The Dragons (Alan Minnican's) Allegro.
Alan Minnican put his money where his heart is by
donating £250.00 of his own money to get this tournament
up and running. The Polish Ex-Servicemen's Club also
contributed so invitations went out to Scotland's top
players and the result was a resounding success.
It was stated this is was the strongest gathering
of Scottish players within the past 10 years.
Alan's only regret was that his two good friends
Roddy McKay and Steve Mannion could not make it.
Here are the final standings.
And here is a picture of the happy winners.
Marek Straczynski, (2nd.left) who is the Manager of
the Polish Ex-Servicemen's Club presented the prizes.
Each player received £60.00 each.
Some Interesting moments.
I actually witnessed this, Ruxton v Aagaard, Black to play.
1...c5! the best practical chance.
2.dxc5 d4 3.c6 d3 4.f8Q Rg8 5.c7 Rxf8+ 6.Kxf8 d2 7.c8Q d1Q 8.Qc7+ Kh6 9.Qxa5
and White lost on time. and... my point?
Well there was no Queen handy so on move 7 Keith
took a Rook (as you do) and turned it upside down.
But after 7...d1Q 8.Qc7+ Kh6 9.Qxa5 Jacob looked astonished.
After the game Jacob said, "Rooks cannot move diagonally."
"it was a Queen." replied Keith.
Jacob picked up the Rook, turned it upside down and said.
"It's still looks a Rook."
This of course was all in jest and was in theme with the whole day.
I've before never seen such a bunch of strong players all happy and
chatting during a tournament. It was great day out.
Here is a picture of the game in question.
But my wee brain was nipping. "...something on here."
After the game I did say to Keith and Jacob that there
was a white win and without the aid of a board I suggested a few lines.
They were quickly refuted.
But it's like an itch you cannot scratch.
"...something here....something here..."
I know never to ignore it.
it's either a brilliant sac, it's a sad trick or something odd.
So for the rest of the afternoon the above position kept popping into my mind.
What ever it was I just had to get this uncomfortable feeling out of my system.
So one hour after the tournament finished
I'm back home looking at the same position.
What happens if white does not promote the
f-pawn till after he has promoted the c-pawn?
1...c5 2.dxc5 d4 3.c6 d3 4.c7 d2 5.c8Q d1Q 6.Qf5+ Kh6 7.f8Q
Giving us this position with Black to play.
7...Qd8+ 8.Kxd8 stalemate!
So that was it. There was this lovely stalemate hiding in the position.
No! And this is incredible. With Black to play he wins!
7...Qxa4+ 8.Kd8 Qd4+ 9.Kc8 Qc4+ 10.Q5c5 Qe6+ 11.Kb8 Qb3+
12.Kc8 Qb7+ 13.Kd8 Qd7 mate.
Some nice chess lay hidden in that original diagram.
There is most likely more because white does not have to promote.
He can perhaps do a series of checks getting his Queen onto a
better square and then promote the f-pawn. (never ignore the itch).
Of course nobody kept a score. However...
Alan Tate remembered this miniature v Hugh Brechin.
[Click here to replay the game]
A.Tate v H.Brechin
1.d4 Nf6 2.Bg5 e6 3.e3 c5 4.Nd2 Qb6 5.Nc4 Qc7 6.dxc5 Bxc5 7.Bf4 Qc6 8.Nd6+ Bxd6 9.Bxd6 Ne4 10.Ba3 d5 11.Bd3 Nc5 12.Nf3 b6 13.Ne5 Qc7 14.Qh5 Nxd3+ 15.cxd3 Nc6 16.Nxc6 Qxc6 17.Qg5 Qc7 18.Qxg7 Ba6 19.Qxh8+ Kd7 20.Qxa8 Bxd3 21.Qf8 Qc2 22.Qxf7+ Kd8 23.Qf3 b5 24.Qf8+
Black resigned. ...Qc4+ is coming forcing off the Queens.
And although he lost, Andrew Burnett sent me this following game.
White gave Black swindling chances with 18.Kh3.
A better try was 18.Kg1 Nh4 19.Re4 blocking h1-a8 diagonal.
[Click here to replay the game]
A.Burnett - E.Spencer
1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.g4 h5 4.g5 e6 5.f4 Nge7 6.Bg2 d5 7.d3 b6 8.Nf3 Bb7 9.0-0 Qc7 10.g6 0-0-0 11.gxf7 dxe4 12.Nxe4 Nf5 13.Neg5 Qd7 14.Re1 Ncd4 15.Ne5 Qc7 16.c3 Bxg2 17.Kxg2 Qb7+ 18.Kh3 Be7 19.cxd4 Bxg5 20.Ng6 Nh4 21.Nxh4 Bxh4 22.Kxh4 Qg2 23.Rxe6 g5+ 24.fxg5 Qxh2
Bill Faulkner and I were looking at the scoreboard as round 6
was being played. We suddenly realised if results went a certain
way there would be a six way tie.
Of course the players realised most of them were in with a chance
of the money and I witnessed some excellent last round fighting games.
I was also cursing because nobody kept a score.
Perhaps when this event is run again, I believe Alan is planning
another in the Autumn, we can investigate getting our hands
on those electronic boards that record the score.
Colin and Jacob just after their last round game.
Jacob won allowing a six way tie.
Simon Gillam who controlled the event.
Two GMs, a hideous jumper (as seen on Dr.Who) and a pint of lager.
The whole day had a happy-go-lucky atmosphere about it.
The players were there to play chess, drink and crack jokes.
All the players appeared to get on very well with each other....
The full story of this picture will be revealed in another Corner.
This Corner is all about Alan Minnican and his dream of getting
together a very strong set of chess players coming true.
At the end of the tournament Neil Berry announced on
behalf of all the players what a great tournament it was
and a slightly embarrassed Alan took a long round of applause.
Alan and Bill outside the Polish Club.