SNCL 2023 - Rounds 3 and 4

Crawford Macnab
26 February 2023

Further success in the SNCL with both teams winning in rounds 3 and 4!

“Who let the Dogs out?!”

Glynis Grant had to bring her two small dogs to the venue, so there were occasional barks to break the concentrating chess players focus!

CSBOS 1 - Edinburgh 2

In the morning CSBOS1 beat Edinburgh 2 by 3½ - 1½.

Edinburgh 2 Edinburgh 2 CSBOS 1 CSBOS 1
Robert Kane
1726 0 - 1
Jorge Blanco
Keith Aitchison
1678 1 - 0
Mike Chisholm
Calum McGillivary
1633 0 - 1
Chris James
Pavlo Sokolenko
1466 0 - 1
Jamie Mollison
Findlay Haddow
½ - ½
Crawford Macnab
1½ - 3½

Chris was first to finish with a miniature against Calum McGillivary with the black pieces in the Latvian Gambit. White decided to play the Qh5+ line and grab some material. This soon backfired when 9..Nd4 challenged the queen to find a safe square that still protected c2. Unfortunately 10. Qc3 was not it!


Jamie had a steady win against the 9 year old Ukranian junior Pavlo Sokolenko. White had nice central control and pressurised down the king side.

Jorge’s opponent arrived a bit late at the board and fell further behind on the clock. Jorge won a few pawns and the result was never in doubt.

My game simplified after multiple exchanges and with the match result already decided a draw was agreed.

Mike had a winning endgame advantage against Keith Aitchison but unfortunately allowed a knight fork between king and rook which lost the game.

CSBOS 2 - Dundee City C

In the morning CSBOS2 beat Dundee City C by 3½ - 1½.

CSBOS 2 CSBOS 2 Dundee City C Dundee City C
Richard Scott
1677 1 - 0
Joshua Crofts
Ralph Jackson
1646 1 - 0
Leyton D Hackney
Stuart Ballantyne
1442 1 - 0
Kit Mcevoy Gould
Nick West
1356 ½ - ½
Raymond Flood
0 - 1d
Ray Noble
3½ - 1½

The gradings were closely matched and defaulting the bottom board did not help matters.

Did not see much of the details but good wins for Richard and Stuart.

Ralph’s game was concluded when the arbiter informed him that his opponent had been awarded a loss and ejected from the tournament! Not clear what happened but unrelated to the game which had reached an exciting point, the player appeared to have had words with the arbiter over something which did not end well.

With the match result decided, Nicks game was agreed a draw.

CSBOS 1 - Dundee City B

In the afternoon CSBOS1 beat Dundee City B by 3½ - 1½.

CSBOS 1 CSBOS 1 Dundee B Dundee B
Jorge Blanco
2139 1 - 0
Andre Babin
Mike Chisholm
1958 1 - 0
Rishi Vijayakumar
Chris James
1853 ½ - ½
Alastair Dawson
Jamie Mollison
1839 ½ - ½
Keith Emery
Crawford Macnab
1760 ½ - ½
Iain Sneddon
3½ - 1½

Chris played a speculative Nh3 line that resulted in multiple doubled pawn islands. His opponent chose not to be too ambitious with queen side castling and game was drawn after repeated moves.

I played a side line against the caro kann but after both sides castled queenside exchanges led to a drawn position.

In the three remaining games it looked like Mike and Jamie were likely to be drawn but Jorge was in some difficulty on board one.

Jamie put in a good effort to try and win his game but with blockaded pawns it was not possible to break through and draw was agreed.

The two remaining games were quite stressful to watch and I am sure more so to play in.

It looked like Mike’s game was starting to drift slightly to his young opponent although Mike had a significant time advantage. His opponent decided (incorrectly?) to sacrifice queen for rook with a mating threat to follow. The threat was repelled with the queen returned for rook and bishop to leave Mike a pawn up in a winning pawn ending. Phew!

Jorge battled on in what was surely a lost position with both players down to last few minutes on the clock. His opponent misplayed a critical combination that should have been winning but instead left Jorge with rook and knight against rook and some mobile central pawns. Jorge set up a nice mating trap whilst keepning an eye on the advancing pawns.

A great result in the end.

CSBOS 2 - Dundee City D

In the afternoon CSBOS2 beat Dundee City D by 3 - 2.

Dundee City D Dundee City D CSBOS 2 CSBOS 2
Bruce Wallace
1430 1 - 0
Richard Scott
Ana Belen Seijas Otero
1402 0 - 1
Ralph Jackson
Tom Wardlaw
1234 1 - 0
Gerry Brown
Daniel J Coleman
1060 0 - 1
Stuart Ballantyne
Afshin Alijani
0 - 1
Nick West
2 - 3

Ralph was first to finish when his opponent grabbed a poisoned pawn on b2 with her queen. Before too long the queen was indeed trapped and lost.

Stuart won by setting up a nice tactic that meant the only square his opponents knight could retreat to turned out that it was not actually defended. Stuart could take the knight with his queen and if opponent recaptured then his queen would be lost. Two solid wins for Stuart on his SNCL debut.

Richard made a mistake earlier on and his opponent played well to exploit this.

Gerry had a tough time of it going a few pawns down to a pair of active rooks. Once the chance of some tactics around the f2 square fizzled out his exposed king resulted in a bishop loss.

Nick’s opponent missed an opportunity to close the a file which allowed blacks queen to break through. A nice pawn push to e3 threatened a mate on g2 that could only be delayed by dropping a rook and the game.

Well done to both teams on being top of their respective divisions!

Click here for a list of news stories about this competition.