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Hamilton Congress - robin moore - 07-02-2012

I hope Andy McCulloch is wearing his best anti-junior suit this weekend, it looks like he is going to need it! I can confirm that there is no truth whatsoever in the rumour circulating that David Congalton bunged Mike Hanley a couple of bob to make sure he lowered the grading limit for the minor, ensuring that David escaped into the major.


Re: Hamilton Congress - Andy Howie - 12-02-2012

Pics from this weekends festivites

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Re: Hamilton Congress - David G Congalton - 13-02-2012

I enjoyed this event very much. Thanks to Michael Hanley for organising it, Andy Howie and Donald Wilson for arbitering and to all who helped in the kitchen, providing coffee and sustenance at very reasonable prices.

I'm not a great fan of tournaments that have 3 rounds on a Saturday but I play them because I get there sometimes has to be a compromise due to venue costs and it can be the only way to fit in 5 rounds, keep entry fees low and still have reasonable prize money after the bills have been paid. I play because I enjoy it though and would, in all likeliehood play if there wasn't any prize money to be won and the only incentives were grading or grand prix points.

I like the venue as it has all the basics plus hot food and refreshments, at prices that don't break the bank. It's easy to park and parking is free.

The congress itself was quite a sociable event and it's good to see old friends and new.

Looking around during the weekend when I wasn't focused on the pieces on the board I was struck by the diversity in ages of thsoe taking part and across all of the sections. There's the likes of Daniel Thomas, Daniel Deary, Murad Abdulla, Kai Pannwitz and Lennart Koehn mixing it up in the top section with players who have been around the chess scene for longer than some of the kids have been on the planet.

The major section also had it's share of young guns looking to make their mark and take grading points of their elders and the minor section was probably a 50/50 split.

Overall, the old guard probably got the better of the young ones this time around, though not without a fight. It's nice to see a mixture of youth and experience picking up the prizes and good to see some of the newer tournament players, such as Thomas Jose and Mike Mitchell finishing at the top of their sections. Also fun, is watching the rivalry of father and son, playing in the same congress and trying to outscore and in Daniel and Phil Thomas case, outplay, each other.

Did Liam Richmond really want his dad to lose his last game, so that Liam could finish clear of him? You bet he did.

It was good to see a lot of the kids sporting their Scottish International apparrel. I'm sure this didn't just spontaneously happen, so well done to whoever thought of that one. I'm sure it generates team spirit, a sense of togetherness and lots of other benefits, as well as highlighting the number of juniors who are in the international reckoning and making their presence highly visible. It also marks them out to adults who, should they find themselves paired with one, have the option of treating them with respect over the chess board or locking them in a cupboard for a half hour or so at the start of the round. May I suggest they get surnames and initials if necessary, on the back of their tops, a la football style, in order that adults who do not know Alexander Bond from Darren Gillies can ensure they lock the correct opponent in the cupboard.


Re: Hamilton Congress - Phil Thomas - 14-02-2012

its certainly true David,

I have been around longer than Daniel Thomas has been on the planet. Tongue

I hung around on Saturday evening only to find out that it was Daniel in round 4. I was rewarded by an inspirational text from Jacqui the night before the game stating " I hope you lose"

As in previous games we did not talk about a swift draw beforehand, therefore we were both out to win.
He nearly beat me this time - perhaps he can play better than me but it seems I am still ahead on swindling ability.

PS
Game was drawn, 4 passed pawns on the board but neither player dared break the repetition.


Re: Hamilton Congress - Andy Howie - 14-02-2012

Phil Thomas Wrote:I hung around on Saturday evening only to find out that it was Daniel in round 4. I was rewarded by an inspirational text from Jacqui the night before the game stating " I hope you lose"


I got a better one from Jac, "I have been trying to call Phil's phone so he can get Dq'd" Big Grin


Re: Hamilton Congress - Phil Thomas - 14-02-2012

I suggested Jacqui send Daniel a good luck message during the game - then he would get disqualified - with it being his message on the phone we were sharing that day.


Re: Hamilton Congress - robin moore - 14-02-2012

David Congalton wrote....

Quote:It was good to see a lot of the kids sporting their Scottish International apparrel. I'm sure this didn't just spontaneously happen, so well done to whoever thought of that one. I'm sure it generates team spirit, a sense of togetherness and lots of other benefits, as well as highlighting the number of juniors who are in the international reckoning and making their presence highly visible.

Ok, it was me. There are lots of other benefits to this and I will touch on a couple of them...

A pride in being good enough to represent your country.

The importance of being part of a squad of all ages and from every area of our country.

I was delighted by the number of adults who approached me to comment on our juniors smart appearance, focus, approach and attitude. The present regime have inherited a wonderful legacy thanks to some massively unselfish hard work from those previously in charge. We are trying hard to build on it and feel we are making progress. In years to come it will be someone else's turn to come in with new impetus and fresh ideas. I hope they will receive the same wonderful support we have now.

Robin.


Re: Hamilton Congress - Phil Thomas - 15-02-2012

Thanks for the kind comments Robin,

A couple of things worth adding.

The adult entries for this particular stars barred event provided a highly suitable set of opponents for the juniors strong enough to enter it. This I know was not the reasoning but was a welcome by product.

As a measurement of the strength of the current squad of players I note that there are current players appearing in the all time lists at these age groups. 19 years , 17, 16, 12, 11. I don't recall any previous times with 5 players achieving this. Those 5 players already have grades higher enough to appear in the next annual update of all time strongest players. Additionally there are 3 other juniors who played at Hamilton with a realistic chance of gaining a few more grading points to move onto the all time lists in July.

Before anyone else says it .............It is wrong to concentrate solely of grade as a measure of progress and potential. But at times like this its good to spend some time considering the overall stats.


Re: Hamilton Congress - Jacqui Thomas - 15-02-2012

robin moore Wrote:David Congalton wrote....

Quote:It was good to see a lot of the kids sporting their Scottish International apparrel. I'm sure this didn't just spontaneously happen, so well done to whoever thought of that one. I'm sure it generates team spirit, a sense of togetherness and lots of other benefits, as well as highlighting the number of juniors who are in the international reckoning and making their presence highly visible.

Ok, it was me. There are lots of other benefits to this and I will touch on a couple of them...
A pride in being good enough to represent your country.
The importance of being part of a squad of all ages and from every area of our country.
I was delighted by the number of adults who approached me to comment on our juniors smart appearance, focus, approach and attitude.

Robin.

Its fantastic that the new squad tracksuits are having a visual impact which along with the benefits Robin lists above is a great reason to have them & obviously more so when travelling away to International events as you will be amazed at some of the other countries kit & accessories. BUT I think its a shame that yet again the parents had to dig deep in their pockets for them. I doubt we will be able to place a minimum order again for quite a while but achieved it purely by parental support.

I have personally made some enquiries to try & gain sponsorship to pay for these which could be as shown a quick visual advertising route for any sponsor. Surely somewhere in the Scottish chess world people have contacts to sponsor for something like this which is in the region of £1500 to kit out the squad.

If anyone has any contacts can you please pass on the details to Robin or Paul McDonald