Friday, 23 November 2018

Cumbernauld A 3-2 Dunfermline A - 21/11/18

  1. Steven Kelly draw Ian Robertson
  2. Ralph Stirrat 1-0 Calum Smith
  3. Mark Monaghan 1-0 Douglas Rew
  4. David Johnstone 0-1 Gonzalo Forero
  5. George Thomson draw Glynis Grant

Top board was a complex affair which includes the clock which neither player could fathom. White (Ian) could have won a pawn instead of losing one – often a good ploy. Steven would likely have eventually converted his plunder but a combination of the iffy clock settings and with match won a draw was offered.  Ralph played a tricky opening line catching Calum out and when the storm came not enough hatches were battened down.  Likewise with board 3 when Douglas set a wee trap but once it was negotiated his position took a serious turn for the worse.  Gonzalo was rightly concerned about his position “way too open for my liking” but David overlooked something – which happened to be a mate in 2.  Glynis also tried for checkmate by offering a second pawn and although George hadn’t seen the trap he settled for an exchange of rooks and one pawn but the opposite coloured bishop ending was a draw.      

Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Dunfermline vs Grangemouth A, 29/10/18

Dunfermline vs Grangemouth A, 29/10/18

Ian Robertson 2045 ½-½ Uby Archibong 2194
Jamie O'Connor 1664 0-1 Alan Bell 1991
Calum Smith (c) 1612 ½-½ Graham Hamilton 1976
Gonzalo Ferero 1434 1-0 David Wallace (c) 1756
Gordon Greig 1396  ½-½ Duncan Glassey 1720

Dunfermline 2½ - 2½ Grangemouth A

Dunfermline had white on boards 2 and 4.
The late Alan Clark MP's family had an expression for the unpredictability of life: "ACHAB" - anything can happen at backgammon.

ACHAC too, as we have another unexpected draw for Dunfermline against stronger opposition.

On Board 1 Uby as white had pressure on Ian's kingside and e6 pawn in particular. The momentum of his attack then reduced but Uby kept going when consolidation was probably called for. Ian achieved a draw by perpetual check (delivered by Uby) to avoid the loss of the first player's queen. 

Jamie as white unfortunately allowed Alan to equalise fairly quickly. He was then outplayed, losing an exchange. A brave attempt.

In my game against Graham - a sort of Evans Gambit Declined - I felt I had good central activity and was going to go one or maybe two pawns up while maintaining that activity. I offered a draw on the 21st move which Graham accepted. A bird in the hand, after all.

Board 4 provided the first win of the night. A classic d4, c4 start for Gonzalo with white. In a very close game black was one pawn up but white managed to recover and thanks to the strong white bishop on c3, and a rook on the 7th rank, took victory as mate was on the way.

Post-match analysis in the pub revealed that Dunfermline's Gordon Greig rode his luck. Against Duncan's Sicilian Defence Gordon became short on time for the first control at 30 moves. An inspired b4 push tried to lure a bishop away which would allow perpetual check using one mobile and one static rook. It didn't work at first, but eventually the bishop was drawn and so was the game.


Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Badgers Brook vs Dunfermline, 15/10/18

Badgers Brook vs Dunfermline, 15/10/18

Suzy Cooke 1997  1-0  Ian Robertson 2045
Kenny McGeoch (c) 1966  0-1  Calum Smith (c) 1612
Mark Cooke 1964  ½-½ Fred Ossowski 1548
Fabio Biancalana 1705  0-1 Stewart Brisbane 1465  
Kenny Aiston 1462 1-0 Peter Horne 1295

Badgers Brook 2½ - 2½ Dunfermline

Badgers Brook had white on boards 3 and 5.

An unexpected draw considering the grading differences, though a sare yin for Ian Robertson as he lost a game that was there to win (or at least not lose). 
After an Exchange French with c4, he had good pressure on the kingside with some sacrifice possibilities (e.g. Nxg7). Three of his pieces were still to be developed, however, which discouraged anything speculative. With 18 seconds to the time control Ian had to rush a calculation and an error was duly turned to advantage by Suzy. The computer tells us that with the right move Ian would have  retained a 1.50 plus lead, but the move he played put him at minus 2.30. A second error later with bank-rank threats sealed the game.

On Board 2 Kenny McGeoch pressed for initiative but probably over-extended. I had a series of attacks going that put me a rook up in the end. I should have played to simplify the whole thing but, sticking to the plan, strung it out for a few more moves.

In Mark and Fred's Queen's Gambit Declined both parties soon had everything centralised though Fred missed an attack on f2 which would have ended with rook and 4 pawns v rook and 6 to his advantage. A draw was agreed later. 

To Board 4, and Stewart Brisbane had a nice bishop sacrifice on h7 which provided a queen for two pieces, and a final combination that left Q vs N.

A brave effort on Board 5 by Peter Horne but he succumbed; a win for Kenny Aiston.

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Minnows 10-6 Sharks - 01/10/18

Minnows 10-6 Sharks

Round 1
Gonzalo Forero 0-1 Jamie O’Connor
Calum Smith 1-0 Stewart Brisbane
Gordon Greig 1-0 Peter Horne
Ian Robertson 1-0 Mark McLintock

Round 2
Forero 1-0  McLintock
Smith  1-0 O’Connor
Greig  0-1  Brisbane
Robertson 1-0 Horne
3-1/ 6-2

Round 3
Forero 0-1 Horne
Smith 1-0 McLintock
Greig 0-1 O’Connor
Robertson 1-0 Brisbane
2-2/ 8-4

Round 4
Forero 0-1 Brisbane
Smith 1-0 Horne
Greig 0-1 McLintock
Robertson 1-0 O’Connor
2-2/ 10-6

Individual scores:
Minnows: Robertson 4, Smith 4, Forero 1, Greig 1
Sharks: O’Connor 2, Brisbane 2, Horne 1, McLintock 1

Everybody got a point.  Mark’s came in last round when he delivered mate as his flag fell.  Both players were prepared to accept the loss!  Great spirit.   With most of the results going as expected and the B-players all getting 1 point each, the result really came down to how Calum would get on against Sharks top boards.  Had Calum lost both then the match would have been tied but Dunfermline’s new club captain delivered to get Minnows off to a winning start.   

Thursday, 27 September 2018

Inaugural Fife Champions match - 26/09/18

Congratulations to all who took part in the inaugural Fife Champions match. Dunfermline took the championship with 10 points; Kirkcaldy on 6.5 and Newport on 1.5. Thank you to organiser and host Stuart Blyth of Kirkcaldy. The three clubs enjoyed the occasion which had plenty of entertaining games. Looking forward to seeing this become an annual event!

Dunfermline 1 Stirling 4 - 24/09/18

Dunfermline 1 Stirling 4

Ben Volland 1/2 Jim Shemilt
Jamie O'Connor 0-1 Steve Smith
Calum Smith 0-1 Graham Anderson
Stewart Brisbane 0-1 David McAlister
Gordon Greig 1/2 Brad Duthie

There was a debut league win for David McAlister who's a welcome 
newcomer having moved here following a long and distinguished chess 
career in Northern Ireland.

Monday, 7 May 2018

Last match of the season - Cumbernauld 3-2 Dunfermline

No surprises though we possibly could have done better against Cumbernauld with Jamie in a strong position early on before shortage of time led to a draw being accepted.  Glynis was a pawn down but seemed to have enough play to hold but ran out of ideas and fatally started moving pawns in front of her king.   The Badgers match was a fair reflection of the play except that I accepted an early draw offer when clearly better but we were being slaughtered on all the other boards at the time and likewise Fabio accepted a draw when winning but the match was over anyway.  We finish bottom of the league with 2 wins and 6 losses

Cumbernauld 3-2 Dunfermline

  1. S Kelly 0-1 I Robertson
  2. R Stirrat draw J O’Connor
  3. G Thomson draw C Smith
  4. D McAteer 1-0 S Brisbane
  5. S Monaghan 1-0 G Grant

Badgers Brook

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Minnows 8-8 Tigers - 26/03/18

Dave thought the narrow win for Dunfermline in the Bruce v Sharks match was tight but we trumped it!  

As always there were the usual shoogly positions and mighty blunders including me reversing 2 moves and thereby setting up a mate in one for Graham – which he then missed!  The strangest position I noticed out the corner of my eye was in the Jamie v Bill game with Jamie’s King getting mated on e5 with what looked like nearly every piece still on the board.  I must remind Jamie that the days of the King leading his troops into battle are gone.  That position however is in itself worthy of 2 exclamation marks!!

It was a really enjoyable match with everyone in jovial mood with Grangemouth turning up relaxed and happy after what seems the first time in ages getting to travel on a nice bright sunny evening and Dunfermline also full of good cheer after winning the SNCL Division 3 title the previous day.

I believe the result means that Tigers can win the Allegro league if they beat Stirling Wallace by any margin in their final match.  All the best to both sides.

Round 1
Gonzalo Forero 0-1 Graham Hamilton
Jamie O’Connor 0-1 Dougie Will
Ian Robertson 1-0 Ian Mason
Calum Smith 1-0 Bill Gray

Round 2
Gonzalo 0-1 Dougie
Jamie ½-½ Ian M
Ian R 1-0 Bill
Calum 0-1 Graham

Round 3
Gonzalo ½-½ Ian M
Jamie 0-1 Bill
Ian R 1-0 Graham
Calum 1-0 Dougie

Round 4
Gonzalo 1-0 Bill
Jamie 0-1 Graham
Ian R 1-0 Dougie
Calum 0-1 Ian M

Individual Scores
Minnows: Ian R 4, Calum 2, Gonzalo 1½, Jamie ½
Tigers: Graham 3, Dougie 2, Ian M 2, Bill 1

Game Points
Match Points
Grangemouth Tigers
Dunfermline Minnows
Stirling Bruce
Dunfermline Sharks
Stirling Wallace

Stirling Bruce 7½-8½ Dunfermline Sharks - 26/03/18

A very tight match in which three of the four rounds were drawn, the
difference ultimately being round 3 in which three games were drawn
but Michael beat Brad. Lots of close games throughout as might be
imagined, and there was very little in it - an exciting match where
Sharks held on to win in a final round that saw four long games. For
the Bruce team, Bill and I were like synchronised swimmers, scoring
exactly the same in each round: loss-win-draw-draw.

Stirling Bruce vs Dunfermline Sharks, 26/3/18

round 1
Bill Cook 1601  0-1  Stuart Black 1614
Graham Anderson 1595  1-0  Michael Roy 1604
Dave Hewitt (c) 1558  0-1  Stewart Brisbane (c) 1441
Brad Duthie 1316  1-0  Peter Horne 1373

round 2
Cook  1-0  Horne
Anderson  0-1  Black
Hewitt  1-0  Roy
Duthie  0-1  Brisbane
2-2 / 4-4

round 3
Cook  ½-½  Brisbane
Anderson  ½-½  Horne
Hewitt  ½-½  Black
Duthie  0-1  Roy
1½-2½ / 5½-6½

round 4
Cook  ½-½  Roy
Anderson  1-0  Brisbane
Hewitt  ½-½  Horne
Duthie  0-1  Black
2-2 / 7½-8½

Sharks had white in rounds 2 and 4.

Individual scores:
Bruce: Anderson 2½, Cook and Hewitt both 2, Duthie 1
Sharks: Black 3½, Brisbane 2½, Roy 1½, Horne 1

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Dunfermline A 3-2 Badgers Brook A 19/03/18

Ian Robertson (1919) 1-0 Kenny McGeoch (2054)
Stuart Black (1675)  ½-½  Fabio Biancalana (1746)
Jamie O’Connor (1661)  ½-½ Graham Kerr (1562)
Michael Roy (1660) 0-1 Dave McGilvary (1430)
Gonzalo Forero (u/g) 1-0 Dylan Gillies (1361)

Dunfermline were white on boards 2 and 5

On top board black’s accidental drop of an exchange surprisingly led to me getting a very active and slightly better of the position.  Some frantic time trouble antics eventually led to Kenny getting 3 pieces for queen but with his knight stuck in the corner and a repetition on offer he probably should have settled for the draw.  He went for mate instead and got to within one move but alas it was not his turn and it was Ian who downed the white king first.  The Stuart and Fabio game was pretty uneventful with any early initiative Stuart had quickly petering out. Although Fabio later declined a draw progress was not possible.  Jamie probably should have won having accumulated several extra pawns but all credit to Graham for creating the one chance that led to Jamie’s time dwindling (again!) and a draw was agreed.  Dave did well matching Michael’s solid middle game play and eventually gaining an outside passed pawn.  After avoiding late cheap tricks Dave was going to convert when Mike’s flag fell saving him the trouble.  Gonzalo played a lovely attack getting all his pieces aiming at his opponents semi-exposed king and sacrificing a rook to crash through.

Badgers were unlucky with the scheduling of this match as both Cooke’s were missing from the line-up due to other commitments.  The result makes it more likely that Grangemouth with retain the league title.


Dunfermline B 4-1 Stirling B 19/03/18

Dunfermline B vs Stirling B, 19/3/18

Calum Smith 1581  ½-½  Dave Hewitt (c) 1584
Andy Forbes 1541  ½-½  Richard Warcup e1500
Fred Ossowski 1553  1-0  Tony Pitson 1469
Peter Horne (c) 1370  1-0  Craig Manson 1455
Douglas Rew 1452  1-0  Brad Duthie 1428

Dunfermline B 4-1 Stirling B

Stirling had white on boards 1, 4 and 5.

Congratulations to Dunfermline B, who clinched division 2 for the
third season in a row and for the eighth season in the last ten with a
convincing 4-1 win over their nearest rivals. Dunfermline take the
title with a match to spare, being three points ahead of Stirling
after a very solid season which has seen them win eight of their nine
matches and lose just one.

There was a bit of rejigging at the start tonight as Stewart Brisbane
didn't appear for Dunfermline and after a few minutes Ian Robertson
checked his phone and found a text from Stewart saying he was in
hospital. Calum and I paused our clock and I joined Ian, Peter and
Craig outside in the corridor to work out what to do, and of course
given the circumstances it was no problem to slot in a replacement. So
Peter (who had intended being the non-playing captain) took over on
board 4 with a ten-minute deficit which didn't seem to hinder him as
he won an interesting game in due course.

Things had looked quite good for Stirling for a while (a win on the
night would have seen them travel to Badgers in April needing a draw
for the title), with Brad in particular having launched a huge early
attack which flushed out Doug's K and made for a very strange and
exciting-looking position. Brad was probably winning but then had a
calamity: he played a Q check where the Q was under threat from a
pinned N, and once Doug moved his K out of the pin Brad forgot that
his Q wasn't now immune and left it there, allowing Doug to lop it off
with the N for free. Craig went a piece down versus Peter soon after
that, with Peter's pieces swarming all around his K, so that was
another win for Dunfermline. I'd already declined a draw offer from
Calum but with our position fairly blocked and the match effectively
gone (neither of the other two boards looked like turning into wins
for Stirling), I offered a draw back which Calum accepted. The other
games went on for quite a while but Tony eventually lost a pawn-down
ending against Fred, after which Richard and Andy shook hands on a
draw with Andy having a promising-looking K-side attack with heavy
pieces and an advanced pawn.

Well played Dunfermline - an excellent performance throughout the
season from a good group of players well captained by Peter. Here's to
next season's campaign - and here's hoping that Stewart is out of
hospital and playing again soon.

(I believe it was not too serious and that Stewart is now out of hospital)

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Dunfermline A 3- 2 Stirling A 12/02/18

Dunfermline A 3- 2 Stirling A

Ian Robertson 1919 1-0 Neil Irving 1879
Stuart Black 1675 0-1 Jim Shemilt 1767
Jamie O'Connor 1661 1-0 Steve Smith 1704
Mike Roy 1660 1-0 Bill Cook 1663
Gordon Greig U/G 0-1 Graham Anderson 1622

As a last minute replacement Gordon gave it a good go for the A-team on board 5 but as it was his first competitive game in 13 years it was no surprise when he lost.  He brought us luck however as the A-team got its first win of the season.  There were particularly complex games with Jamie giving up the exchange for loads of initiative.  Steve panicked in time pressure as Jamie’s forces gathered and he blundered back the exchange then next move dropped a piece.  Michael’s position was really hard to work out but his opponent had back rank mate issues which allowed Michael to set all sorts of problems  which firstly won an exchange and shortly after turned into a whole rook.  Once Michael played a final consolidating move it was over.  Boards 1 and 2 finished quickly with Neil getting his King caught in the centre after he tried to rescue his leaky queenside position.  Stuart unwisely allowed Jim’s bishop to pin knight against queen against king. Something had to fall so brought about a 1-1 score for boards 1 and 2 in under an hour.

Dunfermline B 4½-½ Grangemouth B 12/02/18

Dunfermline B 4½-½ Grangemouth B

Calum Smith 1581 ½ v ½ Ian Mason 1601
Stewart Brisbane 1465  1 v 0 Bill Gray 1499 
Douglas Rew 1452 1 v 0 Crawford Welsh 1335
Peter Horne 1370 1 v 0 David Fowler 1095
Gonzalo Forero U/G 1 v Scott Dickson 1014

The B-team result is hard to believe.  At one point I would have said that Calum was the only one likely to come away with a win.  Clearly I have no idea about the game.  Peter as usual came back from a rubbish position.  Gonzalo’s opponent resigned when Gonzalo put a rook to the back rank with mate unless his opponent took it with his knight but Scott (and of course Gonzalo) thought he could not move his knight as that would allow mate on the long diagonal so resigned.  The thing is that had he played knight takes rook the knight would then have guarded the g2 mating square!  Stewart won on time having just regained the initiative after being a bit worse.  Doug ground out a 70 move ending.  Calum pushed a fraction too early in the centre allowing Ian to get in with a perpetual