Scottish Championship 1947

compiled by Alan McGowan

BCM 1947, June, pp 183/4
The 54th Annual Congress of the Scottish Chess Association was held at Easter, in the Burgh Court Room, Dundee, under the auspices of the Dundee CC as part of their Centenary Celebrations. The number of entries for the Championship was disappointingly small and the absence of the British Champion [R.F. Combe] through the claims of business was particularly regretted: the other tournaments, however, were well supported, mainly by entrants from Dundee.

Scottish Championship 1947

1

2

3

4

5

 

1

W.A. Fairhurst

 

½

1

1

½

3

2

A.G. Burnett

½

 

½

1

1

3

3

Dr. J.M. Aitken

0

½

 

½

1

2

4

E.G.W. Beckingham

0

0

½

 

½

1

5

K.F. Roth

½

0

0

½

 

1

 

The tie between Fairhurst and Burnett in this tournament will be determined by a match of four games to be played in Edinburgh or Glasgow. [Fairhurst won the play-off - AMcG]

The surprise of the Congress was the very good showing of Burnett who played the openings soundly and the middle game in energetic and enterprising style: he will do still better if he can improve his technique in the ending and the transition to it. In the first round this weakness of his allowed Aitken to escape with a draw from a lost position; on the other hand, in his vital last round game against Fairhurst, Burnett showed resourcefulness in ultimately reaching a level position after he had appeared to have distinctly the worst of the game.
Burnett is a former Scottish Boys Champion and has competed formerly in the Scottish Championship though this is much his best achievement in the tournament. He was known before the war as one of the more promising of the younger Scottish players and in 1939 played a practice match of four games with Aitken, the latter winning by 2½ to 1½. The present championship was his first chess appearance since the war and his form is thus all the more creditable.
Fairhurst had only once the inferior position—in the later stages of his game against Roth—but even then was never in real danger of losing. His play was somewhat below the high standard he has set in this Championship s is shown by the fact that Burnett and Roth both drew from inferior (probably lost) positions. In his game against Beckingham, however, which is given below Fairhurst produced the most artistic win of the tournament.
Aitken made a very bad start with ½ in the first two rounds and could naturally not recover the lost ground. Roth, who has had some useful practice with Combe, seemed rather stronger than last year. Beckingham, who has few opportunities for first-class practice, seldom appeared likely to win; but he always put up a determined resistance and was never easy to beat.
The tournament was efficiently organised by the Dundee Cc under the genial chairmanship of the President of the S.C.A., Mr. C.S. Forbes, who entertained the competitors to a dinner halfway through the Congress—a practice to be recommended to chess organisers in general. The Dundee Civic authorities supported the tournament by providing us with the room for play and Lord Provost Powrie opened the Congress and presented the prizes at the closing session.
The annual general meeting of the S.C.A. was held during the Congress. At it an invitation to play the next tournament in Edinburgh was accepted.

(1) Fairhurst,W - Beckingham,E [D71]

Scottish Championship Dundee (4), 1947

Notes from the BCM 1947, pp 184/5. 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 g6 3 g3 d5 4 cxd5 Nxd5 5 Bg2 c6 [ This is natural but too slow. White will get a strong centre by P-K4 and Black must try hard for some counter-play: the consequences of passive defence are well shown by this game. Thus 5 ..Bg7 6 Nf3 00 and if 7 00 c5 is a more promising line (Stahlberg-Mikenas, Kemeri 1939).] 6 Nf3 Bg7 7 00 00 8 e4 Nb6 9 h3 N8d7 10 Nc3 Nf6 11 Qe2 Be6 12 Rd1 Bc4 13 Qc2 White has now an admirable position which he proceeds to strengthen by gaining space on the Queen side. Meanwhile Black can attempt little: he has no actual weaknesses so far but his cramped position and insifficient hold on th centre gives him no counter-play. 13 ..Ba6 14 b3 Rc8 15 a4 Na8 16 Ba3 Nc7 17 b4 b6 18 Qb3 Bb7 19 Re1 Ne6 20 Rad1 Ne8 21 Ne2 N8c7 White's position has now apparently reached its maximum efficiency: but he still has to find the best means of breaking through. Fairhurst finds an elegant solution to the problem and in the process lures the Black Queen into a trap. 22 Bc1 Qd6 Black clearly desires to prepare for playing a Rook to Q1 with central pressure and to encourage P-K5 (which gives him the square Q4) while discouraging Kt-K5. But White now first gains a tempo and then plays Kt-K5 all the same. 23 Ba3 Qd8 24 Bb2 Qd6 25 Ne5! Nxd4 If Black refuses the sacrifice White continues by P-B4 and will break through by P-K5 and P-B5 after suitable preparation. 26 Nxd4 Qxe5 27 f4 Qh5 [ Forced. If 27 ..Qf6 28 e5 wins the Queen while if; 27 ..Qd6 28 Nf5 wins the exchange.] 28 e5 Nd5 29 b5 e6 30 bxc6 Bxc6 31 Ba3 Rfd8 [ Overlooking White's decisive 33rd move. After the better move 31 ..Rfe8 White does best not to rush matters but to play the quiet 32 Kh2 with the threat to win the Queen by Bc1 and Bf3. THere is no satisfactory defence: an interesting possibility is 32 ..Bf8 33 Bc1 Qh6 34 f5 Qg7 35 f6 Qh8 36 Nxc6 Rxc6 37 Bb2 -- with the deadly threat of 38 Rxd5 exd5 39 e6] 32 Nxc6 Rxc6 33 Be7! Re8 [ 33 ..Rc3 34 Qxc3 Nxc3 35 Rxd8+ Bf8 36 Rxf8+ Kg7 37 Rc8 g5 38 Bf6+ Kg6 39 g4 forces mate. The rest needs no comment.] 34 Rxd5 exd5 35 g4 Qh6 36 Bg5 Qxg5 37 fxg5 Bxe5 38 Kh1 Kg7 39 Bxd5 Rc3 40 Qxc3 10

 


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