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Fife Secondary Schools Championship

The Fife Secondary Schools Individual Chess Championships were held on January 21 2007 at Glenwood High School, Glenrothes. As expected, the strongest contingent came from Cupar’s Bell Baxter which fielded the top four seeds – including reigning champion, Liam Ingram, and Fife’s top junior, Francis Batchelor.

Nevertheless, the other schools’ players put up tough competition, particularly Woodmill’s Robbie Gibson, who got off to a flying start with three straight victories. This run included a win over third seed, Finlay Dick of Bell Baxter – for which Robbie received the £10 ‘Giant-killing Prize’.

In the end, though, quality and experience prevailed with Liam and Francis finishing in joint top spot, with 4½ out of 5. As a result of a previously-unheard-of-finish-onschedule (owing far more to good fortune than it did to organsiational ability!) it was agreed to hold a play off rather than to use countback. In the ten-minute game that followed, Francis played the black side of a Siclian Dragon and, seeming to know the theory better than his schoolmate, achieved a strong position. Liam’s defences soon crumbled, leaving Francis a worthy winner of this year’s Roger Stewart Memorial Cup.

All players finishing on 50% or more received and invitation to take part in this year’s Chess Scotland championships in April.

Photo left to right: Robbie Gibson, Woodmill (Giant Killing Prize); Joanna Sinski, Bell Baxter (Best Girl); Liam Ingram, Bell Baxter (runner up); Liam Batchelor, Bell Baxter (Champion); Chris Curry, Woodmill (Third Place); Andrew Smith, Dunfermline (Best Under 600); Alasdair Campbell, Woodmill (Best Ungraded)

Stuart Blyth

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Chess Scotland 2007