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John Shaw

CS Player of the Year

July 16, 2006

John Shaw GMCongratulations to John Shaw of Kilmarnock who was voted Player of the Year and was presented with the trophy at the prizegiving of the Scottish Championships in Troon.

John was awarded the grandmaster title at the recent Turin Olympiad, the fourth Scot of the modern era to achieve the title. (photo by JBH)

Player of Year list









Norm no.3 May 2006 - 4NCL:

John Shaw has recorded a GM norm at the final weekend of the 4NCL in the Paragon Hotel, Birmingham.

This completes qualification for the GM title since John has already recorded two previous norms and has previously had a FIDE rating of 2500.

John Shaw 4NCL norm: 1 v Rowson 2599, 0.5 v Davies 2521, 0.5 v Cox 2384, 1 v Williams 2452, 0 v McShane 2605, 1 v Duncan 2332, 0.5 v Le Roux 2497, 1 v Turner 2495, 1 v Kennaugh 2274, 0.5 v Knott 2378, 1 v Eckersley-Waites 2116. 8/11.

Congratulations to John Shaw of Kilmarnock who became Scotland's 4th Grandmaster at the Four Nations Chess League (4NCL) in Birmingham last weekend. Shaw scored 8/11 to record a 3rd and final GM norm. Previous norms (high score performances) were recorded at the Gibraltar Masters in 2003 and the Calvia Olympiad in 2004. Shaw had already secured a FIDE international rating over 2500, the other key GM qualification requirement, and should be awarded the title at the FIDE Congress which takes place at the end of this month during the Turin Olympiad.

Shaw, 37, provides hope for all non-prodigies. At the age of 19 Shaw was rated just 1700, the equivalent of a better than average Scottish club player. His first performance of note was first place in the Scottish Open at Aberdeen in 1991. He won the Scottish Championship in 1995, 1998 and 2000 and was awarded the International Master title with the 1998 victory.

Scotland will now have an opportunity to field an all-GM team at the Turin Olympiad when Shaw lines up alongside Jonathan Rowson, Paul Motwani and Colin McNab. Rowson was one of two GM scalps taken within the latest Shaw norm. English GM Matthew Turner plays in over aggressive fashion and Shaw steals a pawn and a relatively easy victory.

4NCL Birmingham – March 2006, White: M. Turner (Wood Green, 2495), Black: J. Shaw (Guildford, 2432), 1 e4 d5 2 exd5 Qxd5 3 Nc3 Qa5 4 d4 Nf6 5 Nf3 Bf5 6 Bc4 c6 7 Bd2 e6 8 Nd5 The main move is 8 Qe2 followed by castling q-side. Black should play 8...Bb4 and be ready to give up B for Nc3 when prompted. 8...Qd8 9 Nxf6+ Qxf6 10 Bg5?! A surprising choice, 10 Qe2 with ideas of 0–0–0 and d5 to follow is the standard treatment. 10...Qg6 11 h4 Bxc2 Pinching a safe extra pawn, White never gets enough compensation. 12 Qd2 h6 13 h5 Qh7 14 Be3 Nd7 15 g4 Nb6 16 Be2 Nd5 17 a3 Be4 18 Rh3 Bxf3 19 Bxf3 Be7 20 Be2 0–0–0 21 b4 Kb8 22 b5 cxb5 23 Bd3 Qg8 24 Bxb5 Qf8 25 Kf1 Bf6 26 Rb1 Qd6 27 Bc4 Rd7 28 Qd3 Rc8 29 Bd2 Nf4 30 Bxf4 Qxf4 31 Qb3 Bxd4 32 Rf3 Qxg4 33 Be2 Qh4 34 Rg3 Rc3! with the idea 35 Rxc3 Qh1 mate. White has seen enough, 0-1.

The modern day GM title overlooks players from the past who were sufficiently strong but did not receive any formal award. Scottish players who come into this category would at least include 11 time Scottish champion W.A.Fairhurst and the 19th century Captain McKenzie – retrospectively rated at over 2600. Scotland on Sunday


Norm no.2 October 2004 - Calvia Olympiad:

John Shaw Calvia norm: 1 v Chong 2146, 1 v Rocha 2431, 1 v Lie 2474, 0 v Gashimov 2586, 0.5 v Ilinsky 2331, 0.5 v Dusko 2581, 0.5 v Kurajica 2541, 1 v Zouhir 2170, 1 v Cubas 2220, 1 v Neubauer 2440 7.5/10.

Web report

IM John Shaw of Kilmarnock has been the star of the Scottish squad at the world team Olympiad in Calvia, Mallorca. Shaw recorded a grandmaster norm with his score after round 12 to add to the norm achieved at the Gibraltar international in early 2003.

Much as we would all like to win with a dashing attack most games are not like that. The opponent has his own ambitions, none of which encompass letting you demonstrate your brilliance. Chess is often about winning ugly and scoring the point by whatever means.

Calvia Olympiad round 11, White: J. Cubas Pons (Spain, 2220), Black: J. Shaw ( Scotland 2484) 1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 This opening (played by Shaw himself when White) is a serious alternative to 3 d4. 3…g6 4 Bxc6 dxc6 5 d3 Bg7 6 h3 Nf6 7 Nc3 Nd7 8 Be3 e5 9 Qd2 Qe7 10 Nh2 Nf8 11 0–0 Ne6 12 Ne2 0–0 13 Rae1 Nd4 14 f4 exf4 15 Bxf4 Be6 16 Ng3 f6 17 c3 Nb5 18 Nf5! Bxf5 White has won the opening and Black is in big trouble, the knight had to be taken since 18...Qd7 19 Nxg7 costs rook for knight. 19 exf5 Qd7 20 Qe3 b6 In view of what follows 20...g5 21 Bg3 Rfe8 may be better. 21 fxg6 hxg6 22 a4! A good move since now Nc7 or Nd6 are hit by the double attack Qg3 looking at the N and g6. 22...g5 23 axb5 gxf4 24 Qxf4?! 24 bxc6 wins a pawn after either 24...fxe3 or 24...Qxc6. 24...cxb5 25 Ng4 Qxd3 26 Re7 Qg6 27 Rf3?! 27 Qd6! looks more threatening with ideas of Qe6+, Rf5 and Ne5. 27...Rae8 28 Rxe8?! White should regain the material with Rxa7 but has to worry about Black's threats of f5 and Be5. eg 28 Rxa7 Re1+ 29 Kh2 f5 but 30 Rxg7+! Kxg7 31 Ne5 wins. 28...Rxe8 29 Rg3 Kh8 Black seems fine now and still has the extra pawn. 30 Ne3 Qe4 31 Qc7 White is still thinking about the attacking position he had earlier and can't acquiesce to a queen exchange. 31...Bh6! Black probably stands better - extra pawn and W has no real threats. Of course the drafty king means care is required. 32 Nf1 Qe7 33 Qc6 b4 34 Rf3 Qe6 35 Qa4 If 35 Rxf6 Qxc6 36 Rxc6 bxc3 37 bxc3 Bg7 is very good for Black. 35...a5 36 cxb4 Why not 36 Rxf6! 36...axb4 37 Qc2 And again 37 Rxf6. 37...Rg8 38 Qf2 Rg6 39 Ng3 c4 40 Nf5 b3 41 Qh4 Kh7 42 Rf1 Qe2 43 Rf2 Qe1+ 44 Kh2 c3! An extra queen please. 45 Qh5?? Panic stations, White had to try 45 Nxh6 Rxh6 46 Qc4 with a threat of perpetual check but 46…Rg6 should win. 45...Qxf2 46 Nxh6 Qxg2 mate. Scotland on Sunday




Norm no.1 February 2003 - Gibraltar International:

IM John Shaw of Kilmarnock defeated three grandmasters in the final three rounds of the Gibraltar Masters to record his first GM qualifying score (norm).

The last round game against English GM James Plaskett ended bizarrely. Plaskett had gained a decisive advantage of two extra pawns and left the board after his 41st move to compose himself. Despite the previous nine rounds he had somehow forgotten there was no time replenishment on the 40th move and his flag fell to incur a time forfeit handing Shaw the win.

Shaw has previously endured a succession of bad luck in final rounds. A stunned Plaskett soon recovered and gave John a strange gift – a guide to red light districts of Europe! The book had been written by Plaskett's wife Fiona Pitt-Kethley, a well known author to those with a predeliction for erotic poetry.

Shaw has already fulfilled the GM requirement of a rating over 2500 and now needs a further two norms to become the fourth Scot in the modern era to achieve GM status. Paul Motwani, Colin McNab (both Dundee) and Jonathan Rowson (Aberdeen) are Scotland 's GM trio.

Here is Shaw's win against Pia Cramling of Sweden. She holds the “male” GM title and was one of the top women players in the world before the rise of the Polgar sisters. Shaw makes a well judged exchange sacrifice to produce enduring pressure.

Gibraltar Masters round 8, White: P. Cramling (Sweden, 2492), Black: J. Shaw (Scotland, 2470), Opening: Slav, 1 d4 d5 2 c4 c6 3 Nf3 Nf6 4 Nc3 dxc4 5 a4 Bf5 6 Nh4 e6 7 Nxf5 exf5 8 e3 Bb4 9 Bxc4 0–0 10 Qc2 g6 11 0–0 Nbd7 12 f3 Qb6 13 Kh1 c5 14 Ba2 Rac8 15 dxc5 Qa6 16 Nb5 Nxc5 17 Qe2 Kg7 18 e4 fxe4 19 fxe4 Ncxe4 20 Bf4 Rfe8 21 Qf3 Re7 22 Qh3 Rce8 23 Be3 Ng3+ 24 hxg3 Rxe3 25 Nc7 Qb6 26 Nxe8+ Rxe8 27 Rf3 Re5 28 g4 h5 29 g5 Rxg5 30 Raf1 Be7 31 Rb3 Qa6 32 Qd3 Qxa4 33 Rxb7 Qh4+ 34 Qh3 Qe4 White resigned, Cramling had touched the queen but now realised the intended 35 Qf3 is refuted by 35…Rf5. Black is doing well in any case eg 35 Rxa7 Rg4. Scotland on Sunday

John Shaw Gibraltar norm: 1 v Soh 2029, 1 v Agdestein 2578, 0 v Short 2690, 0 v Johansen 2487, 1 v Gayson 2257, 0 v Reindermann 2506, 1 v Straub 2112, 1 v Cramling 2492, 1 v Hamdouchi 2615, 1 v Plaskett 2467 - no draws(!) 7/10.

Shaw with 7/10 won £1250 in 3rd = place, a half-point behind winners Kotronias (Greece) and Short (England).

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