Without doubt the home of the Pentland Hills chess club
is the most delightful and beautiful in the Edinburgh League.
Indeed one could argue it is the most splendid setting in Britain
for a chess club for both scenery and historical reasons.
The wee town of Roslin on the skirt of
Edinburgh is quaint, quiet and charming.
The Roslin Glen Hotel boasts a pleasing bar for
after (and before) match refreshments.
The games take place in the Wedding Reception
area at the rear of the Hotel.
Plenty of room for the players with, as I recall,
standard size pieces on ideal boards.
You really need a car to get there. There are buses,
the No. 15 gets you there during the day but it
appears to stop going to Roslin in the early evening.
I went there via a No.15 during the day to capture the Hotel
in the daylight and of course visit a certain Chapel.
The Roslin Glen Hotel is a three minute stroll
away from Rosslyn Chapel.
Thanks to a certain book
and film the number 15 was
packed with babbling tourists.
Some were holding the
book no doubt wanting
to get a photograph
taken with it inside
I joined the merry throng
but we soon departed when
we reached the entrance.
£7.00 to get in.
I was told it was only £2.50. So as I had only had £8.00
on me and my plan was to hit Penicuik later that day to
check out the three 2nd.hand shops in the town centre.
I just walked around the Chapel admiring the building.
(looking for a way to sneak in).
I actually went around the Chapel quite a few times in the
70's and 80's. Then I saw it in it's raw and ruined state.
I took some pictures from outside the grounds.
The Chapel in under repair at the moment and shrouded
in scaffolding with a protective cover but do not let
this put you off.
I've been reading about Rosslyn Chapel and it's importance to
christianity since the early 70's. A long long time before
thriller writers came on the scene. It's eerie, fascinating
and thought provoking. It's simply a sin to live in Scotland
and not visit Rosslyn Chapel.
The whole place reeks of history, witness this wee Inn right next
to Rosslyn Chapel. A plaque on the wall lists here some of it's
illustrious visitors. Sir Walter Scott, William Wordsworth and Rabbie Burns.
So here is your plan.
You can contact Chapel via their website.
They do reductions for groups and clubs.
On the day of your match, your team can spend a couple of hours
exploring the chapel, have an evening meal in the Roslin Hotel
and play Pentland Hills at chess that night. What a perfect day.
Now I know what you are going to ask next.
Did I discover the Holy Grail?
No, not yet. But it's there somewhere...
So no game from my visit to Pentland Hills but I do
have three very instructive and linked games to show.
Last C.C. I mentioned David Levy. So I searched my DB for some Levy games.
D.N.L.Levy - R.W.O'Brien, U-18 British Ch. Whitby 1962.
Ahh 1962. The pop charts that year was filled with hit instrumentals.
'Telstar' by the Tornados. 'Dance On', 'Wonderful Land',
'Guitar Tango' by The Shadows. Kenny Ball and his Jazzmen also
had three hits that year. 'March of the Siamese Children', 'The Green
Leaves of Summer', and of course the brilliant 'Midnight in Moscow'.
Meanwhile four young lads from Liverpool were packed into a van
heading for London to record a demo track for the Parlophone label.
I got my first guitar in 1962. I cannot remember who gave it to me.
It was warped and scratched but I did manage to play a handful of
notes from Telstar on it. I took it to school (Abbeyhill Primary) and
was a pop star for a day.
This position arose in the Levy - O'Brien game with White to play.
From here White sacced a Knight to open the e-file and catch
Black in an undeveloped state. Look at this position.
Note how strong that pawn in d5 is. It covers both c6 and e6
leaving the Black King looking down the e-file with only an
overworked Bishop to defend it.
The best move appears the ugly 11...f6 (see next game).
Black opted for 11...Nd7 and toiled from here on in.
This position arose with White to play - can you see the shot?
20.Qxf6! with a Morphy type Rook and Bishop mate on e8 if 20...Qxf6.
Black plodded on for a few more moves and then resigned.
[Click here to replay the game]
D.N.L.Levy - R.W.O'Brien
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6 5.Nc3 Qc7 6.Be3 Nf6 7.Bd3 d5 8.0-0 e5 9.Nxd5 Nxd5 10.exd5 exd4 11.Bxd4 Nd7 12.Re1+ Be7 13.Bxg7 Rg8 14.Bxh7 Rxg7 15.d6 Qc6 16.Rxe7+ Kf8 17.Be4 [17.Re8+ Kxe8 18.Qe2+ Ne5 19.Qxe5+] 17...Qb5 18.Qd4 Qg5 19.Re1 Nf6 20.Qxf6! Bh3 [20...Qxf6 21.Re8+ Kxe8 22.Bc6+ Kd8 23.Re8#] 21.Rxf7+ Kg8 22.Rxg7+ Qxg7 23.Qxg7+ Kxg7 24.gxh3
I stumbled across this game with the same variation and 11..f6 was played.
M.Hawelko (2450) - K.Mokry (2520), Poland 1986.
[Click here to replay the game]
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6 5.Bd3 Nf6 6.0-0 Qc7 7.Be3 d5 8.Nc3 e5 9.Nxd5 Nxd5 10.exd5 exd4 11.Bxd4 f6 12.Qh5+ Kd8 13.Rfe1 Bd6 14.Re3 Nd7 15.Rae1 Ne5 16.f4 Nf7 17.Qxh7 Bxf4 [17...Rxh7 18.Re8+ Kd7 19.Bf5#] 18.Qxh8+ Nxh8 19.Re8+ Kd7 20.R1e7+ Kd6 21.Rxc7 Kxc7 22.Rxh8
So a year passed and we find that young David Levy is still
under 18 and this time playing in the British Championship at Bath.
P.Jamieson - D.Levy, U-18 Br.Ch. Bath 1963.
Ahh 1963. The Beatles first hit. 'Please Please Me'.
This single was released in the States by The Beattles (sic).
If any of my American surfers have this mis-spelt copy then it's
worth a few bucks. It failed to chart in the USA.
However one year later it was re-released under the correct spelling
and reached No.1. 1963 was also the year 'She Loves You' came out
and sold 15 million copies.
Also in the charts at the same time was 'He's so Fine' by the
Chiffons. 15 years later in a court case George Harrison's
'My Sweet Lord' was deemed to be subconsciously based on
'He's so Fine' and a cash settlement was reached.
During the court case The Chiffons reformed and brought out
'My Sweet Lord' as a publicity stunt.
OK Back to P.Jamieson - D.Levy.
Here the young David forgets the lesson he taught us about slow
development, the open e-file and a pawn on d5. This is the position after
8 moves with White to play.
You can see the storm gathering over Black's head.
Here is the full game. You will note the similar mating patterns
that emerged in all three games.
[Click here to replay the game]
P.Jamieson - D.Levy
1.d4 c5 2.d5 Nf6 3.Nc3 e6 4.e4 exd5 5.exd5 d6 6.Nf3 g6 7.Bb5+ Bd7 8.0-0 Bg7 9.Re1+ Kf8 10.Bf4 Ne8 11.Qe2 a6? [11...Bxc3] 12.Qxe8+! Bxe8 13.Bxd6+ Kg8 [13...Qxd6 14.Rxe8#] 14.Rxe8+ Qxe8 15.Bxe8
I suppose you are dying to know what I bought from
the Penicuik 2nd Hand shops.
(I used to know a girl called Penny Cook when I lived
in Bethnal Green. When I went back there and told her there
was a place called Penicuik. She said she had never heard of it.)
Well this was a great buy for £1.00.
Four episodes from 1957-58 of Robin Hood
Robin Hood, Robin Hood riding through the glen.
Robin Hood, Robin Hood with his band of men.
Feared by the bad, loved by the good.
Robin Hood, Robin Hood, Robin Hood.
Classic magic. I've watched all four episodes and the cast is full
of actors playing bit parts who went onto to become famous.
A whole host of actors who would appear in Dad's Army are in there
and Harry H. Corbett the son of Steptoe plays a baddie on the side
of the Sheriff of Nottingham.
What else? No chess stuff, but I did get brand new at 50p a pair.