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PRESS RELEASE FROM THE 9TH OBAN CHESS CONGRESS THE ROYAL HOTEL, OBAN

22nd TO 24th OF NOVEMBER 2002.


ALAN REID, MP, OPENS THE OBAN CHESS CONGRESS WHICH CONTINUES TO GROW

The 9th Oban chess congress took place this weekend in the Royal Hotel, Oban. Yet again, the Congress exceeded it's previous highest number of entrants with 172 players participating. Many of the players were accompanied by partners, friends and family who came to Oban to experience the congress which is now established as a firm favourite with chess players throughout the country. Albert de Visser, who competed in the Challengers, flew in from Amsterdam for the weekend. It is estimated that in total, over 300 visitors travelled from across the country, with 30-40 travelling up from England. £1350 of sponsorship money was raised locally from numerous local businesses. Without their generous support the Congress would not have gone ahead. Due to the large numbers, additional tables were required which Oban High School and St Columba's Cathedral Hall kindly donated at short notice. The Congress organisers - Iain MacDonald, Duncan Campbell, Alan Murphy and Jonathan Davies, estimate that over £30,000 was spent by their visitors in Oban over the weekend which would inject £120,000 into the local economy in real terms.
There were four tournaments in the Congress - Open, Challengers, Major and Minor. These catered for the differing playing strengths with prizes in each tournament, the prize money totalling £1825. Caithness Glass kindly donated superb glass crystal trophies for each tournament winner and these were fiercely competed for. Play consisted of five games held over the duration of the weekend, one game on Friday evening, two on Saturday and two on Sunday. The Swiss pairing system was used which meant players were paired according to strength and performance over the weekend. One point was awarded for each win and ½ point for each draw. Players ranged in strength. from Grandmaster to beginners.

All ages were represented in each tournament. A total of 9 Oban Chess Club players competed in the Congress ensuring Argyll was well represented. Iain MacDonald did very well to score 2/5 in the Minor despite the distractions of being an organiser. Duncan Campbell and Dave Gillespie acted as Arbiters with Alan Murphy and Jonathan Davies concentrating on running the event.
To welcome the guests to Oban, The Royal Hotel provided a reception buffet. Alan Reid, MP, who represents Oban Chess Club in the Richardson Cup opened the Congress, commenting that he had enjoyed playing in Congress's himself. Craig Munro hosted a prize quiz on Saturday night. The Function bar and Aygll suite were filled by our guests and the bar remained open until the small hours by which time chess boards had been produced so that moves could be analyised and argued over. At the close of play on Sunday evening, The Royal produced another buffet, which was eagerly devoured by the battle weary players and all concerned. Following this, the Prize giving ceremony took place. Presenting the prizes and trophies were Fiona, Manager of Caithness Glass, Oban and Dot of the Royal Hotel. All concerned commented how much they had enjoyed their time in Oban with the vast majority saying they intended travelling back next year for the 10th Congress. This will be held on the 21st to 23rd of November 2003 once again in the Royal. Oban Chess club meets every Wednesday Night in The Royal Hotel and welcomes anyone along with an interest in Chess. Contact Alan Murphy, Team Captain on 01631 565373 for further details. The results of the Congress are on the following page.

Released by,
THE OBAN CHESS CONGRESS COMMITTEE

Iain MacDonald, Duncan Campbell, Alan Murphy, Jonathan Davies.

9TH OBAN CHESS CONGRESS ( 22nd TO 24th NOV,2002) RESULTS
A TOTAL OF 172 PLAYERS PARTICIPATED, THE LARGEST ENTRY RECEIVED FOR AN OBAN CONGRESS.

OPEN TOURNAMENT 28 Players
1ST PRIZE AND TROPHY WINNER ALAN GRANT

CHALLENGERS TOURNAMENT 41 players
1ST EQUAL AND TROPHY ALEX NISBET
1ST EQUAL TOM DONOHUE
1ST EQUAL DONALD HERON
1ST EQUAL ALBERT DE VISSER

MAJOR TOURNAMENT 49 Players
1ST PRIZE AND TROPHY RICKY DOWLING

MINOR TOURNAMENT 54 Players
1ST PRIZE AND TROPHY DAVID LESLIE

OBAN CHESS CLUB MEMBERS RESULTS

ALISTAIR CAMPBELL SCORED 2/5 IN THE CHALLENGERS
BRUCE HARROLD SCORED 2/5 IN THE CHALLENGERS
AARON STRAUB SCORED 1/5 IN THE CHALLENGERS
GEOFF WHITE SCORED 2.5/5 IN THE MAJOR
PETER DORIS SCORED 3.5/5 IN THE MAJOR
DEREK COOPE SCORED 2.5/5 IN THE MAJOR
PAUL STALLARD SCORED 2 ½ /5 IN THE MINOR
IAIN MACDONALD SCORED 2/5 IN THE MINOR
MALCOLM MACMILLAN SCORED 2.5/5 IN THE MINOR



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