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Best game prize candidates - annotated by Craig Postlethwaite - winner Kevin Shaw for game v Nicholas Thomas
YOUR typical weekend "Swiss" congress is a great leveller with many a game and first prize being decided by a critical blunder in the final round. If you don't believe me just ask the newly-crowned Smith & Williamson British champion, GM Julian Hodgson.
Playing at the weekend in the 26th Grangemouth Congress, sponsored by Falkirk & District Council, Zeneca and BP, Hodgson looked the odds-on favourite to pick up the first prize of (UK)500 to add to his winnings of (UK)10,000 from the British, which in turn would put the likeable London GM in contention for the first prize in the (UK)3,000 Onxy Grand Prix.
However, after overpressing in a vain attempt to win in the final round against GM Colin McNab, Hodgson blundered at move 59, resigned on move 73, and had to be content with a measly (UK)20 for all his efforts at the weekend. His blunder cleared the way for Dundee's GM Colin McNab to take, for the second year running from a visiting English GM on the prowl for Onxy Grand Prix points, the (UK)500 first prize and the B.P. silver salver with a final score of 4.5/5.
Premier: 1 GM C McNab (Dundee) 4.5/5; 2 IM J Shaw (Kilmarnock) 4; 3-8 GM J Hodgson (Eng), C Hanley (Eng), K McDonald (Inverclyde), I Robertson (Dunfermline), P McInally (Edinburgh West) & D Eynon (Edinburgh) 3.5.Challengers: 1-3 S Balmer (Edinburgh), J Hamilton (Cathcart) & V Farrell (Giffnock) 4/5. Major: 1-5 A Rose (Peterhead), J Cunningham (Ardrossan), J Thompson (Cathcart), D Ross (Knight Moves) & C Nisbet (Lasswade) 4/5. Minor: 1 D Watt (Balerno) 4.5/5; 2-5 D McGilvary (Livingston), J Hanley (Eng), K Campbell (Holy Cross) & D Rooney (Holy Cross) 4. Junior: 1 K Anderson (Edinburgh) 5.5/6; 2-3 P Alexander (Dunfermline) & J Daly (Holy Cross) 4.
C McNab - P McInally Grangemouth Premier (4) English Opening
1 c4 e5 2 Nc3 Bb4 3 Qc2 Nf6 4 Nf3 Nc6 5 Nd5 a5 6 a3 Bc5 7 e3 0-0 8 Bd3 g6 9 b3 d6 10 Bb2 Nxd5 11 cxd5 Ne7 12 Nxe5 Nxd5 13 Nf3 Be6 14 h4 Ne7 15 Ng5 Bd5 16 h5 h6 17 hxg6 Nxg6 18 Bxg6 Qxg5 19 Bh7mate 1-0