AYR CHESS CONGRESS – Fri-Sun; 25th to 27th May 2018
Mercure Hotel, Ayr.
The Ayr Congress is a very good congress, in a nice venue and it was disappointing to note there were fewer entries this year than before. I would not like to see it fall of the Chess Calendar. Hopefully this will not happen and more players will enter next year!
The weather was fantastic and the town of Ayr was alive with holiday makers and chess players. It was a bit too hot in the playing hall but there was nothing anybody could do about that. The organisers did all they could to reduce the heat and in all other aspects of organising were spot on! Great job all of you, much appreciated by all.
Anyway on with the chess!
There were four sections in Ayr with not only a top grading barrier, but a lower graded barrier as well. Yes this was new to me! Normally if you are under the grading top barrier you can enter, even the open event if you are graded 1000! In Ayr that was not the case, you had to have a minimum grade to enter all tournaments. We shall see if it helps or puts players off from entering?
Castlehill only had 3 players in Ayr. Section C (Major) u1600; Ray Noble (1398): Section D (Minor) u1300; Robbie McLeod (1042) and Lisa Paton (938).
SECTION D (Minor) U1300: Entries 17:
Robbie McLeod (1042) was seeded 7th and took a bye in round 1. He got 3 out of 5 points (2½ over the board). This included bragging rights when he beat Lisa in round 4! He said he knew he was going to win when he seen the draw! (Oh Robbie!)
Robbie graded 1042, got a TPR of 950, slightly down on his grade. But he finished equal 4th, higher than his seeding so a very good performance from Robbie!
Lisa Paton (938) was seeded 10th and like Robbie took a bye in round one. Lisa finished on 2½ points (2 over the board) with Sunday being a low and high day! Lisa lost to Robbie Sunday morning (Oh the shame!), but won against a higher graded and seeded player to finish the tournament off!
Lisa graded 938), got a TPR of 950, slightly higher than her starting grade. Lisa finished equal 6th, higher than her seeding so like Robbie a very good performance from Lisa, indeed a better on than Robbie when you factor in their respective grades!!
Both of you are stalwarts of the chess circuit and much loved by all that know you. Great ambassadors for Castlehill Chess Club Dundee and I think I speak for all our members when I say, We are proud to have you as ambassadors of Castlehill Chess Club!”
SECTION C (Major) U1600: Entries 15:
Ray Noble (1398) was seeded 6th. Ray played 3 players with grades higher than his including the number one seed. He played one player only 28 points below him and an 1172. Ray was here with his wife Alice and was intent on some chess with more emphasise on great nights out on the drink with his good lady. Great chess preparation! Ian McNab would have been proud!
Ray won his first three matches, which included a win against the number one seed graded 1574. Ray was white and his opponent played the Caro-Kann. It was looking like a draw when on move 19 he`s opponet played g5 attacking Ray’s queen on f4. The only problem was it left his Knight on f6 for the taking! Then to Ray’s disbelief he`s opponent moved the pawn back to g7! Ray pointed out that he could not do that. He said “No?” Ray said “No but please check with the arbiters”, which he did much to the amusement of the arbiters! After that Ray finished the match off 4 moves later with a checkmate in one threatened!
Now before I add the following cravat, I must post a warning like they do on TV.
”Juniors please do not try this in your chess matches, it could have disasters results!”
The time control for the Ayr congress was 40 moves in 75 minutes + 30 second increments, plus 15 minutes added after that.
In the first match, Ray won and he had on his clock 1 hour 27 minutes left (the last 15 minutes had not been added). So he finished with more time than he started with!
In his second match he finished with 1 hour 37 minutes and he won it against a 1439! To add to the story his opponent lost on time! (I know this to be true because I was there!)
BTW Ray played the time-controls the right way in the last two matches. Mind you his first two opponents did say they felt pressured by his quick moves, so it has it’s good points, but juniors be warned!
Now in the Aberdeen “MINOR!” Ray was 3 out of 3 and playing the only other player on full points. But after his Saturday night bender, played badly and lost both matches! So here he was again in Ayr in a “MAJOR” this time 3 out of 3! Did he learn his leason? NO! I have it on good authority that he was in a bad way again after a chess night bender for his 4th match This time he managed to pull himself together and to be fair was never in trouble in the match against the only other player on full points!
Ray only needed a draw in the last round to be sure of outright first place. He was playing a 1450 and the number 4 seed with the black side and did not play a drawing line, but a gambit one. Not only that, it was an unsound gambit! But all was well as his opponent had never seen it before in his chess life and bailed out of it and a draw was safely achieved. Happy days Ray!
Ray finished in 1st place on 4½ out of 5. His TPR was 1778. That’s 380 points higher, Phew! Roll back the years Ray!
The Castlehill star player of Ayr was a one horse race and goes to Ray Noble! (Ray can you give yourself the award!)
That’s it folks but just to say thank you to Lisa & Robbie for playing in Ayr and their company. Thank you to the committee, arbiters, helpers and organisers for a well organised chess congress.
For all the results and grading data please visit the Chess Scotland website link below.