The annual Under 12 and Under 14 International matches took place on 29th January at Chepstow. The Scotland party was the most widespread for a considerable time coming from Nairn, Tiree and the central belt.
Transport difficulties meant that Daniel McGowan was unable to travel with the rest of the squad, his original flight from Tiree being cancelled and the flight the following day on a substitute plane was over 5 hours late in arriving at Glasgow Airport. Following a six and a half hour drive he arrived in south Wales just before midnight.
Scotland started as favourites at Under 14 level, though a close match was anticipated. It was only after Colin won the last game of round 1 was the slight half time lead secured. Daniel, obviously tired from the journey of the previous day, made an uncharacteristic mistake and lost a piece and eventually the game. Having had only one draw in the first round the second saw half the games finishing level. All of these were hard fought games, two being drawn by perpetual check.Under 14 Round 1 Wales Scotland Suzie Blackburn 1-0 Daniel McGowan Ceri Hammond 0-1 Colin Hall Hector Wakefield 0-1 Steven Tweedie Lowri Johnston ½-½ Kenneth Anderson Olivia Smith 1-0 Derek Rooney Huw L-Waters 1-0 Jimmy Orr Luke Williams 1-0 Keith Anderson Richard Harris 1-0 Stuart Henderson Michael Davies 0-1 Peter Alexander Daniel Lycet Brown 0-1 Louise McNab Rhys B-Thomas 0-1 Andrew Docherty Christopher Arnold 0-1 David Clarke 5 ½-6 ½ Round 2 Ceri Hammond 0-1 Daniel McGowan Suzie Blackburn 0-1 Colin Hall Lowri Johnston 1-0 Steven Tweedie Hector Wakefield ½-½ Kenneth Anderson Huw L-Waters 1-0 Derek Rooney Olivia Smith ½-½ Jimmy Orr Richard Harris ½-½ Keith Anderson Luke Williams ½-½ Stuart Henderson Daniel Lycet Brown ½-½ Peter Alexander Michael Davies ½-½ Louise McNab Christopher Arnold 0-1 Andrew Docherty Rhys B-Thomas 0-1 David Clarke 5-7 Total 10 ½-13 ½
The Welsh were expected to have the upper hand in the Under 12 match but it was Scotland who stormed into a 8-4 lead at the lunch break. The Scotland officials were less than happy when, with about 75 minutes gone of the second round, the Welsh were winning 6-1 and therefore leading in the match.
From thereon the match see-sawed from one side to the other until with only Kathleen Rutherford's game remaining the score stood at 12-11 in Scotland's favour. Kathleen had played a very impressive game in round 1 but unfortunately was not at her best in the afternoon, missing a mate in three and letting a drawn position deteriorate into a lost one.
However she took advantage of her opponent's shortage of time by finding moves which made him think in a rook and pawn versus bishop endgame until his flag fell. Rees thought he had actually lost the game but it was quickly pointed out that a bare king cannot win.Under 12 Round 1 Ioan Rees 0-1 Chris MacDonald Gruffydd Johnston 0-1 Ross Anderson Joshua Williams 0-1 Graeme McKay Nicholas Hassell 0-1 David Oswald Jason Robinson 1-0 Hugh Brechin David Lovell 1-0 Calum Forbes Matthew Turner 0-1 Kath. Rutherford Stephan Rees ½-½ Peter Stewart Daniel Jenkins 1-0 Gregor Smith Dafydd Loughran 0-1 Gordon Grieg Sara B-Thomas 0-1 Kevin Martin Michael King ½-½ Kieran Montgomery 4-8 Round 2 Gruffydd Johnston 0-1 Chris MacDonald Ioan Rees 1-0 Ross Anderson Nicholas Hassell 0-1 Graeme McKay Joshua Williams 1-0 David Oswald David Lovell 1-0 Hugh Brechin Jason Robinson 0-1 Calum Forbes Stephan Rees ½-½ Kath. Rutherford Matthew Turner 1-0 Peter Stewart Dafydd Loughran 0-1 Gregor Smith Daniel Jenkins 1-0 Gordon Grieg Michael King 1-0 Kevin Martin Sara B-Thomas 1-0 Kieran Montgomery 7 ½-4 ½ Total 11 ½-12 ½
Schools Ban Chess A Welsh Education Authority has announced that as of the 1st of April chess will be banned in all of its schools. Councillor Ffion Shetto stated, "Chess is both sexist and racist and as such it has to be banned. It is unacceptable in today's society that such anti-social activities should be allowed to continue."
The authority claims that chess is sexist as the woman (queen) is expected to do most of the work and to sacrifice herself if need be to protect the man (king). Further, in these days of sexual equality having only one female piece out of sixteen was unacceptable. On the racist charge chess was described as being 'unwelcome in the 21st century' as it gives an 'objectionable image of white against black' and even worse 'the white pieces always start and win in the majority of cases!'
Education spokesperson, Gaynor Temm-Poe, added, "In a survey children were asked to choose Black or White. Even those from ethnic backgrounds invariably chose white. This is reprehensible." The authority states that chess will only be allowed in future if the pieces are of a neutral colour e.g. green or blue (not very neutral in Glasgow!!) and some are given new names.
Suggestions include calling the King the First Minister, knights simply renamed horses and rooks should be called magpies or parrots - the councillors seem to think rooks are named after those black birds! Casper Rough, Junior Director of the Welsh Chess Union, responded. "The WCU deplore this decision and will fight it in the courts if need be."
Those wishing to contribute to the fighting fund should make cheques payable to 'Against Political Regulation In Life - Finance Our Organisation's Litigation, or for short, A.P.R.I.L.-F.O.O.L.' Those wishing to complain about the decision should write to: Euvbin Hadd c/o Alex McFarlane.
Elaine Rutherford You will doubtless have read elsewhere in the website about Elaines success at Hastings so we will not cover it here. But it would be inappropriate if this column and the SJCA, did not express our warmest congratulations to Elaine on her world title and WFM status. Elaine has been, and will continue to be, an excellent ambassador for junior chess in Scotland. It is typical of Elaine that she also contributes to the future development of chess in Scotland by doing coaching sessions in the Edinburgh area.
Nairn Tournament This event was organised by Stephen Taylor on 4th December. Unfortunately the weather was atrocious and the event was affected by call-offs - 24% of the original entry failing to make it to the venue. However, 38 players did turn up.
The P6/7 event was won by Callum Forbes (Nairn) with 5/5. On 4 points were Craig Anderson, Jordan Devine, Scott McInnes and Reece Watt (a P5 pupil) all of Millbank.
The S1-3 event ended with 3 players scoring 4/5, Mosh Ali (Nairn), Lucy Davie and David Grant (both Quarryhill).
Paisley No-Wait Event Held the day after Nairn this event suffered from power cuts which plagued the centre of Paisley and heating failure caused by the equipment objecting to its treatment.
The winner was Calum MacQueen (Bishopton) with 8/9. Both runners up, Kevin Martin and Brian Millar, came from St Dominics and scored 7/9.
Money Problems in England? Whilst both the SJCA and the SCA spend a considerable amount of money on junior chess, it is but a drop in the ocean in comparison to the amounts spent by the BCF.
The budget for junior chess in England last year was £37,750 whilst the actual amount spent was £59,826! (By comparison the BCF spent £82,000 on management services, £55,000 on the British Championships [though the income was £57,000] and £3,000 on home and congress chess.)
Much of the deficit on budget was accounted for by an intercontinental team tournament held in Witley at King Edwards School. This involved two teams of twelve (under 17 and under 14) from each of the USA, South Africa and a team from continental Europe (Yugoslavia) as well as England.
Such is the state of affairs that the BCF are seeking legal advice about the recovery of funds from the event. In something of an understatement former BCF Chairman, Stewart Reuben states, Junior Chess made a significant loss. This is partly explained by the natural desire to impress Saitek, a new sponsor.
Perhaps the inability to find major sponsors for Scottish chess is not such a bad thing after all - I doubt if we could afford them at that rate!
Getting More Members! George Clark of Stirling Chess Club will give you ideas for attracting new members, including youngsters like Chris MacDonald giving simultaneous displays in local supermarkets. But even he hasnt attempted anything as ambitious as Vancouver CC who hold a weekly meeting every Friday evening in a mall (shopping centre). Members of the club meet OUTSIDE the library and invite families to play chess. Coaching and help is given to those needing it. The average attendance is 50 parents and children. Any Scottish clubs want to give it a try?
Glasgow League - Junior Section The Glasgow League has this season started a junior league. Seven teams are taking part in a tournament that is restricted to juniors with a grade of under 1200. (Stronger juniors can usually more than hold their own in one of the five divisions of the adult league.)
Holy Cross initially entered two teams but had to withdraw when it could not come up with sufficient juniors of insufficient grade! Sam Collins, the League Secretary, is pleased with the innovation and is considering if the league can be expanded to include school teams in future seasons.
Several years ago a section of the Edinburgh primary league took place in the evenings. Most schools played during the day or at the end of the school day but there was a significant number of schools where the club was run in the evening by a parent and these schools had a league section to themselves. Alas I believe this evening section to be moribund.
Junior Training The SCA organises training sessions for the top juniors in each age group. At these sessions the juniors put in a considerable amount of work under some of Scotlands leading players.
Whilst recent events have had their fun activities the limited amount of time available means that the main focus must be on raising the standard of play of the participants. The SJCA also has a squad of juniors and whilst there is some overlap of members between the two the SJCA concentrates on a wider range of abilities and, in general, on younger juniors.
Recent SJCA sessions have taken place at Rugby Park and Tannadice, homes of Kilmarnock and Dundee United football clubs respectively. Included in the days training is a tour of the ground and the day ends with a trip to a ten pin bowling alley. Many football clubs have excellent facilities and as well as giving the players an exciting venue the prices charged compare favourably with those levied by many schools.
An appeal Incredibly, there seems to be no national directory of e-mail addresses for local newspapers. The SJCA would like to establish one so that junior achievements can be publicised in the appropriate papers at minimal cost. Would you be good enough to let me know of the e-mail address of your local paper. I am at most chess events or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
John Michael Murray It is with deep regret that we announce the death of 15 year old John Michael Murray, a former junior international player. John Michael, who came from Edinburgh, died in a horrific accident at Hogmanay whilst trying to enter his home through a first floor window. He was a very promising footballer and had given up competitive chess to pursue a career at this. Scottish Chess joins many others, including Craig Brown, in expressing our sympathy to his family.
Chess Suppliers Grand Prix Following the Oban Congress Joe Redpath has regained the lead in the SJCA Grand Prix ahead of the other 326 players who have recorded scores high enough.
Redpath, Joe 1985 ED 102.50 Sime, David 1983 WH 100.00 Rigg, Gordon 1983 GI 99.50 Campbell, Kevin 1983 HC 88.00 Rutherford, Elaine 1983 ED 67.50 McGowan, Daniel 1986 TX 64.50 Grassie, Duncan 1983 NM 62.00 Anderson, Ken 1986 ST 55.50 McNab, Louise 1987 RG 51.00 Tweedie, Steven 1987 AJ 51.00 MacDonald, Christopher 1989 PR 48.50 McKay, Graham 1989 Arduthie 41.00 Pollock, Murray 1985 AJMK 40.00 Rooney, Derek 1986 HC 36.75 Brechin, Hugh 1988 JG 36.50 Shepka, Bryan 1984 HC 35.00 Martin, Kevin 1988 St Dom 34.25 Horne, Colin 1987 Sciennes 30.00 Ramsden, Ben 1985 RG 29.75 Henderson, Stuart 1987 WK 28.50 Stevenson, Kirsty 1985 PRKX 28.00 Alexander, Peter 1986 Queen Anne 27.00 Tweedie, Christopher 1983 AJ 26.50 Docherty, Andrew 1987 SG 26.00 Forbes, Callum 1988 Nairn 25.75 Reid, Gavin 1987 Banchory 25.50 Anderson, Keith 1986 Bonaly 25.25 Ward, Christopher 1985 Banchory 25.25 Phillips, Gordon 1987 HS 25.00 Selkirk, Iain 1985 NM 25.00 Rutherford, Kathleen 1989 Jas Gillespies 24.75 Hall, Colin 1987 PRCF 24.00 Anderson, Ross 1988 GM 23.00 Orr, Jimmy 1987 BF 21.50 Curry, Charles 1987 Arduthie 20.25 Greig, Gordon 1989 Cairneyhill 20.25