SJCA Newsletter March 2001

by IA Alex McFarlane
From the Editor: I feel that the newsletter should have a proper name. I thought of "Perpetual Check" but Stephen Taylor has suggested "Ah Wun!!" the phrase must often given when reporting results. If you think you have a better idea please let me know. Also, in response to demand from our more elderly readers(!!), I have increased the font size for this issue. I repeat my request for items from you - this is your publication. My thanks to those who are sending results, info, etc.
SJCA Events Junior International Matches It was the turn of Scotland to host the U12 and U14 matches between ourselves and Wales. The venue was the Brabloch Hotel, Paisley on Saturday 27th January. The Welsh travelled up on the Friday and because of the lateness of trains - arrived early!! A previous train was so late that they were able to get on to it.

The Under 14 match was a close fought affair particularly the first round in which the Welsh scrapped a 6½-5½ lead. In this round a couple of Scots had let good positions slip and Colin Hall had found the time control of 30 moves in an hour followed by 15 minutes to complete the game very tight. It is well seen that Colin does not play in the Glasgow League where this is the time control throughout all five divisions! Two or three quick wins in the second round for the Scots eased the pressure and from then on a victory always looked likely.
The Under 12 match was an unfortunately one sided one with the Welsh managing only three draws from both rounds.
On the Saturday evening the teams again did battle, this time at the ten pin bowling arena where the result was more closely fought. The Welsh returned home earlier than expected on Sunday morning when a phone call informed them that the one o'clock train they had intended taking was cancelled and they had very limited time to get to Glasgow for the earlier one. Remember the ads - "This is the age of the train" or "Let the train take the strain"!!!
A special mention must go to Felix Campbell, the board 11 in the Under 12 team who left for New Zealand early on Sunday morning - what a way to spend your last day in Scotland. We wish Felix well in what is a minimum two year spell in the southern hemisphere and hope that he does not comeback as a rugby player!!
The next junior International events will take place in Dublin University on the 16th-17th June, 2001 for teams of 8 under 12s and 8 under 14s. Please note that this is not the date shown in the calendar. The Irish organisers have changed the date due to a potential clash with a congress there.
Paisley Junior Over 100 entered the four junior events held in Paisley on Sunday 28th January.
The Stars tournament for graded secondary players was won by Brian Mitchell of Greenwood with 4/5. Second equal were Eoghan Farmer and Mark Hudson on 3½ with Kevin Martin and Ivan Stokes sharing 4th with 3 points.
The Secondary Tournament was shared by Graham Stewart (Hillpark) and Colin Thomson (Balfron) with a score of 4½/5. 3rd= were Mark Burns, Amanda McGowan and Gurmej Singh on 4. Other leading scores: Craig Brown, Alan Campbell, Rachel Carver, Stuart Diamond, Claire Gillespie, Scott Greenwood, Douglas Rathey 3; B Littler; C McCulloch, P McKenzie, N McMillan, K Miller 2½.
The P6/7 event was won by R Coleman with a 100% score. 2nd= Andrew Kindness, Marc Paton, Aaron Linstead, Natalie Donohoe 4/5; 6th= Alex Nisbet, Ally Pert (Best P7) 3½; 8= C McKay, E Laird, E Morgan, Calum Docherty (Best P6), C Vost, C Rooney, D Mackie, J McShane, R Aitken 3; 17= L Shovlin, J Rooney 2½.
The winner of the P5 and Under was Ian McGregor (Jordanhill) with 6/6. In second place was Martin McDonald from St John's, Perth on 5. A further half point behind were Iain Cameron, Madhaw Marwaha, Euan McKenzie and Ben Todd. Other leading scores: Lee Graham, Frankie McDonald, Euan Robertson, Taran Singh 4; David Morrison, Andrew Rutherford, Thomas Nicholl, Sunit Singh 3½; Hector Barbour, Calum Binnie, Jennifer Black, Conor Devine, Shona Jordan, Stephen Kindness, Joshua McGeachan 3.

Girls' Individual This was held at Airdrie YMCA on 4th February. The entry to the Primary section was adversely affected by the weather with over 25% of entrants withdrawing. The event was won by Lynsey Shovlin who survived one or two scares on her way to the title. Lynsey, who also likes netball, swimming and music, asked her father to teach her how to play chess because she was envious of her sister Karen winning trophies. 1st L Shovlin (Perth) 5/5; 2nd Rachel Curry 3.5; 3rd= Natalie Donohue, Stephanie Thom and Louise McDonald 3.
The winner of the P5 and under trophy was Kathryn Boyd (Newtonhill) who scored 4/5. There were only two entries for the Secondary event and one of those withdrew!!
NEW FIDE SETS AVAILABLE FROM SJCA Much has been written about the new FIDE time control enforced on international events. (It involves using digital clocks with a rate of play of 40 moves in 75 minutes + 15 minutes quickplay finish. 30 seconds is added after each move.)
However, very little has been said about the change over to the new FIDE set (illustrated above) from July 2002. From that date FIDE will insist that in all competitive play the new sets must be used in preference to the traditional Staunton pattern.
The new sets have been especially designed for FIDE to be easier to use as the shape of the piece, whilst retaining the character of the Staunton style, reflects the move that it makes.
Can you work out which piece is which? They are, of course, from left to right King, Queen, Bishop, Knight, Rook and Pawn.
Sam Collins, of Chess Suppliers, welcomes the move saying "I have felt for some time that the old style chess sets are very old fashioned and chess should go for a more up-to-date image. The boost to sales of chess sets will also be beneficial to my business."
John Glendinning, President of the SCA added "I welcome this new design - of course, the SCA will now have to change its logo as the old rook design is no longer appropriate."
The SJCA has been extremely fortunate in obtaining a consignment of these sets. The sets, priced at a bargain £10 including plastic box, will be available from 1st April at all SJCA events and also by post from Mike Hanley, Euphoney Sets Offer, I Narong Place, Castlecarry.

Chess Suppliers' Grand Prix
The SJCA event at Paisley saw several new names added to those scoring points in the Grand Prix and the total is now nearing 200 (192 actually). To get onto the Grand Prix leader board a score of 50% or more in a junior event is needed. This percentage is reduced for youngsters playing in 'adult' events at weekend congresses. The current leader board can be viewed here:
Ratings: Daniel McGowan's international rating has increased by 18 points to 2116 and Elaine Rutherford's is 2117 (up 11) in the January international rating list. Graeme Kafka should have appeared on the list but doesn't. This matter has been taken up with the world body, FIDE, by the Scottish Grader Douglas Bryson.
Web Site: Scottish Chess has its own web site. The web site contains lots of news, tournament details and links to other sites. It now contains lots of junior items including previous issues of the Newsletter so if you want to keep up to date with the latest Chess Suppliers Grand Prix positions why not log on to:
Lothian's Congress: A number of juniors picked up prizes in the Lothian's Congress. Murray Pollock picked up a grading prize in the Major and Keith Anderson and Derek Rooney were awarded the junior prize for their performance in the Minor. But the best performance was by Peter Vas, playing in his first 'adult' event and not only finishing first equal in the Minor but also winning the "Giant Killers" prize with two wins against opponents rated over 300 points above him.
Bankton Team: The Primary section attracted a very impressive entry of 35 teams. After the six rounds Jordanhill won by one and a half points with 15/24. In second place was Bishopton Bishops 13½ and third equal were Bearsden & Milngavie, Mearns A, St John's Warriors and Team Mates (also from St John's, Perth) 12. The Secondary Section had fewer entrants (12) and was won by Airdrie A ahead of Airdrie B. In third place was PerthHigh B with Banchory 4th.
Ampleforth Junior Masters: Belated news of this event held at Ampleforth School, Battle, England from 21st-27th October. Of the 42 players - all under 16 - only one was a Scot, Daniel McGowan. Daniel finished with a score of 4/7. The winner was Lorin D'Costa on 6/7. He won the first prize of £1000 and a scholarship to the school valued at £15,000.
Schools' Leagues: News is coming in of leagues throughout Scotland. In Lothians there is both a Primary and a Secondary League. The Primary League has 20 teams from 16 schools competing. Tayside and Fife also operate leagues for both age groups. Here the Secondary League has a healthy 12 teams from 8 schools. Despite its name the Glasgow South Side Chess League caters for Primary schools on both sides of the river. Jordanhill are the current champions.
Ex-Coach meets Material Girl Alan Norris, who coached Christopher Macdonald for a time, attracted a fair bit of publicity in January when several papers reported that he had coached Madonna and her husband, film director, Guy Ritchie to play chess. I imagine Madonna must use a standard plastic set otherwise Alan could have protested about it as he did the wooden set in use at the Scottish Championship in Largs. Other celebrities with an interest in chess include pop stars Bono of U2 and Sting, actress Greta Scacchi and world heavyweight champion boxer Lennox Lewis.
Former world snooker champion Steve Davis, who dominated the game before Stephen Hendry, was the Chairman of the British (English) Chess Federation. Andrew Bonar Law, a former Prime Minister, was once President of the Scottish Chess Association.
Countdown Those who watch the Channel 4 quiz Countdown may have noticed that the losing finalist in the last series was Matthew Turner, an English International Master. Matthew is the BCF director of Coaching and his father, Peter, is the BCF Junior Director.
PROPOSED MERGER OF SCA & SJCA UPDATE As advised in the January newsletter the concept of a merger between the two organisations is currently being explored by members of the Councils of the two organisations. The Steering group have met and subsequent meetings of the sub-groups dealing with the various operational areas have taken place or are scheduled.
To date, the groups exploring the following areas have met: Constitution and Membership, Administration and Finance. The other groups dealing with Internationals, Finance and Marketing are due to meet in the near future.
The proposed Forum planned for February 25th was cancelled due to the difficulty in a number of key players being unable to attend a central venue at the week-end, and will now be replaced by a series of local meetings in the main conurbations and in areas where chess in schools is currently strong.
It would also be fair to say that any proposed merged organisation must send a clear signal that we wish to adopt a supportive and inclusive approach in relation to developing chess particularly at grass roots level and in schools, and both John Glendinning and I believe that this can best be demonstrated by our attendance at these local meetings. It is hoped that these meetings will be held in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Ayrshire, Perth/ Dundee, Glasgow/Paisley and Lanarkshire and we are keen to hear the views of organisers, teachers, parents and representatives of the Educational authorities to develop a support framework and strategy for developing Chess in Schools throughout Scotland.
There may be other areas where a local meeting can be arranged e.g. Fife or Livingston, but we do require the support of local organisers to facilitate these meetings in securing a suitable venue and making sure that the key local people are invited.
I would be pleased to hear from any SJCA member or SCA member currently involved in Schools Chess who would be prepared to assist in this way.
I can be contacted at the following numbers and addresses: Home tel. No. 01236 765638 Business tel. No. 01786 448716 Fax: 01786 449498

Home e-mail Business
If you are able to assist or have any queries or constructive points you may wish to raise regarding the proposed merger I would be pleased to hear from you. Rod Tweedie SJCA President
Is your club looking for equipment? Contact Mike Hanley 38 Churchill Crescent, BOTHWELL G71 8JP Tel 01698 850 303 For Boards, Sets and Clocks Or Sam Collins at Chess Suppliers PO Box 67 15 Hope Street, Glasgow G2 6AQ Tel/Fax 0141 248 2887
Articles Please send any articles for inclusion to: Alex McFarlane, 2 Castlehill Crescent, RENFREW PA4 8RY. e-mail: (Note new email address)