ABERDEEN TWIN CITY TOURNAMENT
August 17 2002
It was unanimously agreed by competitors that the Aberdeen Twin City Chess Tournament was a huge success.
The event had all the drama and ingredients expected in a good team tournament. Although the Germans and Belarussians, as expected, proved too strong for the locals and the junior French team, there were more close encounters than some of the scores suggest. And, of course, there were the odd 'unintentional piece sacrifices' (Craig Gordon's definition of blunders) as well as the embarrassment of one Aberdeen player - who shall remain nameless - who managed to snatch a draw from the jaws of victory, with K+Q v K!
The Gomel team (university students aged 18-20) were just ahead of experienced Regensburg on game points, until Tom Coffey and George McKay threw a couple of spanners into the well oiled Gomel machine in round 4.
Wins for this pair meant that Gomel had to win their match in round 5 against the strong German team, who now required 2-2 or better. Regensburg seemed to have everything under control until Parik Stefanov gave Gomel a lifeline by blundering a whole rook on board one. After a draw on board two, and loss on board three, Kuzniatsova had to win on board 4. In a thrilling climax to a very close game, she prevailed, after both players had promoted pawns, and with just seconds left on both clocks.
The visiting teams were full of praise for the tournament, the organisation, and the red carpet treatment they had received, which included being piped into an Aberdeen hotel by Duncan Grassie, in full highland dress. Aberdeen's Lord Provost was also delighted with the 'Twin City' event, which augurs well for future meetings.
Local Bon Accord players entertained the visitors in their local pub on Sunday evening, playing blitz games for a couple of hours. There is a strong possibility that a similar event will be staged in Regensburg next year. Report by David Leslie.
Coffey v Stefanov Overall view Gomel get trophy from Lord
Provost Margaret Smith
PREVIEW: Aberdeen City Council's generous support of chess continues on August 17th, when a 'Twin City' event is staged in Aberdeen Town House, where last years Scottish Championships opening ceremony took place.
11 months ago, Quarryhill Juniors represented Aberdeen in the first 'twin city' chess tournament, hosted by Clermont-Ferrand. The French believe that there is much scope to develop this type of competition, which is supported by grants from each cities international budget.
The report on last year's event was so positive that Marion Boyd, Aberdeen's International Officer, and David Leslie successfully bid for a grant to stage this years event in Aberdeen. Marion and David have been working together since January on the tournament arrangements, which have resulted in invitations being accepted by Gomel (Belarus), Regensburg (Germany), and Clermont-Ferrand (France). Three Aberdeen teams (of 4) are also taking part in the one-day all-play-all allegro.
The Regensburg team includes IM Parik Stefanov and FM Andreas Luft, while FM Jean-Marc Flouzat heads Clermont-Ferrand, but also include 9 year-old Armand Devine (1500+). At the moment, we have team names, but no indication of the strength of the Gomel team.
Mike Shepherd and Tom Coffey will head two of the Aberdeen teams, while the junior team will include Duncan Grassie and David Grant.
Aberdeen City Council considers this to be a prestigious event, in keeping with the concept of twin city development. As such, the Lord Provost approved the use of Aberdeen Town House, as the venue for the tournament. The Lord Provost will be present at the tournament, meet the teams, and present civic gifts. In addition, an annual cup and medals have been donated by council, which will be presented to the winning team.
Jean-Marc Flouzat said last year, that he sees a great future in 'twin city' chess events, so during the three days the visiting teams will spend in Aberdeen, further ties will be developed, particularly with the Germans and Belarussians. It is hoped that a framework will be put in place to establish this as an annual event. Report by David Leslie
Link: Chess in Town House June 2002
Link: Aberdeen Schools Project