Ian McNab 2021 – 2022

Tribute – here.

The 13th Ian McNab Memorial 2022 OTB
In all 12 players took part which may seem low but given we have been closed for two years and some players are still reluctant to play face to face chess, I would say this was good! It`s something to build on for next season when hopefully we will be back to normal in more ways than one!

The really interesting point is 6 of the entries were juniors! Our future looks good at Castlehill Chess Club Dundee!

This years format was once again Chess960 (Fischer Random) which produces some mind blowing starting positions which for the older players, fry the head! It does however take out opening knowledge and everybody is own their own right from the start! Time-Control: 15 minutes: 5 round Swiss.

No surprise results apart from one which turned out to be the longest and most tense match of the round! Yes Daniel Coleman (1135) was at one point winning against Euan Murray (1610) in a match for swingers! Then Euan seemed to have turned it around only for his clock to hit zero! Due to Daniel having no pawns or pieces it was a draw!

This was one hell of a round with new junior member Vladislav Drabych J17 (UG) from Ukraine taking on and beating Andre Babin (1882)! What a result! Vladislav has been through a lot having been forced to leave his beloved Ukraine and move to Scotland due to the Russian invasion. I am glad he seems to have settled in here and is enjoying his chess. Another new junior member, Sean Lewis J13 (UG) also proved his worth with a 3 move smothered checkmate against Daniel Coleman! Should have seen Daniel`s face!

Due to time, we lost two of our junior`s (Josh & Noah Dickson) for the last three rounds. No shock results this round. The top board clash between two new members and leaders so far, Saranraj Gururaj (1350)est and  Vladislav Drabych (UG) went the way of Vladislav!


In round 4 we lost another player (Scott Xu J13) due to time, but luckily we were joined by heavy weights, Keith Rose & Ray Noble to increase the numbers. A mixed up tournament perfect Ian McNab stuff!
Vladislav kept the lead after seeing of the tough challenge of Euan Murray. Andre Babin kept himself in contention after winning against Saranraj Gururaj, while Keith Rose beat Sean Lewis and Ray Noble beat Danile Coleman.

Going into the last round, Vladislav Drabych was leading on 4 points, with Andre Babin on 3 points. All Vladislav needed was a ½ point to win the tournament outright. Nobody could overtake him so already at least a joint winner.

Well what a last round we had! The scripts were thrown out the window as Andre Babin beat Euan Murray to move onto 4 points. Saranraj beat Ray in a close match, but Keith Rose landed a killer blow to Vladislav beating him in the final match and ending his perfect record!

Congratulations to New kid on the block Vladislav Drabych J17 and Andre Babin on becoming joint champions of the Ian McNab Memorial Trophy 2021-22! Well deserved the both of you! Keith you spoiler! Well done Saranraj Gururaj on finishing runner-up on 3 points. Daniel Coleman had a bye!


Thank you to all players that supported this tournament and hopefully we will see you all again next year for the 14th Ian McNab Memorial Trophy!


The 12th IAN McNAB MEMORIAL 2021

Mon 26th April 21, 7:30pm on Lichess

It’s hard to believe how much time has passed since Ian McNab passed away and the fact most players taking part never knew him. Still his memory lives on in a few of us and of course he is celebrated by those taking part in this event. He would have enjoyed everything about it,  even the current situation we are all in at the moment. He was an enigma and a friend at the time and he is missed by all of us who had the pleasure of knowing him before he left us! He could clear a pub once he started singing ” Stairway to Heaven“! His chess style was like his life, a gambit! He especially loved playing the Latvian Gambit from both sides!

Ian McNab

In all 13 players took part in this memorial and the format was 5 round Swiss, 15 minutes each player and we used the chess variant “Chess960”, otherwise known as the “Fischer Random”! It certainly throws you off balance and any opening theory is out the window which is the main reason the late great Chess World Champion, Bobby Fischer invented it!

Congratulations to Euan Murray who seemed to master this game faster and better than anybody else playing, finishing on a perfect 5 out of 5! Well played Euan.

Graham Mooney finished runner-up on 4 points, while third place went to Richard Kynoch on 3 points. Gordon Thomas and Andy Rowe also finished on 3 points but lost out on a podium place on tie-break!

Thank you to everyone who took part and supported this event. I am sure Ian would love the fact he is still celebrated by Castlehill Chess Club Dundee and with a glass in hand it’s cheers from him and goodnight from me!


Games/Results Lichess


The 11th IAN McNAB MEMORIAL 2019: Thurs 28th April 2019: 7:30pm
In total 17 players took part in this season’s Ian McNab Memorial, 6 of them juniors! Some of the juniors (and Adults!) had to leave before the tournament finished but at least they got to play! As you would expect for an Ian McNab tournament, you had unusual chess, some great chess! Some rubbish Chess, noise, commentary while playing and a good laugh. Just what McNab ordered!

For the 2nd year we used the 960 Chess (Fischer-Random) variation and while it does your head in, it proved very popular with the players!



Each round all the boards had the same layout, and in each round a different layout was played. Normal chess rules apply, including castling!

TIME-CONTROL: 15 minute`s each player.


The random layout was as follows (White side with black copying as in normal chess)

From A1 to H1:


Round 1: R-K-B-B-Q-R-N-N
Round 2: R-Q-B-B-N-K-R-N
Round 3: Q-B-R-N-N-K-B-R
Round 4: R-K-N-B-B-N-Q-R
Round 5: R-K-Q-B-N-R-B-N

While most rounds went to form, Keith Rose did lose to Rishabh Akula J in round one! This however did not put him off as you will see! In round 4 Andy Rowe lost on time with 5 seconds left (or was that 2?)  to Andre Babin! He should have won but if you don`t watch your clock it will bit you in the backside! Indeed may be it should have been aN Andy Rowe and Ray Noble final, but like Andy, Ray having won Keith’s Queen, managed to lose on time with Keith having only 1 second left! You can’t make this up! Ian would have been laughing his socks off!



With Andre Babin in pole position on 4 points, all he needed was a draw to win outright. In the final he faced Keith Rose who needed to win to tie with Andre. In the other main match, Ray Noble on 3 points, managed to beat Andy Rowe (also on 3 points) to finish on 4 points. All he needed was a miracle and a miracle he got as Keith Rose did a great impression of Tom Cruise in Top Gun and beat number one seed, Andre Babin! What a finish!


So it ended with a 3-way tie for first place between Andre Babin, Keith Rose & Ray Noble on 4 points. Keith & Ray also finished in a 4 way tie last year so have made it a back to back defence!



=1st place: Andre Babin; Keith Rose &  Ray Noble 4pts

=R-up: Andy Rowe; Colin Young; Cameron Wilson & Euan Murray 3 pts


Congratulations to the winners and runners-up, especially Keith and Ray for winning back to back titles! Colin Young also got back to back 2nd place!

Another great night’s chess with a special twist and head banger with the 960 Chess (Fischer-Random). It certainly makes for a totally different game and no opening knowledge for the players to work with, a great leveler!


That’s it for another year and I am sure Ian McNab would have been happy with the night. A big thank you to all the players involved and hopefully we will see you all again next year!


The 10th Ian McNab Memorial 2018:Thurs 26th April 2018: 7:30pm
Well this had everything you would expect and more for an Ian McNab tournament! Yes the 960 Chess (Fischer Random) lived up to expectations causing mayhem with one’s thought process!. Other factors on the night: 1: some boards with not so good lighting; 2: the pairing program refusing to pair in round 4! 3: Some exciting chess, also some rubbish chess or in other words a pot purée of may things with all roads leading to McNab! Even the finish of the night was unusual as we had a four way tie for the title all courtesy of the 4th round draw having to be made up in round 4 with no pairing cards all because the pairing program went off its rocker! You could not make this up!

Each round all the boards had the same layout, and in each round a different layout was played. Normal chess rules apply, including castling!

The random layout was as follows (White side with black copying as in normal chess)
From A1 to H1:

Round 1: B-Q-N-B-R-K-N-R
Round 2: N-R-Q-K-B-N-R-B
Round 3: R-N-K-N-B-R-Q-B
Round 4: R-K-Q-B-N-R-B-N
Round 5: Q-B-B-R-K-R-N-N
In the matches that followed, Ray beat Andy, Andy beat Craig and Craig beat Keith! All four players ended up as this year’s joint winners on 4 points of the 10th Ian McNab Memorial 2018! I think we would have had only 2 winners had the pairing program not gone AWOL in round 4. The pairings for round 4 would have been different than the ones produced ad hoc! Still it only added to the McNab effect!

With 6 players on 3 points going into the last round, it was going to be a nail biting draw and squeaky bum time for all 6 players. The draw in some ways was kind to all four of the top players. The big guns had already played each other and cancelled each other out!

Craig Nicol got young gun Ramit Kanodia J10 and it proved to be a tough one for the defending champion. In the end Craig’s overcame his young opponent who had leant to offer draws in a lost position just too waste time just like Craig!!

Andy Rowe also got a junior in Krish Akula J10 and like Craig was too strong for his young opponent. It has to be said Krish played well to get to 3 points and a chance to win the title tonight. It was only the last two rounds that cost him with Ray and Andy being too strong for him.

Keith Rose had the hardest draw playing Colin Young. But with no standard openings to fall back on, both players had to make it us as they went along and Keith proved age and experience can still count as he managed to beat Colin!

Ray Noble was being pulverized by Cameron Wilson and was in danger of blowing it all in the last round. Indeed Ray had already given himself the last rights and was ready to concede, when some how Cameron snatched defeat from the jaws of victory to hand Ray the luckiest life line in history to take joint 1st place! Unbelievably game and never mind Cameron, you should have seen the shock, bewilderment and delight in Rays face all at once! Ray looked like a little boy who had just found the keys to the sweet shop!

All players enjoyed the night, especially the 3 juniors who took part and acquitted themselves well in an unfamiliar set out.

STANDINGS (Allegro grades)
=1st place: Andy Rowe (1574); Keith Rose (1558); Ray Noble (1548) & Craig Nicol (1539) 4pts
Runners-up: Colin Young (1396) & Krish Akula J10 (ug) 3 pts
7th: Cameron Wilson (ug) 2½ pts
8th: Rishabh Akula J12 (ug) 2 pts
9th: Ramit Kanodia J10 (725) 1½ pts
=10: Joe Robson (ug) & Nicolas Matthews (ug) 1 point each

A big thank you to all players who took part. It seemed like everyone who took part enjoyed the format and the night. It was bonkers!

Congratulations to joint champions: Andy Rowe; Keith Rose; Ray Noble and defending champion Craig Nicol!

I think Ian McNab would have enjoyed the night as well if he was here.



The 9th Ian McNab Memorial 2017: Thurs 27th April 2017: 7:30pm


Well not the biggest turnout for the 9th Ian McNab Memorial, but about average for the last couple of years. The opening was part of the modern system with white giving up a pawn for development. The general consensus on the night was it was not enough compensation as Black gets good play from the opening and is a pawn up as well! Having said that, it was close on the night with, White winning 8 and  Black 12 games. I think some of whites wins were more down to players not knowing the opening and the grading of said players as well.

Congratulation go to Craig Nicol & Ray Flood (Dundee CC) for finishing joint 1st on the night on 4 points. Both played well with Ray Flood taking the personal honour of beating Craig in their head to head! Ray Flood lost to Colin Young!

Keith Rose, Colin Young & Subhayu Banerjee, (winner last year!) finished in runner’s-up spot on 3 points.

It was another good night’s chess and a lot of fun as well. Good job it does not go for grading! Ray Flood has the honour of being joint winner, but as he is not a member of our club does not get his name on the trophy, but he knows he won!

It`s hard to believe next year will be the 10th year of the Ian McNab Memorial. Where does the time go!

A big thank you to all that took part, and once again congratulations to the 9th Ian McNab Memorial joint champions Craig Nicol & Ray Flood.


The 8th Ian McNab Memorial 2016

Well despite Euro 16 being on we had 10 players playing in the Ian McNab opening themed Memorial. The opening was the Danish Gambit accepted and what a fun night we had with it! Declan Shafi was one of the players entered and he has won this title jointly for the last three years! Could he win it out right this time?

The answer to that question is no! Declan did have the chance to tie for first place again (3 way tie!) had he won his last round match. But this time not to be as Subhayu Banerjee beat him in the last match with the black side to take the title with 5 wins out of 5!

Not only that, but history was made again at Castlehill as Agnijo Banerjee made it a father and son double taking runner-up spot! Last year Declan & Paul Shafi made history with Declan winning the Club Championship and Paul finishing runner-up. And now we have another father and son double act taking the spoils. Unbelievable to have had two different father and son winning doubles acts at Castlehill. Has it ever been done anywhere else? Who knows but we are a lucky chess club indeed!

Congratulations to Subhayu who played this opening very well indeed and was a much deserved winner. Agnijo only lost one match and that was to his dad!


Another one to the memory of a Castlehill legend! I thank you all for taking part!

Final table – 29/04/22

1=Babin, Andre18825410111
1=Drabych, Vladislav J1705411110
3Gururaj, Saranraj1350est5311001
4Murray, Euan161052.50.51100
5Rose, Keith15572211
6Coleman, Daniel115551.50.50001
7=Noble, Ray15262110
7=Xu, Scott J131000 est31001
7=Dickson, Josh J118802101
7=Dickson, Noah J96372110
7=Lewis Sean J130410100
12Lambertino, Armando J10030000

Round 1

1Babin, Andre (1882)10Lewis, Sean J13 (UG)
2Coleman, Daniel (1155)½½Murray, Euan (1610)
3Gururaj, Saranraj (1350)10Lambertino, Armando J10 (UG)
4Dickson, Josh J11 (880)01Drabych, Vladislav J17 (UG)
5Xu, Scott J 13 (1000)est01Dickson, Noah J9 (637)

Round 2

1Drabych, Vladislav J17 (UG)10Babin, Andre (1882)
2Dickson, Noah J9 (637)01Gururaj, Saranraj (1350) est
3Murray, Euan (1610)10Xu, Scott J 13 (1000)est
4Lewis, Sean J13 (UG)10Coleman, Daniel (1155)
5Lambertino, Armando J10 (UG)01Dickson, Josh J11 (880)

Round 3

1Gururaj, Saranraj (1350) est01Drabych, Vladislav J17 (UG)
2Lewis, Sean J13 (UG)01Murray, Euan (1610)
3Babin, Andre (1882)10Coleman, Daniel (1155)
4Xu, Scott J 13 (1000)est10Lambertino, Armando J10 (UG)
#Josh & Noah Dicksonwithdrawn

Round 4

1Drabych, Vladislav J17 (UG)10Murray, Euan (1610)
2Gururaj, Saranraj (1350) est01Babin, Andre (1882)
3Rose, Keith (1557)10Lewis, Sean J13 (UG)
4Coleman, Daniel (1155)01Noble, Ray (1526)
#Josh & Noah DicksonWithdrawn
#Scott XuWithdrawn

Round 5

1Rose, Keith (1557)10Drabych, Vladislav J17 (UG)
2Murray, Euan (1610)01Babin, Andre (1882)
3Noble, Ray (1526)01Gururaj, Saranraj (1350) est
4Coleman, Daniel (1155)10Bye
#Josh & Noah DicksonWithdrawn
#Scott Xu & Sean LewisWithdrawn
#Armando LambertinoWithdrawn

1 The tournament will be a 5 round allegro Swiss event using the Chess Scotland Swiss Pairing system or a Castlehill committee approved computer pairing program.
2 Chess Scotland Allegro rules apply.
3 Players from other clubs may enter this tournament, but the Ian McNab trophies can only be won by a Castlehill Club member. (Winner & R/up)
4 This tournament will be an allegro Opening themed event. Theme decided at AGM
5 The tournament shall take place on a SINGLE CLUB NIGHT during the month of April.
6 As soon as possible after 7:30pm the organiser shall display the 1st round draw.
7 The time control will be all moves in 15 minutes dependent on time constraints.
8 After the 2nd round draw has been made, no more entries can be taken.
9 Scoring; Win=1 point; Draw=0.5; Loss=0; No matches will go for grading.
10 Any player not having started play within 10 minutes of the designated starting time, or within 10 minutes of the draw being displayed, whichever is later, shall be defaulted and removed from the competition.
11 The competition organiser and/or committee may make amendments deemed appropriate to ensure the smooth running of the tournament