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2600+ Scalp List
July 2013: A second hit for the scalp list this year as FM Neil Berry wins on time against Argentinian GM Fernando Peralta (2622) in the 2nd round of the Andorra Open. Neil jumps into 12th best in the scalp list.
February 2013: After a fallow period of over four years there has been an addition to the scalp list. IM Andrew Muir defeated Bessam Amin (Egypt) 2631 at the Reykjavik Open in Iceland. Andrew jumps into 9th best in the scalp list.
September 2008: Keti Grant defeated Nigel Short at the EU International in Liverpool after the Englishman’s mobile beeped into action in a fairly level position – they all count and Keti jumps to number 6 in the scalp list. Keti had beaten 2600 players before but the list will only include players who were FIDE listed as SCO at the time of the game – Keti switched nationality in January.
GM Jacob Aagaard of Bearsden added two games to the 2600 scalp list with victory against GMs Socko and Landa at the Politiken Cup in July 2008.
Since FIDE ratings only really started around the early 1970s this list omits games prior to that period. eg Captain McKenzie did beat Tarrasch among others. So when time permits another top scalp list would be appropriate which doesn’t fit the strict 2600 arithmetic requirement.
August 2007: Grandmaster Colin McNab of Dundee sped to a first round win in the 5th Staunton Memorial in London by winning a toy car race. The wide expanse of sponsor Jan Mol’s “stunning” Covent Garden apartment was used to race radio controlled cars in a novel method of determining colour allocation for the opening round. McNab, a non driver in real life, took the chequered flag and the advantage of the White pieces for his game against Ivan Sokolov, the Sarajevo born GM, who now represents Holland.
The event honours the name of Howard Staunton, the Briton who was the world’s strongest player in the 1840s, a time before formal world champion titles existed. Staunton put his name to the traditional design of chess pieces still used in all international tournaments to this day.
The Memorial took place at Simpson’s in the Strand, one of London’s best known restaurants and banqueting suites. Simpson’s was a regular location for 19th century chess, the famous “Immortal Game” between Anderssen and Kieseritzky took place here in 1851.
5th Staunton Memorial rd 1, White: C. McNab (Scotland, 2416), Black: I. Sokolov (Netherlands, 2666), 1 Nf3 d5 2 g3 Bg4 3 Bg2 Nd7 4 d3 e6 5 Nbd2 Bd6 6 h3 Bh5 7 e4 c6 8 0-0 Ne7 9 b3 0-0 10 Bb2 a5 11 a3 f6 12 Qe1 e5 13 d4 Qc7 14 c4 Bxf3 15 Bxf3 exd4 16 exd5 c5 17 Qe6+ Kh8 18 Ne4 Nc8 19 Bg2 Ra6 20 Nxd6 Nxd6 21 Qe2 a4 22 b4 b6? Played instantly but Black has overlooked tactics based on the loose rook on a6. 22…Re8 23 Qc2 and only now b6 is fine. 23 Bxd4! Raa8 Played after much sighing and headshaking according to the event website howardstaunton.com. If Black takes the bishop then White plays c5 with a double attack on d6 and a6. 24 bxc5 Nxc5 25 Rae1 Nb3 26 Bc3 Rae8 27 Qh5 Qxc4 28 Bb4 Nc5 29 Rc1 Qb5 30 Rfe1 f5 31 Rxe8 Rxe8 32 Bf1 Qd7 33 Bxc5 bxc5 34 Rxc5 Ne4?? Not a good pick from the world number 44, this blunder guarantees the loss. 35 Bb5 Qd8 36 Qxe8+ Qxe8 37 Bxe8 Nxc5 38 d6 Kg8 39 Bxa4! Kf7 40 d7 Ke7 41 Bb5 f4 42 gxf4 Ne6 43 a4 1-0.
McNab’s victory over 2666 rated Sokolov is the 2nd best scalp ever taken by a Scot. New British Champion Jacob Aagaard holds the top spot with a win against Vallejo Pons, the 2676 rated Spaniard in June. Sokolov, then 2611, was also defeated by Paul Motwani, Dundee’s other GM, at the Istanbul Olympiad in 2000.
June 2007: A new addition to the 2600 scalp list was made when Jacob Aagaard of Bearsden defeated Vallejo Pons in a team tournament in Spain in late June. This 2676 scalp is the best victory by a Scot since modern ratings began almost 40 years ago. Amusingly the Spaniard was also the victim when Scotland no.1 Jonathan Rowson set the previous record in Iceland in 2003 against a then 2662 rated Pons.