A MUCH welcomed return to the tournament circuit after the absence of a year was the Hawick Congress, played at the Teviotdale Leisure Centre, 7-9 August, during the Hawick Festival.
In the past this ever-popular congress has lured a number of players from England across the border; this one being no different with the entry boosted by a large influx of English players. And indeed it was one of the visiting players, GM Jim Plaskett, who won the main Open tournament with an unbeaten score of 4.5/5, a half-point ahead of IMs Colin Crouch and Stephen Mannion.
The Hawick Congress was also the first Scottish tournament of the season with the new 1998-99 Ratings in operation. The new SCA Grading list, costing 4.50, is now available from the Scottish Chess Association, who can be contacted at their new, appropriate, telephone number: 0141-221-6464
Open - 1 GM J Plaskett (Barbican) 4.5/5; 2-3 IM C Crouch (England) & IM S Mannion (Crowwood) 4; 4-5 IM J Shaw (Kilmarnock) & G Morrison (Wandering Dragons) 3.5
Major - 1 R Fisher (England) 4.5; 2 F Campbell (Holy Cross) 4; 3-6 D Hartley (England), P Rivers (England), S Balmer (Edinburgh) & A Thomson (Stirling) 3.5
Minor - 1 S MacKinney (Wester Hails) 4.5/5; 2 I Washington (Kinross) 4; 3-4 P Girwood (Wester Hails) & A Thomson (Stirling)
J Plaskett - A Norris
Hawick Open (2)
French Def: Tarrasch
1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 Nd2 Nf6 4 e5 Nfd7 5 c3 c5 6 Bd3 Nc6 7 Ngf3 cxd4 8 cxd4 g6 9 h4 Bg7 10 h5 b6 11 a3 a5 12 Qe2 Ncb8 13 Nb1 Ba6 14 Nc3 Bxd3 15 Qxd3 gxh5 16 Nb5 h6 17 Nd6+ Kf8 18 Bf4 Nc6 19 Rxh5 Ne7 20 Rc1 Nc8 21 Nb7 Qe8 22 Rc7 Nb8 23 Nd6 Nxd6 24 exd6 Nd7 25 Qe3 Rc8 26 Rxh6 Kg8 27 Rxh8+ Kxh8 28 Ne5 Nxe5 29 Bxe5 Rd8 30 Qh6+ 1-0 John B Henderson