Annual Report



1999 - 2000

The Accounts are a separate paper based document. This report also contains the Minutes of the 1999 Annual General Meeting. The Minutes, the Reports and the Accounts will be taken as read at the Annual General Meeting on 17th July 2000




Scottish Chess Association

Management Board Report

1999 - 2000



1 Overview of the year, and key projects

2 Financial review

3 Report on year’s mainstream activity

4 Tournament winners

Overview of the year and key projects

A year of international personal success for top Scottish players

There can be no other way to start the Board report than to record congratulations to two Scottish players who have had stunning years.

Jonathan Rowson secured a triple whammy at the beginning of the year when, fresh from gaining a first class honours degree at Oxford, he won the Scottish Championship in Edinburgh with a grandmaster norm performance – enough to finish the title and become Scotland’s third grandmaster.

And Scotland attained the second world chess title of her long history. Elaine Rutherford from Edinburgh won the Women’s World Amateur Championship in January at the Hastings Congress. Winning this title gives Elaine a FIDE rating of 2100 and the Women’s FIDE Master title. And it also gave her – and chess in Scotland – some welcome publicity.

Improved financial position

The restructuring of administration within the Association which represented an exceptional cost last year has borne fruit this year as the planned reductions in membership service and grading costs, and lower administrative expenses have been realised. The synergy between Chess Suppliers and the SCA has also contributed to those improvements, and to an improved perception of the Association. Key sponsor Donald Mackenzie Travel of Glasgow also made a significant contribution to improving our financial position. Overall, the Association has made a small profit this year.

Chess activity in Scotland

Unfortunately, in the wider sense, chess in Scotland is still not recovering from recent decline. The cancellation of the Aberdeen, East Kilbride and Marymass congresses reduced options in the calendar, but the numbers attending congresses which have taken place have, if anything, increased slightly. The main city leagues continue to see a reduction in the number of competing teams, as club activity dips down.

There is still an increasing number of juniors playing chess but, unfortunately, they are on average playing less often. This is particularly true in two day events where the numbers have plummeted and the number of opportunities to play in this type of event has subsequently diminished. Both the Glasgow and Grangemouth Congresses have, quite reasonably, dropped two day junior events for this reason. It is therefore more difficult for juniors to progress to ‘adult’ events. Their failure to do so leaves them with an inadequate concept of how to move into the wider chess community, and the number of juniors coming through into strong players is now much lower than for some time.

The lack of chess at a reasonable time control has contributed to a general lowering of the standard of junior chess. The SJCA is looking at ways of tackling this, including having a series of one day events at a slower time control with a cash prize for the best score over several events. The falling standard has resulted in the Primary Individual Championship, which has since its inception 18 years ago been restricted to 32 players, this year having only 24 players invited.

The solutions

The key solutions to moving forward to recover the decline and expand chess again in Scotland have been identified as:

Some of these issues were dormant during the year, mainly due very restricted time available from President John Glendinning, whose role it would normally be to pursue them. Unfortunately, John’s wife’s fairly serious illness (now fully recovered) and work pressures effectively prevented him from pursuing some of these issues, and attending many chess events, for several months. Progress is now being made and an update is given in the activity reports below

Chess in schools initiative

The aim of this project is to secure chess as a part of school life throughout Scotland. The route to this is to demonstrate through a measured study the educational value of chessplaying. The informal approach with the Quality in Education people at Strathclyde University did not work. A meeting has now taken place between Professor John Macbeath and Alex McFarlane and John Glendinning, with a view to bring the project on stream early in the next academic year. Funding is being actively sought from both Government and private sources to support the one year pilot in three schools.

Holistic development and finance

Work stalled on the finance initiative which would look across the board at both SCA and SJCA finances, and the analysis of expenditure against key objectives. The difficulty was in finding a volunteer with the time to create the financial spreadsheet to facilitate the analysis. This has been reactivated this time with John Glendinning aiming to produce a simpler model than intended, but with the key functionality to allow different approaches to be explored.

Promoting club chess

George Clarke of Stirling has agreed to create promotional material and ideas, based on the very successful work he has been doing in the Stirling chess club. Stirling has been thriving over recent years, with several successful ideas for encouraging new members. A potential opportunity will exist this October when the world championship match involving Gary Kasparov is held in London, with scope for increased media coverage of chess for a period.

Chess as a sport

After a considerable publicity campaign, in early 1999, the campaign to have chess recognised as a sport has been very quiet for most of the year. However, recent work by the British Chess Federation has pushed the issue again. The bridge associations in the UK have also become involved. Ministers have made it clear that they wish to see a UK wide solution, involving consistent approaches on the issue from Scotland and Wales, and the BCF have been in contact with us to seek our views. The Board is now considering the issues involved and in particular the potential risk to our current funding from the Scottish Executive.

British Championships in Edinburgh

The Association has warmly supported the initiative by the Edinburgh and Lothians Chess Association to bring the British Championships to Edinburgh in 2003. The implications for the Scottish Championships in 2003 will be considered by the Board with a view to considering whether the potential detrimental clash can be avoided.

Financial review

After last year's substantial deficit we are pleased to be able to report that this year we have managed a small surplus. Unfortunately this has been achieved mainly through the reduction in expenditure rather than the growth of income.

Nearly all our major sources of income are showing some reduction particularly income from league affiliation fees where every league now has been affected by a drop in the numbers playing chess over the last couple of years. Whilst there has been little change in the number of annual SCA members there was a significant drop in the numbers taking out patron and life subscriptions which accounted for the fall in membership income.

Membership has remained relatively constant, with the current figures being as below (with last year’s figures in brackets):

Basic = = 54 (57)

Full = = 230 (231)

Life = = 138 (145)

Patron = = 8 (7)

At this time of year, reminder notices are usually sent to members who have not renewed their subscription; the number of reminders was down from 270 to 154 although most of those are for the last two months. The membership file has been cleaned up by removing those who have not renewed in the last two years and over. Approximately 550 copies of each issue of Scottish Chess were printed.

The disappearance of a number of congresses from the chess calendar was the main reason for the drop in grading income. Numbers at some of the remaining congresses did fall but this was balanced by those which attracted an increased entry. The reduction in the publication income, although partly offset by a reduction in expenditure, was due to a reduced Grading List income and almost the complete disappearance of advertising revenue.

The promotion advertising the 100 Club did produce results and numbers subscribing are slowly growing. There was also a significant increase in those clubs subscribing to the SCA Insurance Scheme obviously appreciating the cover provided. This year we also benefited from some sponsorship income, from Donald Mackenzie Travel, and this covered most of the cost of producing SCA chess stationery in the form of Score books and sheets.

All the fund accounts are showing small increases with the result that we have an overall surplus for the year, excluding the Congress Account, amounting to just over £550 which compares with the previous deficit of £4600. The Scottish Congress made a small deficit of £31.


Mainstream activity

Scottish Congresses

The Scottish Championships 1999 were very well supported by both participants and sponsors and enabled two title norms to be attained. Neil Berry gained his first IM norm and, more significantly, Jonathan Rowson gained his final norm to become Scotland's third Grandmaster.

A lot of work was put in by the local organisers lead by Director Hugh Flockhart which was appreciated by all the players - and not just those who gained from the increased prize fund! The opening round played at the new Museum of Scotland in the proximity of the ancient and famous Lewis chesspieces will remain as one of the memorable moment of chess in Scotland.

The organising of the Scottish Chess Championships 2000 was a bit daunting. The finding of premises seemed to be the biggest obstacle, but after securing premises, everything else fell into place. The key directors for the Congress, Sam Collins and Hugh Flockhart, would like to thank John Dempsey (congress committee) for his help in the organising of the Championships.

We are delighted to announce that the 2001 Scottish Congress will be held from Saturday 7th July until Sunday 15th July, at Robert Gordon’s College. The Aberdeen team organising the event and led by Donald Grassie is currently seeking sponsorship for the event.

The Internet site

The SCA web site continues to attract about 100 visits per day. A much easier to remember website address of was purchased at the start of the year. (the annual cost is $35). The site is regularly updated with grading results enabling anyone to check whether their data has been recorded accurately. The other regular updates are latest Grand Prix positions and adverts for domestic tournaments. The site contains a growing library of chess information. For example, all of the Richardson and Spens winners since the early years of the competition can be viewed on line. Generally anything which was in the old printed Yearbook is now on the web site.

A tremendous piece of work by Alistair Maxwell deserves special mention. Alistair has collected the majority of games played by Scottish players in Olympiads and created a database of those games which can now be downloaded free. Archive work of this nature provided free by enthusiasts like Alistair helps create a wonderful legacy for future generations to enjoy.

While time and skill constraints impact on any plans of a more grandiose nature for the web site, future plans do include a review of the site map and home page, and the creation of a section of the site which can only be accessed by members.

Junior activity

The declining picture in the domestic scene is reflected at international level. Over 12 boards Scotland was successful against Wales at under 14 and (only just) under 12 level but over six boards the under 12s lost to Wales and the under 14s lost to Ireland. We have failed to have 3 girls good enough to play in the Faber Cup (U-18) for the last 2 years and even before this teams were selected only because one player was good enough.

Junior International Matches

January 2000

Under 14 - Scotland 13.5-10.5 Wales

Under 12 - Scotland 12.5-11.5 Wales

June 2000

Under 14 - Scotland 2.5-3.5 Ireland, Scotland 3.5-2.5 Wales

Under 12 - Scotland 2-4 Wales, Scotland 4.5-1.5 Ireland

Grand Prix

The Tod & Mitchell Scottish Grand Prix 2000 was concluded in Hawick on Sunday, 2 July.

The winners of each of the four categories were as follows:

Candidates: Richard Wiltshire, Phones; Challengers: James Hamilton, Cathcart;

Major: Richard Evans, Glasgow Montrose; Minor: David Cubitt, Wandering Dragons.

The full list of prizewinners and more detailed information can be seen on the SCA website.

Presentations to all prizewinners of this inaugural competition will be made at the Scottish Championships in Glasgow on Sunday 23 July.

We are pleased to announce that Bobby Mitchell has agreed to increase his sponsorship to £1080 for the Grand Prix 2001. He has also agreed to pay for shields to be presented to the annual winners of each category at a cost of £200.00. We would like to thank Bobby for his firm's generous support.

Arbiters Committee

The Arbiters' committee met twice. The main business in September was to revise the rules for the Richardson and Spens Cups. Four arbiters - Hugh Flockhart, Andrew MacQueen, Alan Steel and Rod Tweedie - were recognised as newly qualified SCA Arbiters. In December the revision of the Guide for Tournament Organisers (available on the SCA website)was agreed. A list of proposed amendments to the Laws of Chess was agreed and sent to FIDE for consideration at the forthcoming minor revision. Work is in progress on an update of the Swiss pairing rules.

A course for the training of arbiters was held at Edinburgh Chess Club in February/March. Five candidates were successful in passing the examination. We hope to run a course this winter in the West. Anyone interested should contact Ken Stewart.


There was significant activity during the year with Scottish participation especially strong at the European and the World Youth Championships. Large delegations were sent to both, with families of some of the younger players travelling with the team and being supportive of it during the event. This support, at their own cost, is very much appreciated by the SCA. Donald Holmes and John Shaw travelled as coaches, with positive feedback from both the players for chess support and from the travelling parents. We also took part in the Glorney Cup junior international but were unable to field a girls team in the Faber Cup event which runs alongside. A limited amount of financial support was available for players representing Scotland.


Almost all grading data is now supplied on computer disk and over a quarter is now transferred by e-mail. Many thanks to all suppliers of grading data for their co-operation in supplying data electronically. Several area graders have contributed suggestions to how the program might be improved. These will all be considered. The next grading list should be published in early August 2000.

Scottish Chess

Alan McGowan returned to Canada in late May, 2000. The SCA Board, with Alan's full agreement, decided it was necessary to have an editor based permanently in Scotland. Gavin Saxton of Glenrothes club had expressed an interest in the job after Douglas Bryson's resignation last year. We are pleased that Gavin has now agreed to become the next editor. The arrangements for the August 2000 issue will be Alan McGowan will edit with assistance from Gavin. Gavin will be the full editor from the October issue. All contact details for contributors will appear in the next issue. Contributions can also be sent via the SCA office in Hope Street.

SCA tournament reports

The Richardson Cup unfortunately saw two teams withdraw on the grounds that they could not provide a competitive team. It may be that the number of teams in the competition should be slightly reduced. We shall canvass opinion on this. The final turned out to be contested by Edinburgh West and Glasgow Polytechnic after some other strong-looking teams had fallen by the wayside. The outcome of the final was in doubt for a long time and the final score made Polytechnic's victory look more comfortable than it was.

The Spens Cup also produced a closely fought final with Inverclyde Central just edging out Kilmarnock. The number of entries continues to give cause for concern. The Jack Campbell Rosebowl provided some interesting matches along the way but unfortunately the final was a fiasco as Irvine Porthead were unfortunately unable to raise a team. The Robertson Cup also went wrong, in that Perth Ladies failed to appear through a misunderstanding leaving Wandering Dragons as winners.

The MacIsaac and Nancy Elder Tournaments were this year run by Donald Wilson. David Eynon and Jim O’Neil were the respective winners.

The West of Scotland Championships were again run by Alistair Maxwell. My thanks go to him and to Jim Watson and Donald Wilson who again ran the East of Scotland event.

The Team Lightning was held in December at Grangemouth. Shettleston yet again demonstrated their supremacy at this type of chess, scoring their 16th victory in 21 years.

The 2000 Scottish Allegro Championship was again held as part of the Stewarton allegro event, though it will move elsewhere next year. The Major and Minor attracted a good entry but numbers for the Championship were again low, though the event was strong. Colin McNab added to his previous successes in this event.


At a time when work pressures continue to grow, the Management Board would like to express particular thanks to all those who contributed to the organisation of the Scottish Chess Association or chess in Scotland generally. A lot of effort and time is given freely and many do not claim the expenses that they incur. Without their altruistic support, organised chess in Scotland could not exist.


Management Board at

30 June 2000


John Glendinning


Sam Collins


Douglas Bryson


Alex McFarlane


Mac McKenzie


Ken Stewart


Hugh Flockhart


John Montgomery



July 2000




Richardson Cup:

Glasgow Polytechnic 6-2 Edinburgh West

Spens Cup:

Inverclyde Central 32 - 22 Kilmarnock

Campbell Rosebowl:

Edinburgh Civil Service w/o Irvine Porthead

Team Lightning:

1. Shettleston 30/36 2. Edinburgh 27

Robertson Cup:

Wandering Dragons (no contest)


Final: D Eynon beat K Malkin

Nancy Elder:

Final: J O’Neil beat A MacQueen

East of Scotland Championship

1. J Grant 42/5; 2. R Thoma, A Burnett 32

West of Scotland Championship

1. JK Shaw 42/5; 2. SR Mannion 4

Allegro Championship:

1. CA McNab 42/5; 2. KS Beaton, SR Mannion, JK Shaw 4

National League:

Div 1: Edinburgh

Scottish Boys Championship

Joe Redpath and David Sime 4/5

Scottish Girls Championship

Not contested

Age Championships*

U15 G Tyre 4/5, U14 Derek Rooney 4/5, U13 Steven Tweedie 4½/5, U12 Peter Stewart 4½/5, U11 Kathleen Rutherford 7/7, U10 Alistair Melvin 4/5, U9 Blair Hawthorne 5/5, U8 Ian McGregor 4/4

Scottish Primary Individual Championship*

Christopher MacDonald (on tie break ahead of Peter Stewart)

Scottish Schools' Team Championship *

St Margaret’s (Airdrie) on tie break from Robert Gordon’s (Aberdeen)

Scottish Primary Team Championship *

Mile End (Aberdeen)

Club team*

Primary - Quarryhill (Aberdeen); Under 15 Quarryhill

* Organised by the Scottish Junior Chess Association

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of the Scottish Chess Association

held on Monday 19th July 1999 in Edinburgh Chess Club, Alva St, Edinburgh

About 40 members attended. John M Glendinning (president) occupied the chair.

Meeting opened at 8.05pm following an entertaining thirty minute presentation by Edinburgh Chess Club on the history of Edinburgh Chess Club from its foundation in the early 19th century.

The President welcomed all present to the meeting and intimated that Paul Motwani would be holding a talk after the AGM in the same venue and all were welcome to stay.

1. Apologies for absence

Received from Terry Purkins of Edinburgh Chess Club

2a. Minutes of last meetings – both the AGM held in July 1998 and the Special General Meeting (SGM) held in October 1998 (circulated prior to the meeting)

The SGM minutes were read by the President and the AGM minutes were taken as per the circulated copies.

2b. Matters arising from the minutes

Ken Stewart corrected the count on the vote at the SGM to 36 votes against 10. George Clarke commented that the SGM should have been mentioned in the reports from the management board circulated before the meeting.

  1. Management Board report(s)

The President commented that the intention was not to peruse the board’s report paragraph by paragraph since it had been circulated already. The previous season had been "a frustrating year" with diversions taking the attention from the plans that had been laid down in the previous season but with successes that included the positioning of the new Board, in changing the way in which services were provided for members, in creating and then improving the successful SCA web site, in becoming involved in the Chess as a Sport campaign, and in laying the groundwork for reviewing the financial position of chess in Scotland. Details of the industrial tribunal process involving Frank Banaghan had been circulated prior to the AGM.

He added that although little had been achieved in the past year due to the diversions, the SCA was now well positioned to move forward in the coming year.

He then asked that the meeting be spilt into questions arising from the various reports presented by the board and then separately examine any questions regarding the financial report(s).

George Clarke asked about the development teams that had been set up at the end of the previous season and whether reports from these teams had been omitted from the board reports. The President replied that there had been no activity within these teams and hence there had been no report. George Clarke commented that there should have been even a "nothing to report" report from those teams that had been set up. The President commented that there was a reference to the teams having not moved forward and that the minutes should record both the reference to the SGM and to the minimal activity within the development teams. He repeated that the SCA was now more strongly placed to carry forward the plans laid down last season.

George Clarke also asked about the circulation numbers of the Scottish Chess magazine and where this figure was recorded in the board reports. Douglas Bryson answered that the figures in the membership report showed how many members subscribed to the magazine via their SCA membership and that about another 50 were distributed (40 to the SJCA and about 10 to other persons not on the SCA membership list) It was agreed that the actual circulation numbers should be included in next year’s reports to the AGM.

The President then asked for questions regarding the financial report(s).

With no questions regarding the financial statements the Board’s reports (subject to the minuted alterations) were proposed by George Clarke and seconded by George Anderson

No contrary motions nor opposition to the reports were placed so the Board’s reports were approved by the meeting.

4. Election of Office bearers

Ken Stewart took the chair for the election of the president. John Glendinning was elected unopposed. Walter Munn was then elected Honorary President and LR McKenzie was elected Treasurer, also unopposed.

It was noted that although Keith Oswald had been appointed as auditor in the previous season that the accounts had not been audited prior to this meeting. The President intimated that this had been due to Keith being on holiday. He suggested that Keith Oswald continue as auditor and that after auditing the current year’s accounts he continue as auditor for the next season. Keith was therefore proposed by W Rutherford, seconded by George Anderson. There being no other nominations this was accepted by the meeting. It was noted that the current accounts should be audited as soon as possible.

The three Club representatives to the SCA Council were then elected as:

Edinburgh CC, Stirling CC and Cathcart CC with no other nominations. Individual representatives were elected as Allan Plato, Donald Wilson and Maureen Mathie, with no other nominations. Congress representatives were Perth and Aberdeen.

5. Any other competent business

The dates for the Scottish Congress 2000 were set as July 15th to July 22nd 2000. Venue provisionally intimated as Glasgow Caledonian University.

Allan Plato asked whether responsibilities on the SCA board had been split OK since there seemed to be a deficiency in the fund raising area with the loss of Alan McGowan from the board. The President stated that the Council meeting in September/October dealt with the actual division of duties.

All those attending were asked to sign the visitors book of the Edinburgh Chess Club.

The President then closed the meeting at 8.35pm.