Now where were we yesterday? Ah yes, Neil was on the cusp of getting one of these.
Yep not only did he get the draw he needed, he went one further and won his game which made him..
To be honest, Neil has had to do it the hard way, facing 5 GMs and an IM (and scoring +3 =1 -1 v the GMs!!!). He had a really tough draw. Had we had more 2200 - 2300 players playing, there is no doubt this would have been a GM norm and deservedly so. Fantastic performance which brings Neil up to around the 2343 mark. Getting closer to that magical 2400 and IM title (this is his third and final norm). Congratulations Neil, a very worthy winner!
Neil and Keti's game was one of the last to finish and you could cut the atmosphere in the venue with a knife, there were so many people watching the game, going upstairs to get a better view (and generally getting in our way :D). I swear at one point, I could see lightning flashing between Alex's fingertips... Was really good to see the interest in the game and the poor guys on board 1 must have wondered what they were doing wrong as no one was paying them any attention!
The overall winner of the Open was Oleg Korneev (who incidentally was beaten by Neil in round 2)
Joint second was Erik Van den Doel, Jacob Aagaard, Neil Berry & Pall Thorarinsson
The Under 2200 Grading Prize was won by half the field, so winning their bus fare home, we have Marcel Schroer, Andrew Green, Alan M Brown, Hamish Olsen, Graeme Kafka, Jim Stevenson, Raj Bhopal, Walter Burnett & Delcan Shafi. Wide angled lens at the ready...
U1900 was a bit better and was shared by Donald Heron & David Begg
U1700 was shared by Win Veelenturf & Jamie Underwood
U1500 to the delight of the treasurer was a single winner, Stuart McKinney
Now to the Scottish Titles
Neil Berry (did I mention this before?) was the Scottish Champion
Senior Champion was Craig Pritchett
Senior Over 50 was shared by Colin McNab and Roddy Grant
Best Junior was Declan Shafi
Trying to persuade someone to stay for prizegiving can be a little tricky when you can't explain why. Thankfully our Player of the year listened and decided to stay so we were able to award the player of the year to....
And that concludes the voting from the Scottish Jury!
Well thats it over for this year. Next year we hope to be in Sunny Glasgow with the championship falling on Noisy Saturday. Must remember to order in my ear plugs now!
Hope you all enjoyed the tournament. I'll leave you with a quote from Monty Pythons Flying Circus... "If you've enjoyed it just half as much as we enjoyed doing it, then we've enjoyed it twice as much as you!"