Chess Edinburgh lewischessmen2-75h 

Chandler Cornered

Jonathan Grant Scottish Champion 2006

Jonathan Grant of Edinburgh West is the 2006 Scottish Champion.
Brilliant. The Scottish title is back in the capital city.
The last Edinburgh based player to win the Championship was
Jonathan's wife, Ketevan! She shared the title with Paul Motwani in 2003.

The last home grown Edinburgh player to win
the title outright was Mark Condie in 1989

Winning this title has been an ambition of Jonathan's.
He came close last year and his play in this championship
make him a worthy Champion.

He played solid chess devoid of any noticeable blunders.
(1 dodgy looking move - see below).
Of the six game he won: Two opponents failed to find the correct
defence, two went astray in drawn endings, two lost pieces to
simple tactics in the middles game.

Jonathan set his opponents problems they failed to solve over the board.

Here are what I consider the critical positions from all his games.

A.Grant - J.Grant
The battle of the Grants produced a fascinating struggle
and Jonathan must have been thinking if all the games
are going to be this hard then he has a tough week ahead.

White gave up his Bishop to stop a passed pawn but
although a piece down I'm pretty sure this is a draw.

The consensus is a King, Rook & Bishop v King & Rook is
a draw. I drew such a ending v Paul Lamont about 20 years ago.

I checked this with Keith Ruxton and Neil Berry. Both agreed
a draw but the defender has to know what they are doing.

"If they do not know the drawing idea then they will lose.
They will never find it over the board." - Keith Ruxton.

(In the above mentioned Lamont game. I never knew the
defending plan, but luckily, he never knew the winning plan.)

This type of ending is not all that uncommon.
It's more frequent than having to mate with the
two Bishops or a Bishop and a Knight.

So my advice is get hold of an ending book and learn the
winning/defending ideas. I'm not going to give it here.
This is Chandler Cornered for heavens sake. Endings - Blah!

In the position you will note that White has a pawn.
This is what cost White the game. If he had decided to let
it go and concentrate on the draw then he may have drawn the game.

You see if White jettisons the h-pawn the he can start counting
the moves up to 50. Although I understand now such an ending may be
allowed to go on up to move 75. It would have certainly had
Neil Mcfarlane scouring the rule book to see how many moves were allowed.

I wonder if Jonathan was cunning enough to know that the
longer he kept the white pawn on the board the greater
were his chances of winning (remember the move count starts back
to one if the pawn moves or is taken).

White made the mistake of trying to hold onto the pawn and
ran his King across to the edge of the board to defend it.
Once the King is restricted to one rank then the defence becomes
very difficult. It ended thus:

69...Be6+ 70 Kf8 Rh7 1-0.

Here is the full game.

[Click here to replay the game]
A.Grant - J.Grant

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.g3 c5 3.Bg2 Nc6 4.0-0 e5 5.d3 d5 6.e4 Be7 7.Nc3 Be6 8.h3 h6 9.exd5 Nxd5 10.Re1 Nxc3 11.bxc3 Bf6 12.Rb1 Qd7 13.Ba3 b6 14.d4 Rd8 15.dxc5 Qxd1 16.Rbxd1 Rxd1 17.Rxd1 Be7 18.Nd4 Nxd4 19.cxd4 exd4 20.Rxd4 Bxc5 21.Bxc5 bxc5 22.Ra4 Ke7 23.Rxa7+ Kd6 24.a4 Rb8 25.a5 Rb1+ 26.Kh2 Ra1 27.g4 Ra2 28.Be4 Ke5 29.f3 g6 30.Ra6 f5 31.gxf5 gxf5 32.Bd3 Bd5 33.Kg3 Ra3 34.Rxh6 c4 35.Be2 Rxa5 36.c3 f4+ 37.Kg4 Ra2 38.Rh5+ Kd6 39.Bd1 Rd2 40.Ba4 Rd3 41.Rh6+ Kc5 42.Kxf4 Rxf3+ 43.Ke5 Rxc3 44.Rh8 Re3+ 45.Kf4 Ra3 46.Bd1 Ra1 47.Bc2 Rf1+ 48.Ke3 Rf3+ 49.Ke2 Rg3 50.Bf5 c3 51.Bd3 Rg2+ 52.Ke3 c2 53.Bxc2 Rxc2 54.Kf4 Kd4 55.h4 Rf2+ 56.Kg5 Ke5 57.Rb8 Rg2+ 58.Kh6 Kf6 59.h5 Rh2 60.Rb6+ Be6 61.Ra6 Rb2 62.Kh7 Rb7+ 63.Kh6 Re7 64.Rb6 Re8 65.Kh7 Kg5 66.Rb5+ Bf5+ 67.Kg7 Re7+ 68.Kg8 Kf6 69.Rb6+ Be6+ 70.Kf8 Rh7

J.Grant - J. Doyle
Black, to play, is in bother here. His exposed King is set up
for all kinds of tricks. I'm guessing that Black was also in
time trouble. In this position...

...Black played 39...Rec5? and White took the Bishop on a4.
However after 39...Ra5 40 Qe3 puts Black in severe difficulties
and I think Jonathan would have won even without the blunder.

S.Brown - J. Grant
Another long game and again Jonathan's opponent
chose the wrong end game plan.

In this position (White to play) the plan to draw is
to approach the f-pawn from behind so when Black
goes for h-pawn and lands on g3. White must be ready
to occupy f6. So the move to draw was 68 Kc7!

You can see the route for White. c7-d7-e7 & f6.
Instead White chose 68 Kc5? which takes him away from
the key square f6. White is now lost. 68...Ke5.
Black is a file closer to the h-pawn - White has
made no progress.
A few moves later this position was reached (Black to play).

You can see now that Black can take the h3 pawn
in 3 moves. White is too far away from the f-pawn.
The Black King shepherds home the passed pawn.

I'm surprised at myself for finding this.
It is after all an ending and I'm Geoff Chandler.

Something must be sticking in these end game studies that
Keith Ruxton, Eddie Perry and Neil Berry show in Sandy Bells.

J.Grant - J.Gunnar
Jonathan realised early on that his position
was ropey so instead of trying to hold a difficult
position, he launched a do-or-die attack.

Black was holding his own and just when it looked like
White had fired his last arrow... Black relaxed and the
error was fatal. (time trouble again?).

Here in this position Black should play 35...Qg7
or 35...c5 to cover the threat of 36 Bd4.

Play continued 35...Qg8? 36 Bd4+ Bf6 37 Qf5 Kg7 38 Qg5+

So White was lucky?
No. Not at all. To win any game your opponent must blunder.
Jacob Gunnar blundered and lost.
Here is the full game.

[Click here to replay the game]
J.Grant - J.Gunnar

1.c4 f5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.g3 e6 4.Bg2 Be7 5.d4 0-0 6.Nc3 d6 7.0-0 Ne4 8.Qc2 Nxc3 9.bxc3 Nc6 10.d5 Na5 11.Qa4 b6 12.dxe6 Bxe6 13.Nd4 Bd7 14.Qc2 Rb8 15.Bd5+ Kh8 16.Ne6 Bxe6 17.Bxe6 g6 18.e4 fxe4 19.Qxe4 Bf6 20.h4 Qe7 21.Bd2 Rbe8 22.Rae1 Qg7 23.h5 gxh5 24.Kg2 Qg6 25.Qd5 Be5 26.Bd7 Re7 27.f4 Rg8 28.Rf3 Bf6 29.Rxe7 Bxe7 30.Be6 Rf8 31.f5 Qg7 32.f6 Rxf6 33.Rxf6 Qxf6 34.Be3 c6 35.Qe4 Qf8 36.Bd4+ Bf6 37.Qf5 Kg7 38.Qg5+

J.Stevenson - J.Grant
White played a solid opening and Jonathan soon
realised to win this game it was going to require
some active thought and he needed to put White under
some pressure so he rolled the dice. 13...c6.

I spent quite a while trying to see what he had in mind with 13...c6.
It simply drops the d6 pawn. True Black gets some play down
the d-file should White play 14 Qxd6 but White can defend this

14.Qxd6 Rd8 15.Qa3 Rd2 16.Rad1.
I'd be interested to know what threats
Black & White saw in this position.
It is the one 'odd' looking move Jonathan played
during the whole Championship campaign.

Later this position arose (white to play)

I cannot see anything concrete for Black after 25 Kh2.
Instead White played 25 Kh1 (was he avoiding a perpetual?)
After 25 Kh1 White can win a piece and Jonathan
seized the day. This was the hallmark of Jonathan's play.
If his opponent played a lemon then he jumped upon it.
I cannot find a trick missed in his games.
Here is the complete game.

[Click here to replay the game]
J.Stevenson vs. J.Grant

1.b3 e5 2.Bb2 Nc6 3.e3 d6 4.c4 Nf6 5.Nf3 g6 6.d4 Bg7 7.dxe5 Ng4 8.Be2 0-0 9.Nc3 Ngxe5 10.0-0 Nxf3+ 11.Bxf3 Ne5 12.Be2 Qh4 13.Qd2 c6 14.Rad1 Bg4 15.Bxg4 Nxg4 16.h3 Ne5 17.f4 Nd7 18.Qxd6 Rad8 19.Qc7 Nc5 20.Na4 Rxd1 21.Rxd1 Bxb2 22.Nxb2 Ne4 23.Nd3 Qg3 24.Qe5 Qxe3+ 25.Kh1 Rd8 26.Re1 Ng3+ 27.Kh2 Qxd3 28.Qg5 Nf5 29.Re5 f6

J.Grant - E.Spencer
Black got himself into difficulties in the opening.
He had a plan involving an early h5 and leaving his
King in the centre. Things started to go wrong when
he sacced the exchange to get rid of a huge Knight on d5.
Then with the King sitting in the middle of a board staring
down an open e-file he grabbed a pawn as compensation.

Black played 25...Nxb4? 26 Qe1+ and the Knight was gone.
Black resigned a few moves later. Here is the full game.

[Click here to replay the game]
J.Grant - E.Spencer

1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.g3 d6 4.Bg2 g6 5.e4 Bg7 6.Nge2 Nge7 7.0-0 h5 8.h4 Nd4 9.d3 Bg4 10.f3 Be6 11.Nxd4 exd4 12.Ne2 Nc6 13.Rb1 a5 14.b3 Qc8 15.Nf4 Bd7 16.Nd5 f6 17.a3 Rb8 18.b4 axb4 19.axb4 b5 20.cxb5 Rxb5 21.Bb2 g5 22.f4 gxh4 23.gxh4 f5 24.exf5 Rxd5 25.Bxd5 Nxb4 26.Qe1+ Kf8 27.Qxb4 c5 28.Qb6 Rh6 29.Ra1 Be8 30.Rfe1 Be5 31.Rxe5 Rg6+ 32.fxg6 Qg4+ 33.Bg2 dxe5 34.Qf6+ Kg8 35.Ra8

A.Muir - J.Grant
This was the one game Jonathan lost.
I think everyone in Scotland knows Jonathan is a Caro Khan
player. He is very experienced with this opening but he
always runs the risk of stepping into a prepared line.

Andrew Muir in his three other whites played 1.d4.
Against Jonathan he played 1.e4 and went mainline
with the Panov-Botvinnik Attack.

I've not spoken to either player, nor am I up to date
on the latest wrinkles in the Panov but White managed
to obtain a very nice position from the opening.
This against someone who has played the Caro for most
of their chess career.

I smell a prepared line. I may be wrong.

This was a big game. If Jonathan had won it then he
would have taken a 2 point lead over his nearest challenger.

Hindsight is wonderful but if I was Jonathan's shoes
when Andrew flicked out 1.e4. I would have played 1 d5.
Why not. Jonathan has all this experience with the Caro Khan
and there are many lines in the Scandinavian which transpose
into the mainline Caro Khan.
It may have upset Andrew's opening strategy.

Let us have a look at the game.
As I said before Black emerged from the opening
with a very difficult game ahead of him.
In the following position Black decided to get rid of
one of the two Bishops at the cost of his pawn structure.

That Bishop on g5 is a good piece. Look at the black
squares available in the heart of Black's position.
Black played 17...Nf6 18 Bxf6 and White started laying
into the broken King-side with f4 and f5.

Steadily White gained an advantage and then traded
Queens allowing him to control the 7th. Jonathan
battled on but defending such a position is a thankless
task. Especially against Andrew Muir who play in this
game was very good.

The end after the move 40 Kg2 was never really in any doubt.
Here is the complete game.

[Click here to replay the game]
A.Muir - A.Grant

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.c4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e6 6.Nf3 Bb4 7.Bd3 dxc4 8.Bxc4 0-0 9.0-0 b6 10.Bg5 Bb7 11.Ne5 Bxc3 12.bxc3 Nbd7 13.Qe2 Qc7 14.Nxd7 Nxd7 15.Rac1 Qc6 16.f3 Rac8 17.Bd3 Nf6 18.Bxf6 gxf6 19.Be4 Qc7 20.Qe3 Kg7 21.Bxb7 Qxb7 22.f4 Qd5 23.f5 Rg8 24.fxe6 fxe6 25.Rce1 Kf7 26.Rf2 Rg5 27.Ref1 Rg6 28.Qh3 Kg7 29.Re1 Re8 30.Qd3 b5 31.Rb1 Rb8 32.a4 a6 33.g3 Rc8 34.axb5 axb5 35.Rxb5 Rxc3 36.Rxd5 Rxd3 37.Rd7+ Kh8 38.Ra2 Rg8 39.Raa7 Rb8 40.Kg2 Rd2+ 41.Kh3 h5 42.Rf7 f5 43.Rh7+ Kg8 44.Rag7+ Kf8 45.Kh4 Rxd4+ 46.Kxh5 e5 47.Rf7+ Kg8 48.Rhg7+ Kh8 49.Rg6 Rb2 50.h4 Rg4 51.Rxf5 Rxg6 52.Kxg6 Rb7 53.Kf6 e4 54.g4 Rb3 55.Re5 Rb6+ 56.Kf5 Rh6 57.h5 Ra6 58.Rxe4 Kg7 59.Re7+ Kg8 60.g5 Ra8 61.Kf6 Ra6+ 62.Re6 Ra8 63.g6 Rf8+ 64.Kg5

In Round 8 Jonathan had the bye due to the fact there was
an uneven amount of players (9) in the Scottish Championship.

J.Grant - I.Marks
Leading the tournament by one clear point all Jonathan needed
was a point to secure the title. This was gained without drama.

1.c4 c6 2.Nc3 d5 3.d4 Nf6 4.e3 e6 5.Nf3 Nbd7 6.Qc2 Bd6 7.Bd3 draw agreed.

Final positions.

Jonathan Grant7
Andrew Muir6
Alan Grant6
Gunnar Jacob5
Edwin Spencer5
Jim Stevenson4
Steven Brown4
Jim Doyle3
Ian Marks3

You can get all the games from the Chess Scotland site
The first two pictures also came from the Chess Scotland site.
I took the last picture myself when I visited the tournament
on round two. Here is my train ticket.

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