Report: Scottish National Chess League, Rounds 3 and 4, November 26th 2017: Dundee City

Following their outstanding start in Rounds 1 and 2 of this year’s SNCL, Dundee City started Rounds 3 and 4 of the tournament on Sunday in good spirits. As usual, the Carnegie Conference Centre in Dunfermline was packed with chess players from across the country. Dundee City had 3 teams respectively in Divisions 1,2 and 4.

For the Dundee City A team the morning session started well with a 4-1 win over Wandering Dragons A. Wins came from IM Andrew Greet over CM Andrew Dunn as well as from Ed Spencer and Declan Shafi. Ed arrived late but then proceeded to win in 13 moves. So fast and emphatic was this win that with his game completed and the the board reset, some spectators couldn’t work if the match had not in fact started! David Findlay drew with the Black pieces against IM Mark Orr so that with an additional draw from Stephen Hogg on Board 5, the team had made a convincing start. Dundee City B team found it much harder going in Division 2 against Forth Valley A. A win from  Alastair Dawson plus draws from Sam Gregory and Dominic O’Rourke was not enough and the team went down 2-3. In Division 4, the C team had a tough battle on their hands against Oban illustrated by Ben Volland paired against Duncan Campbell (1899) on Board 1. It was not to be for the C team with a fine win from Ray Noble plus draws by Ray Flood and Subhayu Banerjee being not enough to avert a 2-3 defeat.

In the afternoon more difficult matches against high-graded opponents were to follow. In Division 1 Dundee City A team faced a strong Edinburgh West team led by IM Craig Pritchett. This time wins from Andrew Greet over Craig plus an excellent win by David Findlay over George Neave as well as a draw from Declan Shafi against Alan Bell resulted in a 2.5-2.5 draw. In Division 2 the B team were up against favourites Bon Accord A. This time an excellent win from Dominic O’Rourke over Euan Gray (1915) plus draws from Sam Gregory and Euan Dawson resulted in a narrow 2-3 defeat. In Division 4 the C team put on a display of ‘power chess’ to defeat Dumfries and District B 4.5-0.5. Wins from Ben Volland, Ray Noble (his second of the day), Ray Flood and Subhayu Banerjee were supplemented by a draw from Agnijo Banerjee.

This season the winners of each division are to be determined by game points rather than match points. So after 4 rounds the Dundee City A team is sitting in top spot with 14.5 game points ahead of nearest rivals Edinburgh 1 on 13.5 points. In Division 2, Dundee City B team sit in 2nd place on 11.5 points behind leaders Bon Accord A who are on 16 points. In Division 4, the Dundee City C team are sitting in first place with 14.5 points ahead of Oban who are on 13.5 points. So overall the 3 teams are doing very well with 2 leading their respective Divisions and the 3rd in second place. After Christmas and New Year, these various chess battles will  recommence with Rounds 5 and 6 due to take place on Sunday February 18th 2018.

Alastair Dawson