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Glorney and Faber 2015
Oh, the names have been swapped around, I guess right now.
The live chess just keeps on coming. I have even got up early to see the guys in action, dedication or what?

Best of luck guys, take them down.
Lots of very competitive games today and good all round team efforts. Some excellent individual performances too particularly from Declan, Callum and Ben.
The U12 Stokes event is the most closely contested so far with all four nations separated by only two and a half points after the first days play. To be fair, if a couple of things had dropped right for us, Scotland could be in the lead. Remember, this is the event in which we only scored four points in total last year and we have already exceeded that score after the first day!
Hope everyone enjoying themselves and looking forward to more great chess tomorrow.
Can I just wish everyone involved in the Glorney etc tournaments (only a Glorney in my day!). I'm now a senior but I still very warmly recall the buzz we all had in our Glorney team when we represented Scotland. It's very special and you will recall memories for very many years thereafter, not just of games played but of friends made and of new places visited.

To all competitors, make sure that you first of all just enjoy the experience. Play your games as hard and as well as you can (and always sportingly). Have fun, learn from whatever happens and move forward on the basis of what will be a wonderful experience, no matter what results are made. I hope Scotland wins lots of games, of course!

Enjoy! And it does sound as if the Irish Chess Federation are making a great show of this. When the Irish do these things well, it lasts long in the memory!
Posted on behalf of Alastair Dawson, reporting from Meath...if anyone knows how to link this directly to the CS homepage please feel free to do so!


Scotland’s top juniors started competition in this year’s Glorney Gilbert International. The event is being held at Johnstown House Hotel, Enfield, Co. Meath, Ireland and approximately 40 km north of Dublin. The competition is divided into the Premier Glorney Cup (male) where the nations of Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland compete at U-18 level in teams of 5. The corresponding Gilbert Cup (female) is being contested at U-18 level in teams of 3. In addition, the four nations are competing for the U-14 Robinson Cup and U-12 Stokes Cup (teams of 6 respectively). Each player plays 2 games against their respective opponents from each nation over three days.

On Day 1 we witnessed some quality chess from the Juniors in the different teams. Scotland’s opponent in the morning was England. In the afternoon they played Ireland.

In the Gilbert Cup, team Scotland, represented by Caitlin Reid, Rachel-Lorna Smith and Stuthi Hedge, fought bravely against England in some very long matches but went down 0-3 in the end. In the Glorney Cup, Scotland went down 1.5-3.5 to England in a series of very close games. The star performance was a thumping win by Declan Shafi, our recently crowned Scottish Junior Champion. He was closely followed by a solid draw from Lennart Koehn. In the Robinson Cup, we also suffered at the hands of England with a 2-4 scoreline. Here, Kai Pannwitz and Euan Gray earned solid draws on Boards 1 and 2. Callum Smith provided the win on Board 3 with strong ending play in a 2 xB vs B + N ending. The Stokes Cup was a much tighter affair with Scotland succumbing in the end 2.5-3.5. The U-12 players displayed plenty of talent with terrific wins on Boards 1 by Ben Volland and on Board 3 by Andrew MacMillan. A nice draw on Board 6 by Dietah Connolly-Sams made the final half point- so very close to scoring a big upset against the much higher graded England team.

In the afternoon, Scotland were paired against the much fancied Ireland team. In the Gilbert Cup the girls found it hard going with Stuthi Hedge making a very solid draw. The final score of 0.5-2.5 did not reflect the quality of the girls’ play overall. In the Glorney Cup, Scotland battled incredibly hard with the last 2 games to finish in the tournament hall being those of Carl Milton and Jamie Underwood. Declan Shafi again showed his enormous talent by effortlessly demolishing Scott Mulligan with an impressive Queenside attack. A very long match saw Carl Milton also earn a very solid draw. A loss of 1.5-3.5 is not a reflection of the huge effort that the Scottish boys put in here. The strength of the Ireland teams was also reflected in their play in the Robinson Cup. Here, solid draws from Euan Dawson and and Callum Smith were not enough to prevent a 1-5 defeat. But late on Monday afternoon, it was our valiant U-12s that secured the first team victory with a 3.5-2.5 win over the Ireland team. Three nice wins from Ben Volland, Jake Sanger and James Hartman supplemented by a draw from Dietah Connolly-Sams secured a well-earned victory.

Special mention should go to Ben Volland for a lovely win on the White side of a Caro Khan involving a beautiful Knight sacrifice on g6 plus a Rook Sac to secure mate. This game, that hopefully will appear in the Chess Scotland magazine in the near future, showed that the future of chess in Scotland is in good hands.
how come you're in a lavish Irish hotel ? we got a dormitory for all teams in one room
Lots of exciting chess again today and although Scotland are not winning any section, everyone is contributing to a great squad effort.
The U12 Stokes event is still close with all four nations in with a chance of taking the title. Although we are presently fourth, we are only three points off the leaders and quite frankly anything can and has happened in this age group! The four Stokes teams are very evenly matched so two victories tomorrow is far from beyond us.
Below is a link to the Stokes games played so far. Have a look at Daniel Dwyer v our own Ben Volland from round 4.

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Report from Alastair Dawson in Meath

Day 2: Glorney Gilbert International 2015

Scotland were paired in the morning against Wales and in the afternoon against Ireland. The coaches and parents were noticing that some of the players who had played 9 days of gruelling chess previously in the Scottish Championship were starting to show signs of fatigue. Nevertheless, the standard of play in the morning was very high and there were again some notable successes. With the sum of game points being aggregated for the final match scores, every point was the subject of fierce completion.

In the Gilbert, the Scottish girls competed hard against Wales with Stuthi Hedge gaining a creditable draw. One of the star performances of the morning was a beautiful win by Rachel-Lorna Smith with a decisive Queenside attack and the trapping of her opponents bishop in the corner of the board. This match ended in a 1.5-1.5 draw.

In the Glorney, Scotland proved too strong for Wales with nice wins for Ben He, Jamie Underwood and Carl Milton. Lennart Koehn added a draw to win the match 3.5-1.5. In the Robinson, Wales proved to be too strong for the U-14 team with only Euan Dawson and Siddarth Berera being able to secure draws. Although the match ended 1-5, the scoreline does not tell the story of some battling performances some of which were not concluded until deep in the endgame.

In the Stokes, there was also some disappointment with a 2-4 loss with sparkling wins from Jake Sanger and John Morrison. One of striking features of the squad is that they support each other. So with support from the coaches and parents, the squad rallied round after lunch with all determined to put in strong performances in the afternoon.

Ireland, the afternoon opponents, are developing a formidable array of strong junior players. In the Gilbert, they proved to be too strong for the Scotland team and went down 0-3.

In the Glorney, there were draws for Declan Shafi and Carl Milton. A win for Ben He was insufficient however to win the match with the final result being 2-3. In the Robinson, Euan Dawson was first to finish. Down a piece in the opening and with the consensus being that a quick resignation was inevitable, he sacrificed the second Knight for a forced mate in 4 in front of a shell-shocked opponent. This seemed to spur on the others and after a win for Euan Gray and draws for Callum Smith and Kai Pannwitz a 3-3 draw was achieved.

In the Stokes, Ben Volland produced a truly spectacular Knight sacrifice on f2 in the opening of what Hamish Olson described as a sort of reversed Fried Liver Attack, and following a devastating sequence of attacking moves which saw the White King wander across the board, mate quickly followed. Ben's win was followed by a nice win for Andrew MacMillan but it was not enough and the team went down 2-4.

So tomorrow it is the auld enemy England in the morning and then the final match against Wales in the afternoon. The squad is in good spirit and ready for the challenges that tomorrow will bring.
Apologies for not posting during the tournament, but I thought there was quite enough info out there with all the games being live and Alastair's reports. Now it is over, I'll give a little bit of a round up

Firstly, the tournament was amazing, the hotel was superb, the playing venue outstanding and all the games being transmitted live. There was certainly a huge commitment from the Irish to put on a show, demonstrated from the off with us being addressed by the President himself. A very enjoyable feature of the tournament was a blitz and exchange tournament at the end which quite literally took in everyone, parents, players, coaches, the 1963 winning Glorney team etc etc. It had a quintessentially Irish element to it, with the last round starting shortly after 1am; They simply don't stop enjoying themselves. Thanks to Desmond, Patrick and the whole of the Irish organising team we had a tournament that we'll never forget, so many, many thanks. There is no doubt that the Irish were assisted with significant ECU money, but I hope the other nations will take up the challenge and really elevate the status of the Glorney Cup.

Now to the Scottish performance; First of all I should say that the Stokes team finished 4th, the Robinson team 4th, the Gilbert team 4th and the Glorney team 3rd, so there should be no-one in any doubt that at the moment we are playing catch up. The Welsh and the Irish have made significant progress in junior chess and pushed the bar up for Scotland.

I was worried about how the U12's would perform before the tournament and really they as a team provided the stand out Scottish performance. Ben Volland on board 1 was Scotland's MVP, there were some really good players on board 1 and some of Ben's games were special - they are all there online so I urge you to have a look. There was talent elsewhere too and they was some very classical play on the lower boards.

I had high hopes for the U14's and as a team I feel they underperformed. It was certainly a tough competition with the Irish having a very strong squad (I believe two of the Glorney winning side could also have played in the Robinson). Ireland have built on a success in the Stokes in 2013 to build a very strong U14 squad today, Scotland really needs to think about how it can do the same.

I felt the Scottish performance in the Gilbert was rather predictable. The girls played well, looked jolly talented, but found ways not to win. Again, it was a strong competition and pretty much uniquely for this event they were no weak players. Talking to a couple of the Irish guys at the end the Irish Gilbert board three had played in 2014 and really struggled, but she had gone away and over the intervening year put a lot of work into her chess to get herself to the stage where the Irish team could be competitive. Much, I think, to everyone's surprise the Irish team managed to finish level with England, missing out on tie-break. A lot of credit should go to Miss Manojlovic and the Scottish players should take note of what can be achieved. I should just note that Stuthi seemed to grow in confidence and stature throughout the event, partly because of her enforced no draw offering rule, but it looked as if she gained a lot from the experience, so perhaps a player to watch out for.

I wasn't entirely sure what to expect from the Glorney team this year, but as a team they played rather well, but similarly to the Girls they found ways to drop points. An English coach came up to me beaming away after about two and a half hours of the Ireland - Scotland clash, "you are really duffing them up", he said. In fact we lost 3.5 - 1.5. We may even have won the tournament had all the games been adjudicated three quarters of the way through. I don't say that as some sort of excuse or trying to claim that we were robbed of our rightful victory. I think it shows that the other teams often have more tournament experience and can cope with the nerves and pressures of tournament play. I was very pleased that Lennart and Declan had done a significant amount of pre-tournament opponent specific preparation. That really helped and their play and performance certainly reflected that. In future years, more players should be encouraged and helped to do that (throughout all four competitions).

One final thing, the Irish organisers are trying to compile lists of historic Glorney Gilbert (Faber) teams, so if you or someone you know has played in the past then we'd be very grateful if you would get in touch at the Glorney website.

Many thanks to everyone involved.
Thanks Matt and everyone from not only our Scottish squad but all the other nations for making the event in Ireland such a success.

There is no doubt that Ireland and Wales have improved considerably. Ireland are a real force to be reckoned with at all age and gender groups. If their top boards had scored better in the Stokes they could have been closing in on a clean sweep (their board 5 scored 6/6) come the last day's play. Wales strength in girls chess is impressive and well done to them for a lot of good work going on there.

We have some leeway to make up but we have one advantage that suggests grounds for future optimism and that is that many of our squad are at an age which means they are available for selection at this level for years to come, particularly in the Glorney but also in the Gilbert and Stokes. There is no doubt we have some quality players but the depth of our squad is generally shallow and it's extremely difficult to ensure that all of our best players are available for any one named event. The pinnacle international events of the World Youth, Euroyouth and EU youth often follow in the short few months after the Glorney and can be a very expensive outlay for parents. If you have made a commitment financially, coupled with holidays off work to attend say the World Youth in Greece for a fortnight that can be a considerable chunk of the family annual budget.

Quality counts but so does quantity. If we can enlarge our playing squad I feel we can be more competitive. Not easy of course but it's been shown that if the selectors feel you are good enough, irrespective of age, you will get chances to play.

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