ELCA Allegro

September 25 1999

report by John Henderson

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THE Scottish rapidplay No.1, Dundee's GM Colin McNab, was quick off the mark to come ahead of the class at the weekend to win the Edinburgh & Lothians Allegro, played at Wester Hailes Education Centre. A fourth round draw with IM Jonathan Rowson and four wins gave McNab an unbeaten score of 4.5/5 to take the first prize and the Midlothian Cup.

Rowson, playing on top board in the last round, had a hard fought draw with IM Steve Mannion, a result which gave both the second equal spot on 4/5.

The rapidly improving Edinburgh junior, Joe Redpath, turned in yet another impressive performance to finish on 3.5/5 to take the Smerdon Cup for the highest placed Lothian player in the Open. The youngster had clearly done his homework in his fourth round game against the experienced Donald Holmes with a highly theoretical variation of the Tarrasch in the French Defence which is standing up very well for Black.

The whole game (given below) actually follows a sub-variation from the Rublevsky-Ivanov encounter from the Russian Championships, 1997, that appeared in ChessBase's Mega Base 99. Instead of the speculative 19 Re4, as played by Holmes, safer is 19 Bc1 f5 (another option is 19..Bf4 20 g4! Ng3+ 21 fxg3 Bxc1 22 Raxc1 b6) 20 Bxe6 Ng7 21 Bxc8 Raxc8 22 g3 Bxg3 23 fxg3 Qc6+ - in both cases leading to a draw due to the insecurity of both Kings.

Open - 1 GM C McNab (Dundee) 4.5/5; 2-3 IM J Rowson (Bon Accord) & IM S Mannion (Cathcart) 4. Smerdon Cup (Highest placed Lothian player) - J Redpath (Edinburgh West) 3.5/5.

Challengers - 1-2 O Ali (Edinburgh) & J Konarski (W.Dragons) 4.5/5.

Major - 1 D Sime (Wester Hails) 5/5; 2-4 J Hamilton (Cathart), J Marr (Edinburgh) & T Dimitrov (Sandy Bells) 4.

Minor - 1-2 A Wright (Livingston) & K Campbell (Holy Cross) 4.5/5; 3-6 D Watt (Balerno), D McGladdery (Hassock) & P Selby (Glenrothes) 4.

D Holmes - J Redpath

Edinburgh & Lothians Allegro

French Defence, Tarrasch. 1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 Nd2 c5 4 exd5 Qxd5 5 Ngf3 cxd4 6 Bc4 Qd6 7 0-0 Nf6 8 Nb3 Nc6 9 Nbxd4 Nxd4 10 Nxd4 a6 11 Re1 Qc7 12 Bb3 Bd6 13 Nf5 Bxh2+ 14 Kh1 0-0 15 Nxg7 Rd8 16 Qf3 Kxg7 17 Bh6+ Kg6 18 c3 Nh5 19 Re4 Kxh6 20 Rh4 Qe5 21 g4 Bd7 22 Qxf7 Be8 23 Rxh5+ Qxh5 24 Qf8+ Kg5 25 Qe7+ Kxg4 26 Bxe6+ Kf3 27 Qxb7+ Kf4 28 Qc7+ Qe5 0-1