- The SNCL (Scottish National Chess League) is the premier Scottish club competition.
- The SNCL takes place at the Glen Pavilion in Dunfermline KY12 8QH
- Castlehill Chess Club, Dundee and Dundee Chess Club jointly joined forces to put three teams in to the SNCL under the banner Dundee City!
- Dundee City A are in division One; Dundee City B division Two & Dundee City Juniors division 4
- OFFICIAL WEBSITE: For all things SNCL
SNCL 2019-20, Sunday November 3rd: Report of rounds 1 and 2.
Report by Alastair Dawson
And so that new 2019-20 Scottish National Chess League started at the Carnegie Conference Centre, Dunfermline, yesterday. The SNCL is one of the premier chess events in Scotland and this year no less than 40+ teams and over 200 players competed across five Divisions.
In the top division, Dundee City A team embarked on the defence of their Championship title; in division 2 Dundee City B team embarked on a new battle to maintain their place against some formidable opposition; in division 3 our newly-promoted Dundee City C team faces a series of strong opponents and in Division 5 our Dundee City Junior team, relegated from Division 4 last season, should gain valuable experience playing against a range of difficult opponents.
DIVISION ONE – 10:00am
In a packed conference centre in the morning Dundee City A team got off to a good start with a convincing win against Dunfermline Knights 3.5-1.5. With Andrew Greet playing in the Hull 4NCL Masters tournament and with Declan now at University, the A team welcomed Andre Babin onto Board 5. And it proved to be a great start for Andre with a win over John McBride. Another win for Ed Spencer and draws on the remaining boards signified a solid start to the title defence.
DIVISION TWO – 10:00am,
Dundee City B were up against Forth Valley A. Here convincing wins by Euan Dawson over Douglas Will and Ben Volland over Stephen Smith plus draws on the remaining boards was enough to give a 3.5-1.5 win.
DIVISION THREE – 10:00am
It was always going to be a tough call for Dundee City C. A whitewash was avoided against East Kilbride A through a fine effort from Subhayu Banerjee who earned a creditable draw with the black pieces against Tom Brisbane – the team result ending 0.5-4.5.
DIVISION FIVE – 10:00am
Dundee City Juniors started their campaign against Lathallan Community Chess. There was a star performance on Board 1 from Max Whisson who beat Duncan Lyall (1437 rating) and another great performance on Board 5 from young Rishi Vijaykumar whose rating of 482 is no indication of his talent at the tender age of 8. The result of the match was a 2-3 loss but nevertheless a good start for our young players and huge amounts of experience gained.
DIVISION ONE – 3:00pm
Dundee City A were up against a powerful Wandering Dragons A team. Andre Babin continued his good form with a draw on Board 5 while Andrew Wright earned a very good win against Candidate Master Andrew Dunn (2104). But it was not to be – with a draw by David Findlay on Board 1 not enough to prevent a 2-3 loss.
DIVISION TWO – 3:00pm
Dundee City B were also up against a very strong CSBOS1 team. Out graded on all boards, a fine win by Ben Volland over Nigel Chapman plus draws from Alastair Dawson and Sam Gregory were not enough to prevent a 2-3 defeat.
DIVISION THREE – 3:00pm
Dundee City C faced an exceptionally strong Lenzie side led by Mark Sanger and the very-talented Jake Sanger. Despite a good win for Cameron Wilson on Board 5 plus another battling draw from Subhayu Banerjee the team went down to a 1.5-3.5 defeat.
DIVISION FIVE – 3:00pm
In the bottom division, our Dundee City Juniors turned out to be the only team winners of the afternoon. Up against Silly Sicilians there were wins on the top three boards. Max Whisson starred again on Board 1 and was ably supported with wins from Ramit Kanodia and Rishabh Akula – so a 3-2 win and a great afternoon for our young team.
So all in all not a bad start. Star player of the day has to be young Max Whisson leading the Junior team on Board 1 with 2 straight wins – a fine performance. Special mention should also go to Andre Babin scoring 1.5/2 on his debut on Board 5 in the A team. Not to be forgotten also are the two fine draws gained by Subhayu Banerjee for our C team. It is very obvious from looking at the strength of the teams in Division 3 that Dundee City C are going to face very strong opposition in all 7 matches throughout the season – hence Subhayu’s performance is all the more creditable. Lastly one must not forget the excellent win by Andrew Wright against a Candidate Master in the afternoon. Well done everyone and we look forward to 2020 and Rounds 3 and 4 on Sunday February 2nd.
Scottish National Chess League: 2018-19 – Rounds 1 and 2
November 4th, 2018, Dunfermline. Report by Alastair Dawson
The new 2018-19 SNCL chess season kicked off in Dunfermline yesterday. Dundee City have 4 teams registered this year. The A team start as reigning champions; the B team seeking promotion to Division 1 having come so close last season; the C team is trying to gain promotion to Division 3 while we have a new Junior team, also in Division 4.
Round 1 started with a surprise for the A team. Up against Stepps they suffered a loss when Andrew Greet lost to Douglas Bryson. But with Stephen Hogg winning well on Board 5 and draws from David Findlay, Declan and Andrew Wright, the match was drawn 2.5/2.5. In the afternoon, the A-team came into their own with a 4.5/0.5 win over Hamilton. Wins from Andrew, David, Declan and Stephen supplemented with a draw from Andrew led to a very convincing performance and a step towards their title defence. Special mention should go to Stephen for two straight wins.
In Division 2, the Dundee City B team started their campaign with a thumping win 5-0 over Dumfries and District A. The team has changed slightly from last year. Andrew Babin now takes up Board 2 with Carey Groves moving down to Board 4. Strength in depth is a feature of the team now, not only with Carey on Board 4 but also with Ben Volland on Board 3 and Euan Dawson on Board 5. The impressive nature of the 5-0 win was highlighted by Sam Gregory’s win on Board 1 over Michael Green (2076). The afternoon match proved to be much tougher. The team was up against Dunfermline Knights led by Ian Robertson (2045). Unfortunately both Sam and Andre lost their games but this was countered by win by Ben and Euan on Boards 3 and 5. A draw from Carey led to the match being drawn 2.5/2.5. Deserved credit goes to both Ben and Euan for winning both their matches.
There were both new and old faces in the Dundee City C team in Division 4 now composed of Alastair Dawson, Paul Shafi, Ray Flood, Keith Rose and Ed Walton. The first match was a whitewash 5-0 over Hidden Dragons. Special mention goes to Ray Flood who crushed his opponent in only 13 moves. Whereas the opponents in Round 1 were relatively inexperienced, the match in the afternoon was very much more difficult against Dumfries and District B. Again the team completed a 5-0 wihitewash win with, again, Ray Flood being first to finish after only 35 minutes of play. Some of the matches were very tight indeed, particularly those of Alastair and Keith. Overall a great start to the promotion push and a rare 10-0 score for the day.
The first SNCL tournament day of the 2018-19 season was most special, however, for our Dundee City Junior (D) team. For all of them it was their second outing in weekend chess following the highly successful Dundee Congress in October. The prime objective for them all is to have fun and enjoy their chess and also gain valuable experience. In the morning they were hugely outgraded against Corstorphine, typically in excess of a 500 point difference. There were losses on all boards except that of Rishabh Akula (608) who pulled off an amazing win over Angus Ruthven (1188) – a brilliant performance. So the match result was 1-4. In the afternoon the Junior team were again heavily outgraded against CS BOS2. This time the grading differences were individually between 500-700 points and this time there was a 0-5 loss. The Junior team players performed exceptionally well during both the morning and afternoon sessions. In fact they played two of the strongest teams in the group and they surely will relish playing some of less strong teams in Rounds 3 and 4 on November 25th.
Undoubtedly, the performance of the day has to go to Rishabh Akula while special mention should also go to Stephen Hogg, Ben Volland and Euan Dawson in the A and B teams for 100% game scores.
Scottish National Chess League 2017-18, October 29th, 2017 by Alastair Dawson
Chess players in Scotland met on Sunday for Rounds 1 and 2 of the Scottish National Chess League, held at the Carnegie Conference Centre in Dunfermline.
In Division 1, the Dundee City A is once again hoping to contend for the National Championship that they have so narrowly missed time and again in recent years. In
Division 2, the Dundee City B team is hoping for a successful season and contending for promotion. The Dundee City team in Division 4 is also overdue promotion to Division 4 – although the competing teams hold a different viewpoint!
This season, the sense is that Dundee City although having the same A team as last season, has more strength in depth in its B and C teams and could do well. So the scene was set. In Round 1 in Division 1, the A team overcame Inverclyde in convincing fashion by 4.5-0.5 with wins from Andrew Greet, Ed Spencer, Declan Shafi and Stephen Hogg and a draw from David Findlay. In the afternoon, the Round 2 match against Thistles was always going to be much tougher facing IM Roddy McKay, Alan Grant, Sai Kong Tsang, Alastair Maxwell and Ian Marks. As it turned out, wins from Andrew, Ed and Declan and a draw from David Findlay sealed the win with 3.5-1.5. In sum, a very promising start with 100% match points but with some very tough matches still to come.
In Division 2, Dundee City B team opened their account facing IPCC led by Elliot Frew. It was not going to be easy but wins from Sam Gregory and Ben Volland supplemented by draws from Alastair Dawson, Euan Dawson and Carey Groves gave the B team a 3.5-1.5 win. Sam’s win over Gary McPheator was particularly elegant with a nice exchange sacrifice than led to a completely winning endgame. In the afternoon, the B team had a much more difficult encounter against Dumfries and District A. There was a lesson also to be learned in not paying attention to ratings. For example, Alastair’s opponent was showing as having a grade of 1310 but it later transpired that the has an English ECF rating of 165 that coverts to around 1830. The afternoon again went well with wins from Sam, Alastair and Ben plus draws from Euan and Carey giving us a very nice 4-1 victory.
In Division 4 the day started well in the morning with a 3.5 – 1.5 win over Forth Valley B. The team of Joshua Crofts, Robert Jackson (the latter two making their SNCL debuts) , Keith Rose, Agnijo Banerjee and Ray Flood is a strong one and will do well this season. Against Forth Valley B, there were wins from Joshua, Keith and Ray plus a draw from Agnijo – so a great start to the campaign. In Round 2, the C team crushed Bon Accord B. There were wins from Robert, Keith and Agnijo while Ray continued to make mincemeat out of his Board 5 opponents! A draw from Joshua completed the match.
So at the end of the day, the Dundee City C team sit equal first with Oban but half a point behind in game points. In Division 2, Dundee City B team sit equal first with a very strong Bon Accord A team but behind them by 1.5 game points. But pride of place after Round 2 goes to Dundee City A team who are in first place and half a game point ahead of Edinburgh 1 and 1.5 game points ahead of Stepps Warriors. I cannot remember, although I may be mistaken, a previous occasion when all three Dundee City teams on an SNCL day won all their matches with 6/6 – so well done to all.
Dundee City: Scottish National Chess League – Report Rounds 1 and 2, Sunday 30th October 2016: Report by Alastair Dawson
A joint venture between Castlehill Chess Club Dundee and Dundee Chess Club.
The three Dundee City teams had an excellent first day at the SNCL in Dunfermline. The A team embarked again for that elusive quest of a Championship title. The B team was looking to put in a strong performance in Division 2 while the C team is hoping to challenge this year for promotion to Division 3.
Things start very well for the A team in the morning when they beat Edinburgh West 4-1 with wins for Andrew [over Craig Pritchett], Sergey [over Alan Bell], Stephen [over Duncan Walker] and Declan [over Martin Robinson]. In particular, Sergey played a very fine R and P ending to overcome his opponent. In the afternoon, an equally tough challenge came with Wandering Dragons led by FM Alan Tate and IM Mark Orr on Board 3. The team won again by 3-2 with fine wins from Andrew and Stephen Hogg [over Richard Kynoch] plus draws from David and Sergey. All in all, a tremendous performance leaving the team well-placed as they move into Rounds 3 and 4 on November 27th.
For the B team, they faced the strongest team in Division 2 on paper in the form of Stepps Warriors led by IM Douglas Bryson. But it turned out well for Dundee City due not only to good play but also to good luck when Alex Gillies failed to show for his match against Alastair Dawson. Although outgunned on Boards 1 and 2, a nice finish by Darius Kosznik and a battling draw from Sam Gregory, gave the Dundee City team 2.5 points and a draw – a fine result. In the afternoon, the B team faced CSBOS1 a team not as strong as Stepps but still very tough opponents. Things went well, however, with wins from Alastair, Sam and Darius plus a draw from Gary giving us a 3.5-1.5 victory.
The C team had a great day picking up 8 points out of a possible 10. In the morning they beat CSBOS2 by 3.5 -1.5 with wins from Ben Volland, Euan Dawson and Subhayu Banerjee and a draw on Board 1 from Keith Rose. In the afternoon, they continued their good form by beating East Kilbride B by 4.5-0.5. This time there were wins from Keith Rose, Ben Volland, Euan Dawson and Agnijo Banerjee. So after two rounds in a Division with 14 teams, Dundee City C team sit proudly in 2nd place, half a game point behind Paisley. In Division 2, Dundee City B team also sit in 2nd place one match point behind Dumfries and District A. In the all-important Division 1, Dundee City A team share first place with Edinburgh 1.
So a great day’s chess for Dundee City in the sparkling new venue of the Carnegie Conference Centre. Fingers crossed for Rounds 3 and 4 on November 27th!
SNCL (Scottish National Chess League) SUNDAY 25th OCTOBER 2015: Rounds 1 & 2 Reports
Well the clocks may have gone back an hour, but Dundee City teams sprang into action on the day! In division One, Dundee City A in their morning match against IPPCC blasted their opponents of the board with a 5 star performance and a 5-0 whitewash! Andrew Greet IM (2496), David Findlay (2185), Elaine Bamber WFM (2106); Mikey Grove (2054) & Alan Borwell were hot to trot! Indeed so hot that in the afternoon match against East Kilbride they carried on where they left off in the morning with a 4½ – ½ win! A very good day at the office for Dundee City A!
In division Two Dundee City B lost a close match 1½ – 3½ in the morning against a far stronger team in Giffnock & Clarkston.Keith Rose on board five has not played in the SNCL in a long, long time but showed his class with a fine win on bottom board! In the afternoon Dundee City B reversed things with a good, good win 3½-1½ against a very strong Edinburgh 2. Talk about punching above your weight! Both Stephen Hogg and Alastair Dawson made up for losing their first round matches with good wins in this round!
In division Four, Dundee City C (Mostly juniors when possible!), were up against it grading wise in both their matches! In the morning match against Wandering Dragons B, they went down 2 – 3. Martin Chalmers (1512) lost on board one, but Euan Dawson (1322) drew on board two against a 1616! The youthful Subhayu Banerjee (1258) won his match on board three, but on board four his son, Agnijo Banerjee could not quite match him losing in the end! Tom Constance on board five drew his match. But in the afternoon match against a strong CSBOSS2, they reversed the score line from this morning with a 3-2 win to get their first points on the board! Martin lead from board won and was supported by Euan (win), Subhayu (draw) and Agnijo (draw). Indeed Agnijo somehow drew a lost position being a piece down in the endgame! We are very lucky in having such juniors like Subhayu and Martin (A hard life is why he looks like that!) in our Junior side!
All-in-all this was a very good day for Dundee City teams as they got their league
Scottish National Chess League, February 2nd, 2020 Rounds 3 & 4, Carnegie Conference Centre, Dunfermline. Report by Alastair Dawson
Dundee City had 20 players on hand to compete in Rounds 3 and 4 of this year’s SNCL. Competition was extremely tough as usual. When silence descended in the hall except for the shuffling of chess pieces.
Our A team embarked on a bruising encounter against Edinburgh West who were led by IM Craig Pritchett on Board 1 down to George Neave (2116) on Board 5. It was a great debut for Jacque Ophoff on Board 1 who defeated Craig Pritchett. This was followed by fine draws by David Findlay (vs Joe Redpath), Stephen Hogg (vs Neil Farrell) and Ed Spencer (vs George Neave). So a 2.5/2.5 draw against arguably the strongest Division 1 team. In Division 2,
Dundee City B had on the face of it not too hard a match against Dumfries but the match ended up drawn. Full points were collected by Ben Volland and Robert Jackson on Boards 4 and 5, Alastair drew against Nikos Argyroudis to secure the draw. In reality, it was not so good however, since he (this author) inexplicably threw away a simple win in time trouble.
In Division 3, Dundee City C lost 2-3 against a strong Perth team. The highlight of this match was a superb win on Board 1 by debut Michael Dugdale (1536)over Martin Gourlay (1904). But a win on bottom board by Ed Walton was not enough to prevent the loss.
In Division 5, Dundee City D (Juniors?) were up against it in an encounter against Edinburgh and Fife Red Bulls. The latter team was hugely strong and led by WFM Rhian Hughes ably supported on Board 2 by Lloyd Hughes. So out-gunned and out-manoeuvred the team went down 0-5.
And so to the afternoon. Nothing is easy in the SNCL and nowhere was this more the case than in Division 1 where the Dundee City A team were up against Bon Accord A. With FMs Murad Abdulla and Hamish Olsen on the top two boards and Daniel Maxwell, Euan Gray and Duncan Harwood on boards 3,4 and 5 this was not going to be easy. In a tense encounter between Murad and Jacques Ophoff and with both players having no more than a minute each left on their clocks it was Murad who came out on top. But this was countered by fine wins from Stephen Hogg and Ed Spencer and draws from Andrew Wright and David Findlay. Ed, in particular, starred in a difficult position where he pulled off a magical Q sacrifice with a smothered mate threat to win the game. So the A team ended up winning by 3-2.
In Division 2 there was some trepidation since Dundee City B were up against a very strong Kilmarnock team with Jamie Malkin, Eliot Frew and Kenny Malkin on the top 3 boards. In the end Kilmarnock proved too strong with the only points on the team sheet coming from Alastair with a win over Kenny Malkin and a draw by Ben Volland against Douglas Hamilton. So the final result was 1.5-3.5 to Kilmarnock.
In Division 3, Dundee City C played well against Pentland Hills but suffered a 2-3 loss. Here, the top performance was a very good win by Keith Rose over Andrew Clark supported by draws from Jan Barron-Majerik and Ray Flood.
In Division 5 things turned out well for Dundee City D against Hamilton B. Here, Marten Kats gained a convincing win on Board 2. And there were wins also for Max Whisson and our young talent Rishi Vijaykumar – so a great 3-2 win.
To sum up – after 4 rounds in Division 1, Edinburgh West are marginally ahead on 6 points with 3 chasing teams on 5 points – Dundee City A, Stepps and Bon Accord A. In Division 2 Dundee City B are sitting mid-table on 3 points. The clear leaders here are Thistles and Kilmarnock –each on 8 points. In Division 3, things are looking not so good for Dundee City C who presently sit bottom of the Division. But some good performances in Rounds 5 and 6 will help considerably. In Division 5, Dundee City D are presently in 6th place with 4 points. Our Juniors are doing well and gaining priceless experience with every match played. Next up is the 3rd match day on March 1st – good luck to all.
Star performance of the day in this case needs to be shared between Michael Dugdale’s win over Martin Gourlay and Jacques Ophoff’s win over IM Craig Pritchett.
Scottish National Chess League, Rounds 3 and 4, November 25th 2018
Dundee City Report by Alastair Dawson
Four Dundee City teams arrived at the Carnegie Conference Centre, Dunfermline, with different objectives. For the A team the intention was to continue to defend their Championship title. For the B and C teams, wins were required to maintain the push for promotion in their respective divisions. For the Junior team the aim was to play good chess, enjoy their games and learn from their experiences.
DIVISION ONE (AM)
The A team started in the morning against Kilmarnock. Wins for Andrew Greet, Andrew Wright and Stephen Hogg together with a draw for David Findlay was sufficient to secure a 3.5/1.5 win.
DIVISION TWO (AM)
The Dundee City B team managed to overcome a strong Perth team led by Martin Gourlay on Board 1. Wins for Euan and Alastair Dawson together with draws for Carey Groves and Andre Babin was enough to earn a 3-2 victory.
DIVISION FOUR (AM)
The C team had a tough encounter against Forth Valley B, out graded on the top 3 boards but with a slight edge on the bottom two boards. The result was a 2.5/2.5 draw with wins from Ray Flood and Ray Noble as well as a draw from Paul Shafi.
The Junior team, had another difficult set of games. From the heat of battle came 2 wins, one from Max Whisson on Board 1 and the other from Risabh Akula on Board 4. Despite these successes the team lost 2-3 to the Silly Sicilians.
DIVISION ONE (PM)
The A team was up against Thistles led by IM Roddy McKay. It turned out to be a successful afternoon with wins for Andrew Greet on Board 1, Andrew Wright on Board 4 and Stephen Hogg on Board 5. Stephen’s win against Stephen Robinson was particularly elegant with the latter’s King mated in the middle of the board. The match win was by 3.5-1.5 that now places them in 1st place on 7 points closely followed on 6 points by Bon Accord A and Stepps.
DIVISION TWO (PM)
The B team faced a weakened Giffnock team missing Phil and Rosie Giulian who are n Bled, Slovenia, playing in the World Senior Championships. The match was fiercely contested but wins from Euan and Alastair Dawson on Boards 4 and 5 together with draws from Sam Gregory, Carey Groves and Andre Babin resulted in a comfortable win by 3.5-1.5. This leaves the Dundee City B team in joint 1st place with Wandering Dragons A on 7 points closely followed one point behind by Forth Valley A.
DIVISION FOUR (PM)
Dundee City C were up against Bon Accord B. This match proved to be one of the closest of the day. A nice win from Ray Noble was followed by another from Ed Walton who converted a slight edge in a R and P ending into a won K and P ending. Losses from Ray Flood and Keith Rose meant that the match result depended on the outcome of Paul Shafi’s game on Board 1 against Kalyan Kante. After a lot of manoeuvring and pressure by Paul against the White King position the game finally ended equal. This drawn game resulted in a drawn match 2.5/2.5. This result puts Dundee City C team in 2nd equal place in Division 4 tied with CS BOS 2 with both a point behind Dunfermline B.
The Junior team had their first big success as a team in the afternoon when they beat Liver Fryers by 3-2. Stars of the afternoon were Ramit Kanodia, Charvi Kanodia and Risabh Akula who all won their matches. What a wonderful achievement and we all celebrate their success.
So a break now in the Scottish National Chess League for the Christmas and New Year period – the battles for success in the respective Divisions resumes with Rounds 5 and 6 scheduled to take place on Sunday February 24th 2019.
Scottish National Chess League, Rounds 3 and 4, November 26th 2017:
Dundee City Report by Alastair Dawson.
Following their outstanding start in Rounds 1 and 2 of this year’s SNCL, Dundee City started Rounds 3 and 4 of the tournament on Sunday in good spirits. As usual, the Carnegie Conference Centre in Dunfermline was packed with chess players from across the country. Dundee City had 3 teams respectively in Divisions 1,2 and 4.
For the Dundee City A team the morning session started well with a 4-1 win over Wandering Dragons A. Wins came from IM Andrew Greet over CM Andrew Dunn as well as from Ed Spencer and Declan Shafi. Ed arrived late but then proceeded to win in 13 moves. So fast and emphatic was this win that with his game completed and the the board reset, some spectators couldn’t work if the match had not in fact started! David Findlay drew with the Black pieces against IM Mark Orr so that with an additional draw from Stephen Hogg on Board 5, the team had made a convincing start.
Dundee City B team found it much harder going in Division 2 against Forth Valley A. A win from Alastair Dawson plus draws from Sam Gregory and Dominic O’Rourke was not enough and the team went down 2-3.
In Division 4, the C team had a tough battle on their hands against Oban illustrated by Ben Volland paired against Duncan Campbell (1899) on Board 1. It was not to be for the C team with a fine win from Ray Noble plus draws by Ray Flood and Subhayu Banerjee being not enough to avert a 2-3 defeat.
In the afternoon more difficult matches against high-graded opponents were to follow. In Division 1 Dundee City A team faced a strong Edinburgh West team led by IM Craig Pritchett. This time wins from Andrew Greet over Craig plus an excellent win by David Findlay over George Neave as well as a draw from Declan Shafi against Alan Bell resulted in a 2.5-2.5 draw.
In Division 2 the B team were up against favourites Bon Accord A. This time an excellent win from Dominic O’Rourke over Euan Gray (1915) plus draws from Sam Gregory and Euan Dawson resulted in a narrow 2-3 defeat.
In Division 4 the C team put on a display of ‘power chess’ to defeat Dumfries and District B 4.5-0.5. Wins from Ben Volland, Ray Noble (his second of the day), Ray Flood and Subhayu Banerjee were supplemented by a draw from Agnijo Banerjee.
This season the winners of each division are to be determined by game points rather than match points. So after 4 rounds the Dundee City A team is sitting in top spot with 14.5 game points ahead of nearest rivals Edinburgh 1 on 13.5 points. In Division 2, Dundee City B team sit in 2nd place on 11.5 points behind leaders Bon Accord A who are on 16 points. In Division 4, the Dundee City C team are sitting in first place with 14.5 points ahead of Oban who are on 13.5 points. So overall the 3 teams are doing very well with 2 leading their respective Divisions and the 3rd in second place.
After Christmas and New Year, these various chess battles will recommence with Rounds 5 and 6 due to take place on Sunday February 18th 2018.
Dundee City: Scottish National Chess League – Report Rounds 3 and 4, Sunday 27th November 2016
A joint venture between Castlehill Chess Club Dundee and Dundee Chess Club.
Scottish National Chess League: Rounds 3 and 4, November 27th 2016: Report by Alastair Dawson
The three teams from Dundee City arrived at the exclusive Carnegie Conference Centre in Dunfermline for Rounds 3 and 4 of the SNCL with different aims. For the A team, the intention was to keep pushing for that elusive Championship title. For the B team the hope was to consolidate our position in Division 2. For the C team in Division 4 there were high ambitions that they could push strongly into promotion contention. For this particular pair of rounds Dundee City had struggled to find 15 players for the three teams. For a host of reasons, 7 of our regular players were unavailable for selection – which left us struggling to complete the teams. Things were so stretched that Tom Constance was playing the morning round for the C team but being replaced by Ray Noble for the afternoon match. In the end we made it – just – but with no reserves to call on this time we were always going to be vulnerable to any late call-off. And so it was. Poor Sam Gregory became ill on the weekend of the tournament, leaving us one player short.
And so the morning commenced. The A team faced old rivals Hamilton A and a tough battle was in prospect. With David Findlay losing out to Joe Redpath and Ed Spencer to Pat Coffey the nerves were jangling. But Stephen Hogg pulled off yet another superb win [3 wins now in 3 rounds] over Tom Donoghue, Andrew Greet won a R and N ending with an extra pawn over Andrew Muir leaving young Declan on Board 5 to clinch the match 3-2 with a fine win over Alexander Bond.
For the B team it was a different story. With only 4 players it was going to be a struggle against a very strong Inverclyde team led by Jim Montgomery  and Kevin McDonald . With a loss by Alastair against Kevin McDonald and draws on Boards 4 and 5 from Darius and Jim Anderson, the highest score we could obtain was 2. That said, Gary Weir on Board 1 pulled off one of the wins of the season so far beating Jim Montgomery in a Q and minor piece ending where Jim’s King was left hopelessly exposed to Gary’s Q and N. So a 2-3 loss for the B team.
The C team were also to find it tough going. They were faced with Division 4 form team, Paisley whose strength in depth was exemplified by Richard Cochrane  on Board 1. Our debutants, Kim Ah See and Lewis Foggie plus Tom Constance on Board 3 found no concessions from their opponents while a draw from Euan Dawson was the only half point to be had – so a 0.5-4.5 loss to the league leaders.
In the afternoon Round 4, the A team turned on the style with a 5-0 whitewash over Forth Valley A. Special mention should be made of Stephen Hogg whose win now gives him a hugely impressive 4/4 in the Championship so far.
For the B and C teams the selection of the two teams turned out chaotically. Initially the B team was defaulting one board, then the opponents of the C team defaulted two boards, this then being followed by the opponents of the B team, East Kilbride A, defaulting one board!! The result of this mess was that Ben Volland moved up to Board 4 in the B team, Jim Anderson had a default win on Board 5 for the B team. For the C team, the Board order became Euan Dawson, Ray Noble and Lewis Foggie. Kim Ah See was then awarded a default win on Board 4 while Board 5 shared a default. Add to that the fact that your author mislaid his glasses at the start of the round and was unable to complete a team sheet for the B team and you have a total shambles. When play finally got going, Gary Weir lost to Lennart Koehn, Alastair drew with Alan Jelfs but with Ben losing to his 1931 opponent and Darius losing on time, the default win for Jim Anderson on Board 5 did not matter and we went down 1.5-3.5.
But there was a nice surprise at the end for Dundee City. With a draw on Board 1 for Euan and a nice trap that won the game for Ray Noble [who had heroically turned up from work to support the team struggling for players] the default win for Kim Ah See proved decisive and the team won 3-2. Wow!
So where does this leave our 3 teams. Well the A team are now clear joint top leaders with Edinburgh 1, led by Neil Berry, who they meet in a decisive match for the Championship in the final match of the season in Round 7 on 26th March 2017. The B team are now in a relegation spot. But they have already played the top two teams, Inverclyde and Stepps, and with hopefully a stronger cohort of players available for Rounds 6 and 7 the pressure is on to produce two wins at the end of February. Division 4 is now led by Paisley with Dundee City C in 4th place [out of 14 teams] and they now require 2 wins in Rounds 5 and 6 to contend for promotion on the final day.
SNCL: Sunday 29th November 2015: Dunfirmline; Rounds 3 & 4
(A joint venture between Castlehill Chess Club, Dundee & Dundee Chess Club
Two fine wins for Dundee City A, particularly against Hamilton A, putting the team in first place by one point ahead of Edinburgh after four matches!
Dundee City A 3½ – 1½ Forth Valley A
Hamilton A 2 – 3 Dundee City A
Dundee City B team were really up against it in their two matches, being heavily out graded in both. Paul gained a half against Alistair Maxwell, perhaps should have won, and the others put up stiff resistance. Keith drew a sharp game against John Calder in the second match, so no whitewashes after all. Dundee City B are now 6th of 8
Dundee City B ½ – 4½ Thistles
Inverclyde 4½ – ½ Dundee City B
Dundee City C team/juniors excelled themselves by winning both matches against teams equal or better than them grading wise. They now sit in second place after four matches with three to go!.
Dundee City C 3 – 2 Crouching Tigers
Musselburgh ½ – 4½ Dundee City C
Congratulations to all our players at the SNCL, especially our “A” team and Junior!
For more match and table info go to the SNCL official website “Here“
Scottish National Chess League, March 1st 2020, Rounds 5 and 6:
Report by Alastair Dawson
Dundee City prepared for play in Rounds 5 and 6 knowing that the outcomes of the various matches would go a long way to determine promotions, relegation’s and, of course, the national championship itself.
Dundee City A faced Stepps in the morning. It proved to be successful with a hard-fought drawn match. Jacques Ophoff drew with IM Doug Bryson on top board. There followed draws for Andrew Wright and Andre Babin and a win for Ed Spencer. In
Division 2 a big setback took place an hour prior to the match with the late call-off by Gary Weir as a result of sickness. With the adjustment of board order Euan Dawson assumed the role of being top board for Dundee City B. It worked – with him gaining a nice win over John Smith, On Board 2 Alastair Dawson secured a second game point but losses on Boards 3 and 4 resulted in a 2-2 draw but a 2-3 match loss owing to a default on Board 5.
In the 3rd division, Dundee City C was up against it. With losses on the top three boards, two wins from Ed Walton and Cameron Wilson were insufficient overall, the team losing 2-3.
In Division 5, Dundee City D team gained the result of the morning. On Board 1, Max Whisson notched up a nice win and Rishabh Akula did likewise on Board 3. Krish Akula gained a comfortable draw – and this time, it was their opponents who were a player short and had to default on Board 5. The net effect was a 3.5 – 1.5 win.
In the afternoon Dundee City A faced a strong Hamilton team led by IM Andrew Muir. Once again, Jacque Ophoff excelled and gained a draw through a perpetual check sequence. There were draws also from Stephen Hogg and Andrew Wright. But the match was won on Boards 4 and 5 through victories from both Ed Spencer and Andre Babin.
There was drama for our Dundee City B team who faced a very strong Giffnock team led by FM Phil Giulian. Having lost in the morning, it was going to be a very tough task to get anything from this match. But then on Board 1, Euan’s game was first to finish with a remarkable win, his first against a Fide Master. Alastair drew with Neil Thomson on Board 2 and there were losses on Boards 3 and 4. On Board 5, Ray Noble arrived to replace Gary Weir for the afternoon match. Not only did he win well, but his win brought the match to a draw. So one point gained against such a strong team – an amazing result!
The same was not true for our C team in Division 3 – they crashed horribly to a much stronger Wandering Dragons team – enough said! And the same was the case for Dundee City D team who also had an afternoon nightmare – a whitewash loss 0-5.
SNCL Division 1
If teams tied on match points, then board points will be the tie-break!
|1=||Dundee City A||6||3||2||1||8|
SNCL Division 2
If teams tied on match points, then board points will be the tie-break!
|4=||Dundee City B||6||1||2||3||4|
|7||Dumfries & District A||6||1||1||4||3|
|8||Forth Valley A||6||0||2||4||2|
|SNCL Division 3
If teams tied on match points, then board points will be the tie-break!
|2||Wandering Dragons B||6||5||0||1||10|
|3||East Kilbride A||6||4||1||4||9|
|8||Dundee City C||6||0||0||6||0|
SNCL Division 5
If teams tied on match points, then board points will be the tie-break!
|2=||Edinburgh and Fife Red Bulls||6||4||0||2||8|
|4=||Dundee City D||6||3||0||3||6|
|4=||Lathallen Community Chess||6||3||0||3||6|
|7=||East Kilbride B||6||1||0||5||2|
For performances of the day there are two. One would be that of Ed Spencer on 2/2 who was in overdrive in Division 1 crushing opponents with apparent ease. The second was from Euan Dawson who not only scored 2/2 on top Board in Division 2 but beat an Fide Master in the process – well done Euan!
Scottish National Chess League, Rounds 5 and 6, February 24th 2019
Report by Ray Noble
Dundee City “A”; “B”; “C” & Junior Report (Castlehill CC & Dundee CC)
After the festive break, battles resumed once again for our 4 teams in the penultimate day at the Carnegie Conference Centre, Dunfermline.
ROUND 5 (Morning 10am)
Dundee City A got a hard fought draw against Edinburgh West (2½-2½) with all matches being a draw. It could have gone either way and in some ways Dundee City A got the luck of the draw in the end.
Dundee City B got a tanking against Forth Valley A losing 4½-½, with Ben Volland stopping the whitewash! A big thank you to Carey Groves who played despite being ill to make the team up. It just was not the “B” teams day.
Dundee City C faced the league leaders, Dunfermline B . Paul Shafi on board 1 lost, but Keith Rose, Raymond Flood, Ray Noble and Ed Walton all won to give Dundee City C a 4-1 win and go top of the league!
Dundee Juniors + newbie Marten Kats won 3½-1½ against Hamilton B, but it was a disappointing match with Hamilton B defaulting on two boards and Marten Kats and Krish Akula not getting a game.
ROUND 6 (Afternoon 3pm)
Dundee City A are in seventh heaven after showing Bon Accord the Northern lights, beating them 4-1 to end the day in top spot (10 points), 2 points ahead of the teams in 2nd place! Andrew Greet beat twice Scottish Champion, Murad Abdulla on board one, while David Findlay ground out a draw against Hamish Olson. Declan Shafi also drew on board 3. Our two bottom boards, Andrew Wright and ever dependable Stephen Hogg were the hero’s winning both their matches! With only one match left the ball is in their court to make it back to back titles! They will face 3rd placed Edinburgh 1 in the last match!
It was not Dundee City B`s day as they again lost, this time to Wandering Dragons B, 3½-1½. The “B” team were missing Alastair and Euan Dawson due to Euan turning 18 (Happy birthday Euan from all your chess friends and also well done in passing your driving test!) and having a family bash in St.Andrews! Even so it was a disappointing day and probably means another year in division two. They face league leaders Wandering Dragons A in their last match. Mathematically there are possibilities but…
Dundee City C won their 2nd match of the day against CS Bos 2 to cement top spot. Dundee City C was helped by CS Bos 2 only having 4 players which meant Ed Walton missed out on a match. Ray Noble won his 2nd match (hard to believe I know!) to make it 2-0. All we needed was 1 point out of three matches. How hard could that be? Well Ray Flood lost to give CS Bos 2 some hope. At one point Paul Shafi on board one was looking dodgy and Keith Rose on board 3 was balancing on a double edged sword! Would he checkmate, or would his opponent promote his pawn?
In a titanic struggle and one that will be worth putting up on website, Keith Rose prevailed for Dundee City C in a nail biting finish to not only secure the win for the team, but make sure we finished top by one point with one match left to play. Great play Keith a captains performance! In the end Paul lost his second match but it did not matter. Division 4 champions and promotion are up for grabs on the last day of action on the 24th March! I do not no for sure but it looks like Dundee City C will face Corstorphine who sometimes turn up with the strongest side in the division ( Brd 1 1810; brd 2 1595 etc) and other times not Brd 1 1596; Brd 2 1222 etc)! Lets hope it`s the later or we could have our work cut out!
Dundee City Juniors fared less well in the 6th round losing 4½-½ to Dumfries & District B. Out graded, out gunned they put up a battle with Rishabh Akula got a great draw against a 1252 (644 points higher than him)! The experience gained at this level will help them develop their skills and will benefit them in the long term.
Well a mixed day for our teams with Dundee City B having a nightmare, and Dundee Juniors an up and down day. Both have nothing to play for but pride in the last match left, or maybe not in the “B” team’s case?
But it`s congratulations to Dundee City A who are in pole position for back to back titles and face Edinburgh 1 in the last match. Dundee City C who by winning their matches (one against the leaders at the time), moved into top spot by 1 point and one match left.
Once again thank you to all the organisers of the SNCL for a great day’s chess! Without your dedication and support this would not take place.
For all the results, tables and individual player results visit the SNCL website at:
Scottish National Chess League, Rounds 5 and 6, February 18th 2018
The penultimate Sunday of this season’s SNCL started off for the three Dundee City with a range of expectations.
Divison One (Dundee City A)
For the A team it was all about maintaining top spot and being able to reach the last Round in good shape for the final match against favourites Edinburgh 1. The team also had an important change. Andrew Greet was down in Newcastle playing in the prestigious Northumbria Masters. In his place came Andrew Wright, a very strong player in the Dundee chess scene from years past. In the morning the opponents were Steppes.
On Board 1, David lost against IM Douglas Bryson, both Ed and Andrew Wright drew on Boards 2 and 4. But wins from Declan over Alex Gillies and Stephen Hogg over Jim Small were enough to secure a 3-2 win.
In the afternoon, Dundee A were up against a substantially weakened Hamilton team. The top Boards were fiercely contested: David was beaten by Joe Redpath, Ed had a nice win against Tom Donohue but Declan lost to Stephen McQuillan. Then Boards 4 and 5 came to the rescue with straightforward wins for Andrew and Stephen giving a 3-2 win.
Division Two (Dundee City B)
The expectation was to keep challenging for promotion. With Bon Accord runaway leaders there was a chance to push towards the 2nd place promotion slot. On the face of it the morning match against lower graded Perth was the easier match and the afternoon pairing against Giffnock much more difficult. But things did not go to plan. Against Perth, Carey Groves was beaten on Board 1 by Martin Gourlay, on Board 2 Alastair could get no more than a draw out of David Hall. But with young guns Euan Dawson and Ben Volland both winning on Boards 3 and 4 and Keith Rose losing on Board 5 the match ended up tied 2.5-2.5.
So on to the afternoon. Carey had her work cut out against FM Phil Giulian and lost. Then Euan took a hard-fought draw against Rosie Giulian. He was followed by wins from both Ben and Keith. Last to finish was Alastair who overcame Antonios Floros giving us a 3-2 win!
Division Four (Dundee City C)
our C team had a different look about it – Robert Burnett was on Board 1, Ray Flood on 2, Subhayu on 3, Josh Cargill-Brown was making his team debut on Board 4 as was Jack Gibson on Board 5. Leaders in this group were Oban and Musselburgh. So the plan was to continue picking up points and keep in touch with 2nd place. But Musselburgh were the opponents and it proved a daunting task. Robert was beaten on Board 1 but Ray Flood continued his good form with a win on Board 2. With Subhayu drawing on Board 3 the match outcome was going to be determined by what happened on Boards 4 and 5. But after superhuman efforts neither Josh nor Jack were able to hold their positions and the team lost 1.5-3.5.
Things were better in the afternoon against CS BOS 2. Draws from Robert, Ray and Jack (especially well-played) plus a nice win by Josh earned the team a 2.5-2.5 draw.
So where do these results leave the teams? In Division 1, the A team lead Edinburgh 1 by half a game point. Thus in the final match at the end of March a draw would be enough to secure the title – easier said than done, however, given the strength of Edinburgh 1. In Division 2 the B team are tied in second place with Kilmarnock – who they play in the final round. Dundee, however, have a better game point score and so here also a draw would secure promotion to Division 1. In Division 4, the C team are sitting in 3rd place and only a 4-0 score in the final might be enough to catch the top two team, but even then only if some other matches go in Dundee’s favour. So, overall, Rounds 5 and 6 went well for the Dundee City teams. Certainly, no other teams in Scotland are in the position going into Round 7 of both playing for the Championship and also for promotion to Division 1. Special mention should go to Andrew Wright, Jack Gibson and Josh Cargill-Brown who all had their debuts and who all put in fine performances.
Dundee City SNCL Report, Rounds 5 and 6: February 26th 2017:
Report by Alastair Dawson:
The crucial Rounds 5 and 6 of the SNCL took place on Sunday. For the Dundee City A team it continued to be good news – at the end of the day’s play, the A team sit in 1st place tied with Edinburgh 1 on 12 points but ahead of them with 23 game points as opposed to Edinburgh’s 21.5 points. In the morning the A team overcame Thistles by 4.5-0.5 with wins from Andrew Greet, David Findlay, Ed Spencer and Declan Shafi. In the afternoon, their good form continued with a win over Giffnock and Clarkston by 3.5 – 1.5 this time with wins from Andrew, Ed and Declan. Everything now depends on the final Round 7 match with Edinburgh 1 due to take place on March 26th.
In Division 2, Dundee City B team had a big morning success beating Dumfries and District 4.5-0.5 with wins from Gary Weir, Alastair Dawson, Sam Gregory and Darius Kosznik. But they suffered a setback in the afternoon losing 1.5-3.5 to a strong IPCC team led by Elliot Frew. A win from Darius Kosznik and draw from Sam Gregory were the only points to show from a hard afternoon’s play. These results leave the Dundee City B team sitting mid-table on 5 match points and 15.5 game points. Much now depends on their Round 7 match against higher-placed Kilmarnock. Tied with the B team on 5 points are IPCC whose last round match is against CSBOS1 who are on 3 points. East Kilbride A sit at the bottom of the table on 3 points and have a difficult task in Rd 7 against leaders Inverclyde.
In Division 4, Dundee City C team were challenging for promotion but the day did not go well. In the morning the team were beaten by Crouching Tigers 1.5-3.5 with the only points coming from a win by Ray Flood and a draw from Euan Dawson. In the afternoon, they lost to Corstorphine by 2-3 with wins coming from Euan Dawson and Agnijo Banerjee. So this leaves the C team sitting firmly mid-table on 6 match points and 14.5 game points.
Overall, the A team now have a tough battle for the title with Edinburgh 1 in Round 7. The B team needs a good result against Kilmarnock in Rd 7 to stay safe from relegation while the C team can consolidate their mid-table position with a win in Round 7 at the end of March.
SNCL: Report by Alastair Dawson
Outstanding day for Dundee City Chess Team at SNCL Rounds 5 and 6, 28th February 2016.
With a weakened team today, Dundee City A pulled off a win plus a draw against Edinburgh West and Wandering Dragons A. The team now sits on top the National League leading Edinburgh 1 by 2 points with one round to go. In the morning against Edinburgh West, draws from David Findlay, Ed Spencer, Alan Borwell and WFM Carey Groves were added to with a vital win by Sergey Tin to secure a priceless 3-2 match score. They followed this up in the afternoon with a draw against a very strong Wandering Dragons team led by Andrew Dunn [CM] and IM Mark Orr. David Findlay made an excellent draw on Board 1 but the match was drawn thanks to star performanaces on the bottom 2 boards. On Board 4, Sergey Tin capped off a great day’s play with a win over Graham Hamilton while on Board 5 WFM Carey Groves won against David Wallace.
In Division 2, an understrength B team won in the morning against Cumbernauld by 4.5-0.5. A draw on top board by Alastair Dawson against Stephen Kelly was accompanied by 4 straight wins from Gary Weir, Daniel Chambers, Keith Rose and Paul Shafi. In the afternoon, the team narrowly lost to high-flying Stepps Warriors led by Graeme Nolan, Alex Gillies and William Hulme. Despite fierce battles including the last match to finish in the tournament hall, Alastair, Gary and Keith lost on the top 3 boards, but great wins by Daniel Chambers and Paul Shafi was not enough to recover the losses on the top 3 boards [score 2-3]. Special praise goes to Daniel Chambers and Paul Shafi who won all their matches.The results leave the B team 6th [out of 8] in Division 2 on 4 points with a crunch game to come in the final round against Kilmarnock.
In Division 4 our team of Declan Shafi, Ben Volland, Euan Dawson and Agnijo Banerjee was supplemented by new recruit Dan Thompson on Board 2. In the morning the team fought bravely against the hugely powerful Bon Accord team led by Adam Bremner and Hamish Olson. The team was outgraded on Boards 1-4 by between 300-500 points and the score of 0-5 does not reflect the high quality of the chess played by our Juniors. In the afternoon, the team returned to winning ways with a 3.5-1.5 victory over East Kilbride B. Wins came from Declan, Ben and Agnijo plus a draw from Euan. As a result of their herculean efforts the Junior team now proudly sits 3rd in the 12 team division.
There now is a break of 4 weeks until the deciding games in Round 7 on Sunday 27th March in Dunfermline.
(Scottish National Chess League) – Report by Ray Noble
Sun 24th March 2019 – Dunfermiline
Dundee City is a joint venture between Castlehill Chess Club, Dundee and Dundee Chess Club. Unfortunately for Dundee City teams we had a few call off`s for one reason or another. This had a big impact on the make up of Dundee City C who were leading by one point going into the last round. It also meant we had to default a whole team (Dundee City D). Not ideal but it is what it is.
Dundee City A are the defending champions and are in top spot. The faced the very strong Edinburgh 1. After all the struggles and ups and downs to win their first title last year, Dundee City A made the defense look easy after an emphatic win against Edinburgh 1.
Dundee City A 4½, Edinburgh 1 ½
Division One Table
|1||1||Dundee City A||7||5||2||0||12||25,0||0|
|2||7||Bon Accord A||7||4||2||1||10||21,5||0|
Congratulations to Dundee City A (A.Greet/D.Findlay/D/Shafi/A.Wright/S.Hogg)
Dundee City B had nothing to play for and it showed as they lost with only Alastair Dawson saving the whitewash! To be fair our “B” team was affected by the call-offs as well!
Wandering Dragons 4½, Dundee City B ½
Division One table
|1||1||Wandering Dragons A||7||5||1||1||11||23,5||0|
|4||4||Forth Valley A||7||3||2||2||8||20,0||0|
|5||5||Dumfries & District A||7||4||0||3||8||19,5||0|
|6||3||Dundee City B||7||3||1||3||7||16,5||0|
|7||7||Wandering Dragons B||7||2||0||5||4||12,5||0|
No promotion but no relegation either!
As mentioned before due to call-offs we had to default Dundee City D (Juniors) as we only had one player! Still they had nothing to play for except the experience!
Dundee City C were up against a strong Corstorphine and were handi-capped by a weaker side than normal. It proved to much in the end and they lost the match and the chance of finishing champions at the last hurdle!
Dundee City C 1½, Corstorphine 3½
But there was a twist as Dundee City C finished in 2nd place to gain promotion to division three! Congratulations to Dundee City C! It`s also congratulations to Max Whisson J13 (974) who won against an 1188 on board 4. What a result Max! Ray Noble (1482) on board one (yes I said board 1!) managed with the black side to get a draw against an 1810. I just do not know how he does it!
Division 4 Table
|2||5||Dundee City C||7||4||2||1||10||23,5||0|
|3||1||Bon Accord B||7||4||1||2||9||23,0||0|
|5||8||Forth Valley B||7||3||3||1||9||21,0||0|
|7||3||CS BOS 2||7||3||1||3||7||19,0||0|
|8||4||Dumfries & District B||7||3||1||3||7||18,0||0|
|10||12||The Silly Sicillians||7||2||0||5||4||14,0||0|
|11||6||Dundee City D||7||2||0||5||4||11,0||0|
|12||11||The Little Liver Fryers||7||1||0||6||2||7,5||0|
All in all this 2018-19 SNCL campaign went very well indeed. A big thank you to the SNCL organiser for a great tournament. Thank you to all our players, captains and parents for their support and last but my no means least, Alastair Dawson for all the hard work he has put in to make sure Dundee City teams (Castlehill & Dundee CC) turned up an and could take on the other teams. The last round tested his skills put once again he pulled it off and even stopped a whitewash as a player! Well done Alastair!
Lets do it all again next season!
For all the results and tables go to “SNCL“
SNCL: Sun 25th March 2018: Round 7: report by Alastair Dawson
So the big day finally arrived. Dundee City A team had to face Edinburgh 1 in the final round (7) of the SNCL. They needed a draw to secure the national championship but as it turned out they emerged with a convincing 4-1 win. So many congratulations, after many years of near misses, Dundee City A-team are Champions of the Scottish National Chess League! At the start of the round Dundee City lined up with David Findlay (1), Andrew Wright (2), Ed Spencer (3), Declan Shafi (4) and Stephen Hogg (5). First to finish was Ed against Hugh Brechin. It happened early on when what looked like an evenly balanced position shifted drastically to an outright and sudden win for Ed. This gave the team a much-needed boost knowing that , thanks to Ed, they now just needed another 1.5 points. It took quite a long time for the remaining games to finish. David was always equal against FM Sergio Adan Bermudez and so also was Andrew Wight against FM Neil Berry. Both matches finished in draws which left Declan and Stephen to battle it out. Declan came into the ending comfortably ahead in an N and P endgame which he duly converted. He was followed soon after by Stephen who converted a win over Raj Bhopal. So, in the end a great 4-1 win and celebrations all round.
Dundee City B needed at least a draw over Kilmarnock to secure promotion to Division 1. Kilmarnock turned up with a weaker team than we all expected but like their football team at the moment their chess team was in very good form! On Board 1, Carey was up against Chukwuka Allor, Sam was on 2 against Kenny Malkin, Dominic faced Jim Kleboe, Alastair played David Congalton and Euan played John McNicoll. It all started so well since after half an hour Euan had made a simple winning B sacrifice and mated Black very quickly. But things went pear-shaped thereafter – Carey succumbed on Board 1 to Chukwuka, Sam lost to a sacrifice by Kenny Malkin and Dominic was ground down by an inspired Jim Kleboe. All three lost and despite a win from Alastair on Board 4 the team went down in flames 2-3. So a sad end to the season and our promotion push will have to wait for next season!
The Dundee City C team faced Corstorphine in Division 4. Keith Rose lost to Richard Dowling, Robert Burnett despite feeling unwell fought out a brave draw the exchange down against Analben Mehta. But Ray Flood overcame David Watson and Subhayu Banerjee produced a great win over Ernesto Salvatore and Josh Cargill-Brown battled hard against James Crerar but succumbed in the end. So a 2-3 loss but a brave performance by all and the team lives to fight another day. Maybe next year – promotion to Division 3 is overdue!
Overall, it has been an okay season by the Dundee City teams with one golden performance. Pride of place and congratulations go of course goes to Dundee A-team, new national champions! Scores for individual players were Andrew Greet 4/4, David Findlay 3/7, Ed Spencer 5.5/7, Declan Shafi 5.5/7, Stephen Hogg 4.5/7 and Andrew Wright 1.5/2. For Dundee City B scores were Carey 1/7, Sam Gregory 3/5, Alastair 5/7, Euan 4/7, Ben Volland 4/4, Dominic 1.5/3 and Keith Rose 1/2. In the C team the scores were – Joshua Crofts 1.5/2, Robert Jackson ½, Keith Rose 2/3, Agnijo Banerjee 2/4, Ray Flood 6/7, Ben Volland ½, Subhayu Banerjee 3/5, Ray Noble 2/2, Robert Burnett 0.5/3, Josh Cargill Brown 1/3 and Jack Gibson 0.5/2.
Dundee City teams are a joint venture by Castlehill Chess Club Dundee and Dundee Chess Club. Long may it continue!
Dundee City: Scottish National Chess League – Report Round 7 Sunday 26th March 2017
Report by Alastair Dawson
A few weeks have passed now and the dust has settled on the Scottish National Chess League, 2016/17. The last round, round 7, was held in the Carnegie Conference Centre, Dunfermline. All eyes were on the Dundee City A team who needed a draw to clinch the national title over Edinburgh 1. But the day did not go to plan and the A team went down fighting in five very tough games of chess. It was a strange morning. Dundee City A team were without Andrew Greet and Elaine Bamber and so the line-up was David Findlay , Ed Spencer , Stephen Hogg , Declan Shafi  and Alan Borwell . Edinburgh 1 had a dauntingly impressive team represented by FM Neil Berry  , Calum MacQueen  , FM Calin Gheorghiu  , Hugh Brechin   and Raj Bhopal [ 1940] .
So the task of Dundee City A was immense with the team out-graded on every board except Board 5. As the morning developed David held his own against Neil Berry and a draw was concluded. The same was true on board 2 with Ed Spencer drawing against Calum MacQueen. But Stephen was up against it on Board 3 against FM Gheorghui and eventually lost. On Board 4 Declan capped a fine 1st season in the A team with a draw against Hugh Brechin. But with Alan Borwell succumbing against Raj Bhopal, the final score ended 1.5 – 3.5. So another season and yet again so close yet so far for the A team. For a number of seasons now, something always seems to happen on the last day that allows the Championship to slip from our grasp. Ah well, there is always next year! In terms of individual performances there have been some exceptional achievements: Andrew scored an impressive 6/6 on Board 1; David 3.5/7; Sergey 1.5/2; Stephen 4.5/7, Declan a terrific 5.5/7, Ed 3.5/5 and Alan 0/1. All team members should be very proud of their achievements in what is a very tough league.
In Division 2, the Dundee City B completed their last round with a fine 4-1 win over Kilmarnock. WFM Carey Groves secured a draw with Jamie Malkin ; Gary Weir caught Kenny Malkin  with nasty N fork on 2 Rooks; Alastair fought out a draw with Douglas Hamilton ; Sam Gregory overcame Jim Kleboe  and Daniel Chambers wrapped up the victory with a win over ungraded John McNicoll. So in the end, the Dundee City B team came 3rd in Division 2. As for individual performances, Carey scored 1/5 against some very tough Board 1 opponents; Gary scored a very good 3.5/7; Alastair scored 4/7; Sam Gregory excelled with 4/5; Darius Kosznik played some great chess with his 4.5/6; Jim Anderson scored 1.5/2; Ben Volland 0/1 and Daniel Chambers re-joining the team for 1/1 in Round 7.
In Division 4, Dundee City C ended up in 8th place in a league of 14 teams. They completed Round 7 with a whitewash 5-0 win over the Queens Gambit team. The 5 winners were Keith Rose, Ray Flood, Ognyan Kolev, Subhayu Banerjee and Agnijo Banerjee. Apart from Round 6 where there was an unexpected loss against Corstorphine, the team played very well overall throughout the gruelling 7 rounds. In total 11 players represented the team over the course of the season. Keith Rose scored 2.5/5; Ben Volland 2/4; Euan Dawson a creditable 4.5/6; Subhayu an excellent 2.5/3; Agnijo also scored well with 3/5; Tom Constance scored 0/1; Lewis Foggie 0/2; Kim Ahsee ½; Ray Noble 1/2; Ray Flood 2/3 and finally Oggie Kolev on 1/1 with a win in Round 7. Special thanks should go to Subhayu, Tom, Lewis, Kim, Ray Noble and Oggie who individually offered to play, often at very short notice, when we were struggling to field teams due to player unavailability.
So well done everyone from the three Dundee City teams – and here’s to a very successful 2017-2018 season – watch this space!!
SNCL: Final day: Sun 27th March 2016: Report by Alastair Dawson
And so the last day and Round 7 of the SNCL arrived yesterday,March 27th, with our three teams representing Dundee City in action. There was much to be fought for with Dundee A battling for the National Championship, the B team seeking to avoid relegation from Division 2 and Dundee C in 3rd place in Division 4.
For Dundee A it was not to be. They were outgunned by an exceptionally strong Edinburgh 1 team led by Clement Sreeves and Neil Berry and they lost 4-1. Yet again, Sergey Tin put in a star performance beating the highly-ranked Andrew Green. So the season ended for the A team as runners-up in the National Championship – this was an excellent achievement and many congratulations to all the players. In Division 2, Dundee B were up against a strong Kilmarnock team. Here excellent wins from Paul Shafi and Daniel Chambers together with draws from Gary Weir and Keith Rose gave Dundee a 3-2 win. This win guaranteed league safety and another season in Division 2 next season. In Division 4, our C team was represented by Declan Shafi, Euan Dawson, Agnijo Banerjee and our new player, Oggy Kolev. Oggy inspired the team to success and they ran out clear winners with a 5-0 whitewash over Hidden Dragons. This fine result propelled our C team up the ranking to tie in 2nd equal place in Division 4. However, sadly they missed out on promotion to Division 3 to Wandering Dragons by a mere 2 boards points!
In the afternoon the Scottish National Lightning tournament was held. This tournament consists of Blitz chess usually between 10-12 rounds where each game is played with 5 minutes each on the clock. It is highly stressful and mistakes come thick and fast. Dundee entered 4 teams. All of out teams did well although the Dundee D team, consisting of Keith Rose, Tom Constance, Agnijo Banerjee and Daniel Chambers, won their section and pocketed a modest cash prize.
The SNCL is played out over four separate Sundays throughout the chess season. This year, Dundee City had 15 players representing their city. Between them they played around 400 hours of chess over 4 days. Their performances and the standard of play achieved in this tough national tournament have done Dundee City proud.