Scottish National Chess League

  • 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

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!

Alastair Dawson

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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

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.
MORNING PLAY
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 [2122] and Kevin McDonald [2030]. 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 [1949] 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.

AFTERNOON PLAY
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!

SUMMARY
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.

Alastair

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SNCL: Sunday 29th November 2015: Dunfirmline; Rounds 3 & 4
(A joint venture between Castlehill Chess Club, Dundee & Dundee Chess Club

Division One
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
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Division Two
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
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Division Four
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
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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

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.

 

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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.

Dundee City: Scottish National Chess League – Report Round 7 Sunday 26th March 2017

Report by Alastair Dawson

Division One
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 [1], Ed Spencer [2], Stephen Hogg [3], Declan Shafi [4] and Alan Borwell [5].  Edinburgh 1 had a dauntingly impressive team represented by FM Neil Berry [2299] [1], Calum MacQueen [2248] [2], FM Calin Gheorghiu [2295] [3], Hugh Brechin [2092] [4] and Raj Bhopal [ 1940] [5].

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.

Division Two

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 [1907]; Gary Weir caught Kenny Malkin [1889] with nasty N fork on 2 Rooks; Alastair fought out a draw with Douglas Hamilton [1821]; Sam Gregory overcame Jim Kleboe [1809] 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.

Division Four
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!!

 

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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.