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First Woman to be Scottish Champion

The 110th Scottish Chess Championships incorporating the ever-popular Edinburgh Congress held in George Heriot's School, Edinburgh, drew a record entry of 330 participants. Held in the Easter holidays to avoid a clash with the British Championships in the summer at the same venue, the event culminated in a tie for the Scottish Championship between favourite and defending champion, Grandmaster Paul Motwani, and Woman Grandmaster Kete Arakhamia-Grant (right). Hailing from Georgia and married to Jonathan Grant, also a participant in the Championship, Kete became the first woman ever to share the Championship winning her last round match in style.


However it was the juniors who stole the show! A thirteen year old from Dollar, Christopher MacDonald became the youngest player ever to compete for the Championship finishing the tournament strongly. Graeme Kafka, a student at The University of Edinburgh, produced the performance of the Championship beating International Master Mark Orr and giving Grandmaster Paul Motwani (right) his most uncomfortable match. Paul declared afterwards that he felt very relieved when a draw was agreed. Graeme's rating performance for the tournament was over 2400 and, had the pairings for the last round been kinder to him, he could have achieved an International Master norm. Not bad for a player rated 2103 at the start of the Championship. One his friends and also a student at Edinburgh, Duncan Grassie, won the Open event with the best score of the Championships, eight out of nine points, and considerably enhancing his international rating.

Bob Clapham of the Castlehill club in Dundee won the Seniors Championship; and Grandmaster Ganbold Odondoo from Mongolia via Newcastle won the Premier weekend event with a perfect score. Twelve year old Michael Emery from Stonehaven won the Giant Killing prize and Dunfermline player Ian Robertson won the best game prize for his win against Grandmaster Colin McNab in the first round.

Paul Motwani heads the list of Scottish players who have indicated their intention to compete in the British Chess Championships, 20th July to 2nd August. One thousand players, adults and junior, and their families are expected to converge on Edinburgh from all over the British Isles and the Commonwealth to play in these Championships.

15 April 2003

Hugh S Flockhart
Director, Chess Scotland
0131 661 3022

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Chess Scotland 2002