Scotsman Schools Final
4th June, 2010
by Mike Scott
The Scotsman Scottish schools final was held at James Gillespies High School between Dollar Academy and Gillespies.
Scotsman previous winners (Excel) - compiled by Mike - can you fill in the gaps?
The final was played at Gillespie's, with the only hitch being the failure of Dollar's route finder which resulted in them being a little late arriving.
The games played on boards 1 & 3 were likely to be both the closest and the ones that ultimately decided the result. This made the toss quite critical with both sides wanting white on the key boards. Despite Sam's best attempts Jamie called correctly and got white on 1 & 3.
Boards 2&4 went as expected with the more experienced Gillespie's maintaining firm control throughout, converting positional advantages into extra material and eventually victory. It is worth playing through these games and noting how black in both cases get into trouble due to lack of development.
Boards 1&3 also went as expected and both were close battles. Gillespies won the exchange on bd 3 but had earlier missed a chance earlier of an exchange sac that gave black control. It would be fairer to say that Dollar gave up the exchange and in doing so his pieces gained energy while black's king position was weakened. This was sufficient to enable white to gain a draw but as by this stage Dollar were down 2-0 it also ensured Gillespies victory. Board 1 was a game of thrust and counter and is a good example of how to defend a hard position. Unfortunately black used up too much time on her clock and resigned just before she ran out of time on her clock.
Play over games from Final
Preview: The Scotsman Scottish schools final is to be held 4th June at James Gillespies High School between Dollar Acad. and Gillespies.
Dollar's Route to the Final
The Dollar team is:-
Board 1 Jamie Hookham (1938)
Board 2 Adam Shannon (1120)
Board 3 Clemens Winter (ug)
Board 4 Ian Tait(550)
In Dollar, we held a jamboree for the four other teams Kinross, Woodmill A, St Leonards B, Auchmuty in our qualifying section. As we emerged top, we went on to the semi-finals, where we were drawn at home to Stewarts' Melville. This game was very tight; we lost on Boards 2 and 4, but victories for Boards 1 and 3 saw us through on the points rule.
In the semi-final, we had exactly the same score away to Aberdeen Grammar School . This was particularly nail-biting as our two eventual winners were to some extent up against the clock as well as their opponents, with the outcome not clear until quite late one.
We now await our fortunes in the final against James Gillespie's aware that it is quite likely that it will be a long time before we have another chance, given that the afore-mentioned Boards 1 and 3 players (Jamie Hookham and Clemens Winter) are in S6 and will therefore be leaving at the end of this session.
James Gillespies High's Route to Final
The Gillespies team is:-
Board 1 Rhian Hughes (1808)
Board 2 Jonny Scott (1832)
Board 3 Shivan Murdochy (1762)
Board 4 Sam Gregory(1560)
Our qualifier group included Stewarts Melville, Cargilfield, George Heriots, James Gillespies B and the matches were all played in a Jamboree held at Cargilfield (report is here http://www.neuroscot.com/Chess/MyChessViewer22/pageselector.php?PageName=ArticleReader&ArticleID=140 ) from which Stewart's Melville also qualified.
The quarter-final was away to Auchmuty and resulted in a comfortable 4-0 win. The semi-final was away to Bell Baxter in Cupar and again with the significantly more experienced team we won 4-0.
Although Gillespies are, based on the players' grades, favourites to retain the title, one of the attractions of the Scotsman format is that the team with the strongest board 1 has always got a chance. A win on board 1 means you need only score 1 from boards 2 & 3 to win the match and so, as all chess players know that it only takes one poor move to throw a game, the final will be a tense affair!