Law Society of Scotland Fourth Secondary Schools Allegro Team Championships
Sunday, 20 March 2011, 10:00 – 16:30
East End Park, Dunfermline Football Club
The 4th Law Society of Scotland Team and 2nd National Individual Secondary chess championships took place on March 20 at Dunfermline Football Club. The event, generously sponsored by its namesake, was another success with teams competing from across Scotland to win the prestigious trophy and championship titles.
Chess Scotland is delighted to work with the Law Society of Scotland who share our ambition to provide these important events which support, encourage, develop and promote not only chess, but also its associated benefits including improved concentration, initiative, determination and sportsmanship to teenagers in Scotland.
The tournament is exclusively for those of secondary school age and provides an opportunity for players of all abilities to compete. It is considered by many youngsters as a highlight of their chess career because of the opportunity to compete as part of a team in first class playing facilities, in addition to an attractive prize fund of equipment for schools and money for the highest scoring players.
The strength and experience of competitors varied greatly on the day from novices to international players. Each team consisted of 3 players from the same secondary school with scores based on the group performance in each round - 2 points for a win, 1 for a draw and 0 for a loss. The benefit of this system is that it does not accumulate individual scores and instead supports teams with two strong and one weaker player to remain in contention for the title as it is the overall team score which is considered for prizes.
The favourites for the title, and eventual champions, were James Gillespies High School of Edinburgh who achieved a perfect score of 5/5 as a team and dropped only 1 point out of 15 in their individual games. Despite this seemingly convincing result it was not a comfortable ride for Jonathan Scott, Samuel Gregory and Shivan Murdochy as rivals George Heriots and Girvan Academy put up a fierce challenge which resulted in some exciting blitz finishes and a particularly tense and close last round tie, though in the end the experience of James Gillespies was evident and they took the title. Meanwhile, the National Individual Championship was decided by an emotive final round match as Seamus Herron narrowly failed to retain his title as newcomer Andrew McCusker negotiated a draw to seal first place.