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Fife Junior Congress

January 29, 2006
by Stuart Blyth

Glenwood High School recently hosted the 2006 Fife Schools Chess Championships, with around eighty pupils from Fife schools taking part. The whole county was represented, from Kingsbarns and Waid in the east, to Queen Anne and Kings Road in the west.

A hard-fought primary championship left two players, Rory Brown (Freuchie) and Sam Turner Blyth (Carleton) with one hundred percent records after five rounds, setting up a sixth round match between the two. In the end, Sam's experience just told, as he squeezed out a win in a tight endgame, to claim the Out of School Hours Learning Primary Cup with a 6/6 performance. Rory's 5/6 was good enough for the runner-up's spot, with Dale Wilkie's (Falkland) 5/6 giving him 3 rd place.

The Retired Miners Cup for best performance by a primary 5 and under went to Connor Cummings of Freuchie, on 4½ points a nice present for Connor, who celebrated his birthday on the same day! Christopher Carey (Newcastle) just pipped Gavin Turnbull (Carleton) for 2 nd place, with both boys finishing on 3/6.

Nearly fifty secondary school students from ten high schools fought it out for the Roger Stewart Memorial Cup , which will be awarded annually to Fife High School Champion. As expected, Bell Baxter pupils featured strongly, but it was encouraging that other schools also put in decent challenges an indication of the blossoming high school chess scene in Fife. Liam Ingram (Bell Baxter, pictured) emerged as clear winner by defeating all his opponents to finish on 5/5 and take charge of the cup for it's first year. Two complicated and lengthy tie break procedure were necessary to sort out 2 nd and 3 rd place as no less than seven players finished on 4/5! Eventually, David Shenton of St Columbas was awarded 2 nd place, with Jo Sinski of Bell Baxter taking 3 rd spot. Special mention must go to Kevin Stirling and Philip Leung (Auchmuty), Finlay Dick and Francis Batchelor (Bell Baxter) and Winston Ho (Woodmill), all of whom also finished on 4/5.

Winners also received vouchers from Brewer's Fayre, Indis Adventure Land and Play Planet.

The support really did enjoy tremendous support from schools, parents, teachers, local businesses and organisations and the Council. The real star, however, was a certain Donald Wilson.

Yours Truly had totally underestimated the task of trying to organise a primary and secondary competition on the same day. This was compounded by my inability to get the software to cope with a pairing change. At this point, disaster loomed. Donald stepped into the breech and ran the secondary competition wonderfully (I had at least had the foresight to prepare back up pairing cards the night before). Donald shrugged off my thanks by assuring me that it had at least kept him busier than anticipated!

Primary Individual grading data

High school Individual grading data

Trophy picture showing the Roger Stewart Memorial Trophy (secondary); Out of School Hours Learning (Primary) and Fife Retired Miners Cup (best P5 and under) The Primary photo shows, l to r, Connor Cummings; Christopher Carey; Sam Turner; Rory Brown; Dale Wilkie.



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