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Simultaneous chess display by GM Jonathan Rowson

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
June 2, 2007

June 9, Aberdeen report


As the organ at Kelvingrove Art Gallery in Glasgow struck up at 1 pm, GM Jonathan Rowson finished the last game in his simultaneous display in Glasgow's favourite tourist attraction.  The result of 19 wins for Jonathan and one loss was a superb and hugely professional result for the triple British Champion, completed pretty much within time despite a delay in starting. 


The sole winner was 18 year old Chris Macdonald (see game below) who had earlier received the Jonathan Rowson trophy from Jonathan in recognition of his winning the boy player of the year award this year. Jonathan had also presented the Cherie Booth Award for the girl of the year to 15 year old Amy Officer.  

The display was organised by Chess Scotland as part of the celebrations for Jonathan's superb success in winning the British Championship three times. It attracted many spectators from players to who had just dropped in to see the event, to people visiting the Art Galleries and intrigued to see the display in the main hall.  Tourists took videos. A group of people who were there to sketch in the Gallery asked if they could sketch the display. A useful promotion of chess to a wider audience.  Scope for the players to remember that they played in such an iconic building.  People asking about the British Champion. And some special photographs by lots of spectators of a rare event which we should undoubtedly repeat.  



In the afternoon, Jonathan went on to give an hour talk to the 30 strong Scottish youth squad, also meeting at Kelvingrove and organised by the indefatigable Donna Officer.  Jonathan entertained with the possibilities in what looked like a dry position before going on to answer questions about how he started in chess, how he studied, what his aspirations were and what his most humiliating loss was.  His only mistake of the day was to actually say which game was his most humiliating, after which he was invited to play it over and explain where he had gone wrong!  An inspiring talk by a superb ambassador for Scottish chess.

I could not have asked for a better event to arrange as my last as a CS Director (I'm not standing for re-election as a Director in August).

John Glendinning


Rowson,J - McDonald,C [C66]
Kelvingrove Simul,

Final Position1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 Nf6 4 d3 d6 5 0-0 g6 6 Nbd2 Bg7 7 c3 0-0 8 Re1 Bd7 9 Ba4 Nh5 10 Nf1 h6 11 d4 Nf4 12 Bxf4 exf4 13 Qc2 g5 14 h3 h5 15 e5 g4 16 hxg4 hxg4 17 N3h2 dxe5 18 Bxc6 Bxc6 19 Nxg4 Qg5 20 Nfh2 exd4 21 cxd4 Rad8 22 Re5 f5 23 Qc4+ Kh7 24 d5 Bxe5 25 Nxe5 Rg8 26 Nhg4 Rxd5 27 Nxc6 bxc6 28 Qxc6 fxg4 0-1

Play Over Game





Aberdeen Simultaneous

Jonathan Rowson gave a simultaneous display at the Beach Ballroom in Aberdeen on the 9th June, starting at 10.00 am – the last games finishing at around 2.30. Playing 33 players, Jonathan took only 1 short break during this time. His final score was 32 wins  and 1 draw against local player Roland Kensdale.

Probably three quarters of the players were juniors – with at least one 7 year old.

The display was in aid of the charity Aberdeen Mental Health (web site: ). Jonathan explained in his opening address that his family had been affected by mental illness. His mother works for the charity.

There was a formal opening speech by the Provost of Aberdeen (I believe this is Peter Stephen) who mentioned he had stopped playing Chess since his wife began beating him. The Provost made the first move of the display – Jonathan mentioned he had his work cut out in that game as the Provost had chosen 1. g2-g4 (the Grob).

In a relaxed performance Jonathan impressed with his care in explaining to his younger opponents, in simple terms, where they went wrong (or in some cases gently reminding them that you have to get out of check !) He also took care to greet players who remembered him from his early days in Aberdeen Chess. Jonathan readily autographed copies of his two most recent books ‘Chess for Zebras' and ‘The Seven Deadly Chess Sins' which were available from a bookstall on the day, along with ex-review copies of other books at bargain prices.

The Beach Ballroom provided very comfortable playing conditions, looking out on Aberdeen 's long sandy beach.

Roland Kensdale

Preview Simul at Beach Ballroom - June 9



Preview: Rowson (left) v Parker - Brit 2006The current and three times British Champion GM Jonathan Rowson will give a simultaneous display at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow on Saturday 2 June. The display will start immediately after the Gallery opens at 10 am. It will be held in the main public area of the Gallery and will finish by 1 pm (when the organ recital starts!).

The display is part of Chess Scotland's recognition of Jonathan's superb achievement in winning the British Championship three times in a row. You are welcome to come along either to play or to spectate – don't miss at least dropping into such an unusual event in Glasgow 's favourite museum!

And why not play if you can! If you would like to take part in the display, please send a cheque for £10 payable to Chess Scotland to L R McKenzie, 29 Coylton Road, Glasgow, G43 2TA. Cheques must reach him by 30 May.

The display will be played over 20 boards. If more than 20 applications are received, a ballot of those whose cheques have been received will be held. Everyone who applies will have confirmation of whether they have a place sent to them – to facilitate this, please confirm your home address and an e-mail address if available when sending the cheque. The list of those playing will also be published on the website.

A signed copy of “Chess for Zebras” by Jonathan will be awarded to the player who, in Jonathan's judgement, plays the best game.

Please also note:

•  players graded above 2100 are not eligible, and

•  in view of the restricted time available, passes will NOT be permitted (i.e, you will have to play every time Jonathan reaches your board and will not be able to ask him to take another circuit to give you more time, and

•  the venue will not be quiet - it is being played in the main area of the Gallery. We will not be asking people to be quiet!

Please note that there are charges and time restrictions on all parking near to the Gallery. Here is some basic information but you should check the up-to-date position on the Gallery's website

KelvingroveKelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Argyle St, Glasgow, G3 8AG Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is located in picturesque Kelvin Park in the popular West End of the city.

•  Parking Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum Car Park has 147 spaces of pay and display parking, and a maximum stay of 3 hours. Museum of Transport, Bunhouse Road Car Park has 153 spaces of pay and display parking, and a maximum stay of 3 hours. Other Parking Facilities: there is pay and display parking on Bunhouse Road (52 places) and on Kelvin Way (264 proposed places), maximum stay 3 hours.

•  By Subway Five minutes' walk from Kelvinhall Underground Station. Ten minutes' walk from Kelvinbridge Underground Station. Subway trains run to Kelvin Hall station, near Kelvingrove, at intervals of four to eight minutes. Operating hours are Monday to Saturday 6.30am to 11.30pm and Sunday 10am to 6pm. Cars can be parked at the following Subway stations before travelling on to Kelvin Hall: Bridge Street, Kelvinbridge, Shields Road and West Street . Information available on 0870 608 2608 or


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