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Hastings 11/12
Yeah, some of the boards have been a bit shaky in the past, looks like we've fallen victim to that today.

In Calum's game, I'd have been quite wary about castling queenside with that g7-bishop pointing at me (the White centre looks quite strong, but can be undermined fairly quickly). Was going to say Hebden might castle kingside. To my untrained eye, Calum looks to be doing well enough, though it's early days.

I'm a little worried about Hamish's position - it's quite open and I'm not sure whether he's sufficiently developed. If nothing goes badly wrong in the next three or four moves then I think his prospects are solid.
Think Hamish is just fine now - I felt 18.Bg5 was more to the point than Rad1, though it might not have been that dangerous anyway.
David G Congalton Wrote:
  • David Deary Wrote:On that note answer my text message. ;P

Happy New Year. Available for both. =)

Easier to type on laptop than text on my mobile from the 70's! I'll e-mail you later.

Thanks David,

Just in from work - I now need to catch up on these games.
Growing old is compulsory, growing up is optional!
Calum's game seems quite even now, too. I'm going with white's plan is somehow to attack black's e8 pawn and free his own e-pawn. Not sure how he does that though. :\ I don't really have a winning plan as black just a defensive strategy.

Not sure just how good the two's comparitive endgames are.
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In view of Hugh Brechin's interesting "take" on the 1-0 Hebden-McQueen game today, I think it might be useful to refer to ... Alekhine / Capablanca!! Mark Hebden has a subtle and extremely well researched opening repertoire and wins countless games going back decades with his "strange" 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.Nc3 d5!? (after 3...d6, Black must be prepared for 4.e4!) 4.Bf4 system against the KID.

Some older players may recall that WA Fairhurst also often played this line. I'm willing to bet that both he and Hebden picked it up from the even more distant past ... and quite probably directly from Alekhine's justly famous book on the 1924 New York tournament, where Capa successfully played it.

Alekhine said of 3...d5!? that "it does not seem positionally opportune because (Black's black square) bishop thereafter may be given an outlet only by means of time-robbing efforts. More in the spirit of the fianchetto is ...d6". Of course, it's not at all that simple, but Mark (and Capa / Alekhine) knew that Black still had some work to do before counting on equality.

While I haven't looked at the Hebden-McQueen game carefully, Hebden may have managed to produce yet another finely played win on the variation of the ancient theme of becalming Black's B/g7 and developing play on both flanks while Black tries to find ways to re-activate it! Mark really does know an awful lot about how to play these positions for White ... with, I'm certain, a knowing and awfully big nod to the old guys!!
Most insightful, Craig. Quite fancy getting a hold of the 1924 book now.

Looking at previous games, along the same lines, through Chessbase, Mark Hebden features prominently. I found it quite interesting that he had previously employed 5.e3 until 2006 but from then on (bar 1 occassion in 2010) he adopted 5.Qd2.

A further and more recent development seems to be a change from 10.c4 to 10.Be2, which he played against Clement Sreeves during the British in Sheffield, last year. That game didn't end well for Clement.

If Calum was aware of this game and had something planned based on it, I think it maybe went out the window with Mark's next three moves which diverged from his game in Sheffield.
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Some good performances in the end there - Calum topscoring with 5.5 after a cracking last round win, and excellent to see Jonathan Edwards carding a 50% score and a 2150+ performance, which will I think give him a hefty first rating.
It is great to see such a large and (mostly!) youthful contingent of Scottish players entering the Hastings International and doing so well - it augurs well for the future. We need more FIDE rated events in Scotland.
Alan Borwell Wrote:We need more FIDE rated events in Scotland.

I agree with Alan. This year's Scottish is certainly looking like it could give our players the opportunity to test themselves against each other and other top, titled players.

I'm sure there must be scope to add at least another two FIDE rated events to the calendar, though and I would be interested in the thoughts and opinions of others on the best time of year for such events, possible formats and anything else which might be useful, with a view to organising these events in 2013 or during the 2012-13 season. Although, my initial feeling is that a minimum of twelve months would be needed to properly organise a succesful event, which could become a regular on the calendar.
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