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Prestwick 2012
Open Section Update - With British Girls Under 16 Champion and Ayrshire's number one female player, Ali Roy confirming her particpation in this year's Open, there are now 7 confirmed entrants for the section. Five of the seven are titled players - GM Sarunas Sulskis, last years title winner IM Stephen Burns-Mannion, IM Mark Orr of Wandering Dragons, his Dragons team mate FM Alan Tate and FM Peter Jamieson of Glasgow Montrose.

I hope to confirm the particpation soon of the 2011 (and possibly 2012) Ayrshire Champion Elliot Frew of Greenwood and of Steven Brown of Ardrossan and Glasgow Montrose, who at the time of writing is one of only two other who can prevent Elliot retaining the Ayrshire Individual Championships.

How many times has Elliot been Ayrshire champion?

With five titled players from outside Ayrshire and four non-titled players from inside Ayrshire and we down in Ayrshire being a law unto ourselves sometimes, this may be the time to convene an Ayrshire Association meeting and award the title of Ayrshire Grand Master, which will be recognised throughout the County and beyond as a real title, on Ali, Elliot, Stephen, Pat McGovern and anyone else (Joe Parks, Jim Kleboe, Daniel Deary?) who want to have a go at Messrs Sulskis, Burns-Mannion, Orr, Jamieson and Tate. Although from a previous post Pat may already have bestowed such a title on himself.
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I've had a very busy night dealing with entries coming in thick and fast, enquiries, updating entry lists and websites, communicating with the organising team (no, not talking to myself - there is a team) and with the Parkstone hotel. It is brilliant and long may it continue! Well for the next 24 days anyway.

Thank you very much to everybody who has entered so far, we will try and make you all very welcome and do what we can to make the weekend enjoyable. Apologies to anyone I haven't replied to or confirmed their entry with directly, so far. It has been mad. Big Grin

There's still plenty room for plenty more at the weekend congress. Don't miss out if you can possibly make it.

There's also plenty room at the inn (Parkstone Hotel) for the Saturday night event, where the bar will be open to 12:30am, although places are filling up fast, as are the rooms at the hotel.

I'll try and find some time over the next couple of days to post some updates on the Individual sections and the Junior Saturday event, which is suitable for kids of all ages and abilities under the 1000 grade mark. The plan is to split the entrants into sections of similar abilities, so novices will play novices and those with grades will play similar strengthed players.

For now, the good news is that all four trophy winners from last year have confimed they will be returning to defend their titles. IM Stephen Burns-Mannion in the Open, Phil Thomas in the Major, Brian Bonnyman in the Minor and Anna Milton defending the Iain Fraser Junior Trophy. All four trophies were hard won last year and it looks like it will be no easier this year. Can any of the four retain their titles?

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This year's Prestwick Congress has incorporated the 2012 West of Scotland Championships.

Each section will produce a West of Scotland Champion, who will be awarded the West of Scotland Trophy for that level to retain for one year and £50, which they can keep forever should they so wish.

In the past the title West of Scotland Champion has been a very prestigious title but perhaps, in recent years, it has become a little less valued.

It is my desire to restore the title to its previous glory and make the Open, the under 1850 and the under 1450 West of Scotland titles must haves on every West of Scotland players chess CV.

The restoration plan starts in three weeks time when the under 1850 and under 1450 titles are added to the West of Scotland Championships. My plan, should I be allowed to organise future West of Scotland Championships, is to ensure that all 3 of this years West of Scotland Champions have the chance to defend their title next year and also experience the benefits and prestige that should come with being the best player in the West of Scotland.

If you're not in it, you may think you're the best but someone else will have the trophy with their name on it, that says otherwise.
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Minor Section Update - I'm delighted to see so many players I've battled with over the chess board during the past couple of years entered for the minor section. Dave Watson of Corstorphine and Iain Hope of Musselburgh are the latest entrants to the section, that I've faced before, with mixed results. Both are tough players at their best. Also entering today is Derek Brent from Urmston in England.

Good luck to all in the Minor. While others are watching the titled players in the open, I'll be keeping a very close eye on th minor, in preparation for future tournaments. Big Grin
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Would all entrants please check their details on the 2012 entrants page of the congress website and notify me of any errors, such as missing byes etc, by e-mail. The entrants lists contain all entries received at 14:52 on Saturday, April 21st.

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There are now 6 titled players entered for the Open section of the tournament. One GM, 2 IM's and 3 FM's. Mixing it with the masters will be some of Ayrshire's best, some of our top class juniors and some out of town visitors hoping to cause an upset or two.

The playing area is surprisingly quiet for an airport and provides a quality venue for the event. The airport itself has fantastic transport links by rail, road or air. Journey time from Glasgow by car is just 30 minutes. Trains stop at the airport train station, buses stop right outside. It's then a two minute walk to the playing arena.

Car parking is at the same specially negotiated rate as last year of £2.50 per day.

There are section titles, grading prizes, West of Scotland Championships in each section, Junior competitions and a competition for women. All for just £22. Less if you're a Chess Scotland member and/or played last year. Half price if you're a junior.

All that and a chance to see or even play a top Eastern European GrandMaster in a weekend event.

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The Parkstone Hotel is now fully booked for the congress weekend, which is good news for the hotel and the congress in the future.

There are still rooms available in B&B's close by.

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On Friday 4 May 3 rooms available and on Saturday 5 May one room available.

Cost for two people is £60, one person is £40.00.

Golf view... <!-- w --><a class="postlink" href=""></a><!-- w --> Email <!-- e --><a href=""></a><!-- e --> 1x single room £45 pppn 2x double/twin rooms £35 pppn. Telephone number for Golf View is
01292 671 234

Fernbank <!-- w --><a class="postlink" href=""></a><!-- w --> telephone 01292475027 email <!-- e --><a href=""></a><!-- e -->
1x twin £55 per room 1x triple £80 per room, 1x single £35 per room, 1 x small double £50 per room

They are all ensuite and include breakfast. They are about 15 minutes walk from the venue and about 5 minutes walk from the Parkstone hotel where the simul is taking place on the Saturday night.
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Now the 5th biggest weekend congress in Scotland! Big Grin

114 entries in total. 7 Titled players particpating in the Open. 19 Juniors in the weekend events and 13 in the Saturday tournament. 10 entrants in the competition for the woman's trophy, which is 10% of the total entrants. 69 players start the tournament with a chance of being the West of Scotland Champion for their section.

Only 4 days left to get your entry in.

To allow the congress to proceed smoothly, entries will close at 10pm on Thursday, May 3rd. I would suggest anyone wanting to enter does so by e-mail or telephone, as postal entries may not be received in time.

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For anyone thinking of making a last minute entry for Prestwick, the best idea is to e-mail me, as I'll be out tomorrow playing v Carrick in our final match of Division 2 of the Ayrshire league, with possible promotion as the prize. I'll be about from around 7pm on Thursday night after work but will be loading up the equipment, so may not be in the house when the phone rings. There is an answer machine for those who don't want to e-mail, please leave name, section you want to enter and details of any byes required. CS Pnum would be helpful or club or grade.

I won't be able to take any telephone entries after 10pm on Thursday night. I may also not get any postal or e-mail entries that arrive on the Friday as I plan an early start to the airport and may not have e-mail access during the day.

Thanks to all those who have entered so far. I look forward to welcoming you all at the weekend for what I hope will be a great weekend.
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Entries for the weekend congress are now closed.
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