03-09-2013, 11:06 PM

A couple of weeks ago, I received this year's grading list through the post, and I realised it was 25 years since I first got a grade in the 1988 grading list.

So I did a comparison to see how things have changed in Scottish Chess over those years.

Personally, my new shiny 1988 grade of 1625 is now 1922, which is nice. And this year I played 72 graded games compared to 14 then.

In 1988, the top 5 players in the grading list were all IMs: Messrs Motwani, McKay, McNab, Pritchett and Condie.

In 2013, the top 5 are GMs: Aagaard, Rowson, Turner, Motwani and McNab.

There are many fewer players in the new list(2253) than in 1988(2855), but there is another interesting statistic.

Number of games processed for 1988 list: 34762. Now, the equivalent figure is 36072.

So there are fewer active players now, but they each play more games.

The most obvious difference between then and now is the decline in over-the-board league chess. In 1987/8 the Glasgow League had divisions 7a and 7b, the Lanarkshire League had 4 divisions and there was a Renfrewshire League.

As an illustration this (as I recall) was the line-up for Holy Cross in Division 4 of the Glasgow League for 1988/89:

P.Coffey, A.Stalker, M.Hanley, A.Jelfs, T.Coffey, D.Lonie, D.Ford, L.Freel. (Yes, we won the division!)

I dug out my scorebook for the 1987/88 and 1988/89 seasons to see which of my then opponents are still active.

I found the following names which are still in the current list:

D.Ross, P.Scullion, S.Smith, J.Banks, A.Gillies (a J16 graded 1990!) and D.Holmes.

Some things don't change though - in one of my games from 1988, where I'm Black in an e4/e5 game, I have added a note ?! to 5. ... Qe7. Twenty-five years on, I am still playing dubious Qe7 moves in e4/e5 games :-)

So I did a comparison to see how things have changed in Scottish Chess over those years.

Personally, my new shiny 1988 grade of 1625 is now 1922, which is nice. And this year I played 72 graded games compared to 14 then.

In 1988, the top 5 players in the grading list were all IMs: Messrs Motwani, McKay, McNab, Pritchett and Condie.

In 2013, the top 5 are GMs: Aagaard, Rowson, Turner, Motwani and McNab.

There are many fewer players in the new list(2253) than in 1988(2855), but there is another interesting statistic.

Number of games processed for 1988 list: 34762. Now, the equivalent figure is 36072.

So there are fewer active players now, but they each play more games.

The most obvious difference between then and now is the decline in over-the-board league chess. In 1987/8 the Glasgow League had divisions 7a and 7b, the Lanarkshire League had 4 divisions and there was a Renfrewshire League.

As an illustration this (as I recall) was the line-up for Holy Cross in Division 4 of the Glasgow League for 1988/89:

P.Coffey, A.Stalker, M.Hanley, A.Jelfs, T.Coffey, D.Lonie, D.Ford, L.Freel. (Yes, we won the division!)

I dug out my scorebook for the 1987/88 and 1988/89 seasons to see which of my then opponents are still active.

I found the following names which are still in the current list:

D.Ross, P.Scullion, S.Smith, J.Banks, A.Gillies (a J16 graded 1990!) and D.Holmes.

Some things don't change though - in one of my games from 1988, where I'm Black in an e4/e5 game, I have added a note ?! to 5. ... Qe7. Twenty-five years on, I am still playing dubious Qe7 moves in e4/e5 games :-)

I get my kicks above the waistline, sunshine