...

The fun with the scoresheets continued today with this rather bizarre move

According to player 1, the sequence was c4, Be7 Nc3 c5.  Player 2 had c4 Nc3 c5 Be3.  

Which one was right????

The answer is neither!  Ah the joys of putting games in.

Tomorrow sees David returning down south for the Glorney.  Who do we have to fill in his shoes?  The one and only IA, IO Lara Barnes.  You have to feel sorry for Alex, I have been winding him up incessantly all week and now Lara is here as well :p

The U1850 finishes tomorrow and it is in reality a straight fight.  Who will be successful?  Here are your 4 contenders...

 Good luck to you all!

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Scottish Chess Championship Day 5 - Now that is odd.

Day 5 and something strange.  I have not hit the wall today!  We think this is my 10th Scottish (compared with Alex's 30 odd) and without fail on the Wednesday I am like the walking dead.  Nope not today.  How strange :D  Maybe this getting older is a good thing after all.

There are now 2 rounds left in the U1850 and it is getting a bit spicy at the top.  A quick glance sees young Jonathan McKay taking on fellow Scot Adam Walkowiak whilst the other top tie is an all England clash between Robert Clegg and Geoffrey Brown.  The overall winner will in all likelyhood come from those 4.

We had excitement today when Murad took on the number 2 seed GM Andrei Maksimenko with a draw giving Murad sufficient points gain to give him the FM title.  Unfortunately it was not to be but I wager if he does not do it here, he will in the next few months.  Fingers crossed Murad crosses the 2300 here at the Scottish!

Entering the games is often a head in hands /  hilarious moment probably in equal proportions.  When entering one of the games, we had this rather puzzling move

20.fxd5.  Wow that has to be a pawn on steroids!!!

I finally got round to lining up the Blog with the rounds.  It was confusing people :D

Today was the rest day for the all play all.  There was one game left over from Round 1 as GM Arkell could not make it up for the start on Friday, so they played it today.  The Sofia rules are in force however there are ways that you can legally have a draw before move 30.  One is by 3 x repetition.  Guess what happened....

Where there is a rule, Hamilton will find a way around it (sorry Mike...)

In all it has been a strangely quiet day today.  That can only mean one thing.  We are in for it tomorrow!

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Scottish Chess Championship Day 4 - The True Sportsman

Tonight's topic pics itself.  Sportsmanship.  Chess they say is the sport of Gentlefolk.  It is supposed to be a model of decorum and tranquillity (to quote one of my favourite musicals).  Recent times, I have spent many hours working with the FIDE Anti-Cheating Commission on the darker side of chess.  Today, I am pleased to report on one of the most remarkable acts of sportsmanship I have come across as an arbiter.

The person in question is Rabinda Paul.  Rabinda cannot go any higher in my estimation.  During his game, while his opponent was away from the board, he picked up a piece (a bishop) to make a move.  Moving that piece essentially would have lost him the game.  Rabindas' reaction was to resign, wait for his opponent to return to the board and explained that he had touched the piece and made the move he was going to make while they were away.

Bishop picked up leading to loss of game
Exemplary sportsmanship!

The heat in the hall was horrific today.  You could tell, even our foreign contingent were seen flocking round the open door (after we had the alarm disabled) fanning themselves with their scoresheets.  The other way we could tell was by how quickly the games finished.  No one (including the Arbiters) wanted to sit in the hall for any more time than was necessary.  Imagine the look of surprise when GM Colin McNab strolls in wearing a jacket as cool as a cucumber!  Hopefully he will tell us his secret.

Dundee is a strange place at times.  After play had finished and we had packed up for the day, we headed down to the local Weatherspoons for our evening meal.  Generally there are 5 of us of an evening (or what's left of it) Alex, Alan, David, Howard and myself.  Last night we were joined by Craig Pritchett.  We are sitting there eating our meals when we could hear gigging behind us.  Next thing a young lady rushes past.  Snatches my glass of beer and runs out of the place laughing.  I wouldn't mind but I had my phone sitting next to the glass, a backpack with a couple of thousand of pounds worth of equipment sitting next to me and Alan had his camera fairly close (quite a nice one I may add).  Snatch and grab for a beer?  I am definitely not in Glasgow!   (I won't go into what the reaction would have been had it been one of the expensive items, needless to say I have a very strong throwing arm....).  On the plus side, the staff were horrified when Alex told them and instantly returned with a new one for me!

Dundee is a strange strange place :D

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Scottish Chess Championship Day 3 - Another Champion

Day three has passed, we are now 1/3 of the way there.  Weather forecast is for hot weather this week.  Given the heat in the hall already, I suspect tomorrow may be unbearable.

Speaking of heat.  Finally got to the bottom of what was wrong with Alex's laptop.  It was overheating.  Once I had cracked open the BIOS (these people who put admin passwords on...) I was able to see it was thermal shutdowns.  One scramble for screwdrivers later (Thanks Jim Anderson!) and we had the covers off.  After cleaning and testing it was still happening,  looks like it is a fatal error.  On the plus side I now need to put chessbase onto my main laptop to give Alex something to put the games into.

This morning, the second champion of the 10 days was crowned.  We only had 2 entries into the Schools Championship so decided to let them play a 2 game match then transfer to the U1850.  The winner of that two game match was Jonathan McKay winning 2-0.


There were strange happenings in the hall today.  We had a TV crew filming for the 6 o'clock news.  Yes you read that correctly.  News and Chess!  Somehow I managed to keep out of the shot (Well lets face it, I would have taken up the whole picture....).  I don't know if the link will work from here, It is on the Dundee Chess Club facebook page which is public.

After my unexpected appearances on the documentary 60 Minutes did on Magnus Carlson, I was keen to keep out of the way.  As I often point out, I have a face for radio!

With Alex's computer down and us being behind on the pgns, I spent most of the afternoon with my head in the laptop trying to enter the games.  I say trying as I am convinced the players were trying their best to disguise what they are doing...  White playing things like Rd2 then Ng5 then Rd2 were the norm.  It wouldn't be as bad if it was just the one scoresheet, but when it is both....

I was that engrossed in doing it, I completely forgot that the Scoresheets they are using in the APA only go to move 60 (I curse the person who came up with that idea!!).  Cue a couple of bemused GMs looking at me pleadingly as they were at the move 58+ waiting for a new sheet.  OOOPS!

The game I did manage to catch was the end of Keti v Martin Petr.  As you all know, I love my endgames.  That was a complete and utter masterclass from Keti.  I cheated and used 6 man tablebases, mainly as I wanted to learn the technique.  I lost count of how many times there was only  or 2 correct moves and despite playing in the increment, Keti found the correct move and got a richly deserved draw.

Game is on the CS website (Round 4 of the APA).  If you like endgames, I would thoroughly recommend taking a look at it.

So day 3 has come and gone.  2/3 of the competition to go and 2 days before I traditionally hit the wall!  I am dreading day 5!!!

Monday, 17 July 2017

Scottish Chess Championship Day 2 - A Pleasant Surprise

One of the annoying things with this years Scottish, is I am away from my family.  Not that I see them much during the Scottish anyway, but I am still normally around in the morning.  What doesn't help is I travel a lot for work and in the lead up, I was away the Tuesday and Wednesday.

I have a fantastic wife.  I knew she was coming up today to see me and drop off some clean clothes.  The kids came with her :)  Totally brightened up my day to see the three of them :D

With the producers of Minecraft being one of the sponsors for the all play all, and both my kids avid players (personally I cannot stand the game) it would have been a waste not to get a photo of them..

We got the rest of the boards wired in today.  Unfortunately we are not able to use the wireless boards due to the amount of electronic fog.  We are struggling to get the TVs to connect wirelessly as well!

The extended boards gave us probably one of the best checkmates so far and I will be surprised to see a better one.

FM Tim Wall was taking on William Rutherford.  Here is the position after move 28.  Black has just played Kh6

White follows up with 29.Nf7+ giving black only Kh5

Now 30. Rg5+, saccing the rook Bxg5

Mate in 1.  31 Ng3#

Beautiful mate.  Well done Sir!

It is round 3 in the all play all.   After day 1 producing almost all draws, there has hardly been any in sight.  Probably the highlight for me was Keti's win V Keith Arkell.  A very instructive game and I would highly recommend having a look at it!

Unfortunately we have been unable to get the PGNs out.  The computer Alex uses seems to have a terminal fault.  I have promised I would take a good look at it tomorrow but on cursory examination, I suspect something is shorting on the board (either that or his junk collection is too big!).  The plan for tomorrow is to spend the morning fixing the computer then the afternoon entering the games.  Not an easy process for me as the software is on my tablet which is running the live boards.  I have to connect into the tablet from my laptop and do it remotely.  Ah the joys :D

All going well, Rounds 1 and 2 will be up tomorrow and 1-3 for the APA.  We will not be able to host them on the CS website as it doesn't like the extension, so anyone looking for them, go to the Championship website.  I'll stick a link in from the front page when we get them up (probably around 6pm ish on Monday).

Well that's all for today, lets see what tomorrow brings (hopefully some cooler weather!)