Edinburgh Congress

George Heriot's School

April 5-7, 2002


Grading report Game download

Scotland's premier weekend tournament has a historical ambience that most chess venues in modern sports or community centres cannot rival. Oliver Cromwell is reputed to have fired cannon at Edinburgh Castle from the grounds of the school in 1650 and commandeered the buildings as an army hospital. The janitor would not have been pleased.

Grandmasters Jonathan Rowson of Aberdeen (now based in Oxford) and Colin McNab of Dundee took the top prize in the Edinburgh Open with an undefeated 4.5/5. The Scottish GMs fought out a draw before McNab eliminated top seed GM Peter Wells of England in round four. Rowson defeated IM John Shaw of Kilmarnock in the final round while McNab downed Oliver Penrose of Lasswade.

The battle of the veterans in round three may have featured the highest combined ages of any top class game in Scotland. It was a triumph for experience with Penrose, aged 72, defeating Littlewood, 71 (photo right). This game also featured one of the biggest gaps between encounters - Penrose was also victorious in their only previous game at the Cambridge Open in 1952!


Edinburgh Congress round 3, White: O. Penrose (Lasswade, 2100), Black: J. Littlewood (Widnes, 2305), Opening: Philidor Defence. 1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 exd4 4 Qxd4 Nf6 5 Bg5 Be7 6 Nc3 0-0 7 0-0-0 Nc6 8 Qd2 Bg4 9 Be2 Re8 10 Rhe1 a6 11 Kb1 b5 12 Nd4 Nxd4 13 Bxg4 b4 14 Nd5 Nxd5 15 Bxe7 Nxe7 16 Qxd4 Nc6 17 Qd2 Qh4? A blunder which costs Littlewood the game. 18 Bd7 Ne5 19 Bxe8 Rxe8 20 h3 a5 21 Re2 h6 22 Qd5 Qg5 23 f3 Qf6 24 b3 Ng6 25 Qxa5 Nf4 26 Red2 d5 27 Qxb4 dxe4 28 fxe4 c5 29 Qxc5 Rxe4 30 Qd6 Qc3 31 Rd4 Qe3 32 Rxe4 Qxe4 33 Qd8+ Kh7 34 g3 Ng6 35 Qd3 Qe6 36 h4 h5 37 Qf3 Black resigns.

McNab (White) found an early tactical breakthrough in the final round game against Penrose. (See Diagram after Black's 17...Rac8, 17...Be5 was better) 18 Nxf6+! Rxf6 19 Bxf6 Qxf6 20 Qd5+ Qe6 21 Rcd1 and the game is over since White will win a bishop to be a clear exchange ahead, 21...Qxd5 22 Rxd5 Bxg3 23 Rxd7 Black resigns.



The remarkable Penrose family: Oliver's father Lionel was a geneticist of world renown, brother Jonathan was the ten times British chess champion, brother Roger was knighted in 1994 for services to mathematics, Oliver was a Professor of Mathematics at Heriot Watt from 1986 until retirement in 1994. http://www.ma.hw.ac.uk/~oliver/

Tenuous Connection: The April issue of Chess Monthly mentions that the Penrose family share a common ancestry (via Daniel Penrose, born 1709) with journalist John Penrose, husband of Weakest Link presenter Anne Robinson.

Edinburgh Prize Winners:

Open (Prizes: £500, £250 + 2 x £50 Gradings + 3 x £30 U18 Cup, Best Game Prize, Prize Draw)

1= GM Jonathan Rowson (Edinburgh), GM Colin McNab (Dundee Victoria) 4½/5
Grading Prize (under 2145) Oliver Penrose (Lasswade) 3½/5
Grading Prize (under 1945)= Alan Andrew (Wandering Dragons), Bruce McNally (Wandering Dragons), Christopher MacDonald (Stirling) 2½/5
U18 Edinburgh Evening News Cup: Joe Redpath (Edinburgh West) 2½/5
Best Game Prize: GM Jonathan Rowson (for last round win v John Shaw), Prize Draw: Brian Henderson (Bellshill)

Challengers (Prizes: £150, £70 + £30 Grading Prize + £30 Giant Killing Prize)

1= Douglas Will (Grangemouth), Ian Mason (Grangemouth) 4½/5
Grading Prize= Jeremy Mitchell (Bon Accord), Stephen Smith (Stirling) 4/5
Giant Killing Prize: David Grant (Stonehaven) (winning against a player 460 points higher)

Major (Prizes: £150, £70 + 2 x £30 Grading Prizes)

1= Graham Ashcroft (Preston), Robert Forsythe (Leam Lane) 4½/5
Grading Prize (U1600) Anthony Roberts 3½/5
Grading Prize (U1520)= Robert Gourlay (Irvine), Paul McQuillan (Edinburgh Civil Service), William Noble (Gateshead Libraries), John Montgomery (Bearsden), Alistair Drummond (Shettleston), William Gray (Grangemouth) 3/5

Bishops (Prizes: £150, £70 + £30 Grading Prize)

1= Kevin Campbell (Motherwell), Peter Elders (Corstorphine Castle),
Leonard Havard (Edinburgh), Derek Rooney (Holy Cross), Howard Key (Wardie Residents), Michael Ridge (Edinburgh), Stuart Black (Dunfermline) 4/5

Knights (Prizes: £150, £70 + 2 x £30 Grading Prizes + £30 Junior Prize)

1 Kenny McGeoch (Stirling) 5/5
2= Anthony Akers (Lasswade), Francis Lauder (Galashiels), Kenneth Aiston (Sandy Bell's), Gilbert Alomenu (Glasgow Montrose), John Shedden (Juniper Green) 4/5
Grading Prize (U1125)= Raymond Hardman (Musselburgh), Paul Campion (Livingston), Robert Burns (Sandy Bell's) 3½/5
Grading Prize (U985) Andrew Green (Edinburgh) 4/5
Under 16 Prize: Adam Bremner (Quarryhill) 3½/5

Primary (Trophies, medals & scorebooks for all participants)

1 Dominic Smith (South Morningside) 5/5
2= Euan Sime (George Heriot's), Rachel Curry (Stonehaven), Natalie Donohue (Bankton) 4/5
5 Craig Hunter (Gilmerton) 3½/5; 6 Owen Hughes (South Morningside) 3/5
Under 10 Prizes: Florence Edwards ( South Morningside), Hayley Donohue (Bankton), Callum Vipond (South Morningside).

Littlewood photo by JBH, story DMB.