ABERDEEN CHESS CONGRESS
BW Summerhill Hotel
Fri 20th to Sun 23rd April 2018
Once again it has to be said the Congress Director, organisers, helpers and Arbiters pulled it off again and produced a great chess congress. Very well organised, attentive, accommodating and friendly. Great job everyone, a pat on the back from all at Castlehill Chess Club Dundee!
Also a big thank you should also go to the venue, the Summerhill Hotel and its staff. Great venue, great rooms, fantastic staff.
Now the important question, “How did the eight Castlehill Chess Club players do and of course one other player from Dundee!
OPEN (23 entries): (1 Castlehill player)
David Findlay (2154) seeded 3rd finished the tournament unbeaten on 3½ points. He took a bye in round 1, drew his 2nd; won his 3rd & 4th and drew his last match to finish in equal 3rd place. His TPR 2028 was slightly down on his grade.
Alastair Dawson (1728) seeded 18th unfortunately had to withdraw due to car trouble.
The Open was won by 2nd seed and Scottish Champion FM Murad Abdulla J17 on 4½ pts with Hamish Olson (2159) in 2nd place on 4 pts.
MAJOR (U1800); (33 entries): (1 Castlehill player)
Ray Flood (1377) seeded 23rd was in a tough competition for his grade, but of course we know Ray Flood is far better than 1377! Ray found it tough to start with but got going in the end to finish on 2½ points and equal 12th place. His TPR of 1526 is more reflective of his standard than his current grade! Well played Ray!
The Major was won William Clinton on 5 out of 5!
MINOR (U1400); (25 entries); 6 Castlehill players)
Ray Noble (1398) seeded number 1 started well winning his first 3 matches. In round 4 with black, he faced the number 3 seed, Graham Wilson (1291). Ray played the opening badly and was a pawn down with his opponent having two connected passed pawns on the queenside. Then Ray showed how well he can play and managed to stop them and get an offer of a draw from his opponent. Unfortunately for a player of Ray’s experience, he turned it down in a rook and pawns ending after thinking he had his opponent on the ropes now. But he paid the price of pushing for a win in a drawn end game and deservedly lost! Had he accepted the draw he would have been in equal 1st place and still in with a chance of winning the congress. As they say, “Pride comes before a fall!”, or in another word, “plonker!” After that Ray in round 5 went for the throat in kamikaze style and lost! Sunday blues I think for Ray but that did not stop him celebrating in true Ian McNab style! Ray finished in equal 7th place with a TPR 1252.
Marten Kats (1170) seeded 7th was facing a junior onslaught round by round and it did not bode well. Marten finished on 1½ points and equal 19th place with a TPR 772. That will be readjusted as the juniors he played get their grades reassessed by the end of the year. One to forget I think Marten!
Robbie McLeod (1042) seeded 11th took a bye in round 1 and finished on 2½ points and equal 15th place. Despite getting 2 points over the board his opponents grades did not help his TPR of only 815.
Lisa Paton (938) seeded 15th also took a bye in round 1 and finished on 1½ points and equal 19th place to give Robbie the bragging rights for Aberdeen! TPR 772
Now on to our two junior brothers playing in a chess congress together.
Krish Akula J10 (ug) seeded 23rd finished with 1 point and in 23rd place; TPR 523. Krish played some nice chess, but most of the time played too quickly! With a bit more luck he could easily have got 2 points here. Still the experience will do him good and he will be one to watch once he learns to slow down!
Rishabh Akula J12 (ug) seeded 24th finished with an amazing 2 points and equal 18th place. Rishabh played some strong players for a minor and handled himself very well indeed. He took more time than Krish and this should in his results. Finishing with a TPR 922 he can be proud of his performance in Aberdeen. Bragging rights to Rishabh this time!
The Minor winner was Graham Wilson (1291) with a perfect 5 out of 5 and a TPR 1573. Easily the best player in the minor!
Now before I award the star title to a Castlehill player, I feel I must give credit to a certain junior in the minor.
“Murdo McLaurin J10 (967) finished in 2nd place on 4 out of 5! The 4 points were all wins with only one loss and that was to the number one seed, Ray Noble! Murdo`s TPR of 1465 was outstanding for a ten year old! Against Ray he made a mistake in the opening and went a piece down after 6 moves. Did that faze him? No, he hit right back playing aggressively and sacked a pawn for a beautiful combination which Ray fell for and he got his piece back! Should have seen Ray’s face! Ray did mange to win in the end, but what play from this rising star! Ray you stopped this young lad from winning this tournament and putting a big smile on his face. How do you plead?”
CASTLEHILL STAR PLAYER in ABERDEEN:
It was a close one with Ray Flood’s performance in the Major deserving of the title, but he was just beaten by a junior! Yes my Castlehill star player of Aberdeen is:
Rishabh Akula J10 (ug) for his performance in the minor. This bodes well for the young man and of course Castlehill Chess Club. Well played Rishabh!
Well played everybody and once again a big thank you to Aberdeen Chess Congress organisers for a great weekend!