OBAN CHESS CONGRESS ATTRACTS SCOTLAND'S TOP PLAYERS
November 21-23, 2003
The 10th Oban chess congress took place this weekend in the Royal Hotel,
Oban. Numbers were again high at 166 entrants with one Grand Master
and three International Masters competing in the Open Tournament. Many
of the players were accompanied by partners, friends and family who
came to Oban to experience the congress which is now established as
a firm favourite with chess players throughout the country.
It is estimated that in total, over 300 visitors travelled from across
the country, with 10 players making the journey north from England.
Over £1350 of sponsorship money was raised locally from numerous
local businesses. Without their generous support the Congress would
not have gone ahead. Due to the large numbers, additional tables were
required which the Corran Halls and St Columba's Cathedral Hall kindly
donated at short notice. The Congress organisers - Iain MacDonald, Duncan
Campbell, Alan Murphy and Jonathan Davies, estimate that over £30,000
was spent by their visitors in Oban over the weekend which would inject
£120,000 into the local economy in real terms.
There were four tournaments in the Congress - Open, Challengers, Major
and Minor. These catered for the differing playing strengths with prizes
in each tournament, the prize money totalling £1825. Caithness
Glass kindly donated superb glass crystal trophies for each tournament
winner and these were fiercely competed for. All the winners commented
on how they valued their trophies above any cash prize.
Play consisted of five games held over the duration of the weekend,
one game on Friday evening, two on Saturday and two on Sunday. The Swiss
pairing system was used which meant players were paired according to
strength and performance over the weekend. One point was awarded for
each win and ½ point for each draw. Players ranged in strength.
from Grandmaster to beginners. All ages were represented in each tournament.
A total of 8 Oban Chess Club players competed in all tournaments of
the Congress ensuring Argyll was well represented. John Treasurer, one
of Oban Chess Club's latest members did very well to secure 3 points
out of five in the very competitive Open Tournament. Duncan Campbell
and Dave Gillespie acted as Arbiters with Alan Murphy and Iain MacDonald
concentrating on running the event.
Yet again, the congress arranged social events for our guests. The
Royal Hotel provided a reception buffet on the Friday evening while
on the Saturday night Craig Munro hosted a quiz which was enjoyed by
all. The bar remained open until the wee hours by which time chess boards
had been produced so that moves could be analyised and argued over.
At the close of play on Sunday evening, The Royal produced another buffet,
which was eagerly devoured by the battle weary players and all concerned.
Following this, the Prize giving ceremony took place. Presenting the
prizes and trophies were Fiona Sharples, Manager of Caithness Glass,
Oban and Laura Collins of Chess.Scotland. All of our visitors commented
how much they had enjoyed their time in Oban with the vast majority
saying they intended travelling back next year for the 11th Congress.
This will be held on the 26th to 28th of November 2004 once again in
the Royal. Oban Chess club meets every Wednesday Night in The Royal
Hotel and welcomes anyone along with an interest in Chess. Contact Alan
Murphy, Team Captain on 01631 565373 for further details. The results
of the Congress are on the following page.
Open - 1st= Neil Berry,
IM Colin Crouch (trophy), GM Colin McNab 4/5
1st Douglas McKerracher 5/5
Major - 1st Mark Monaghan
Minor - 1st David Cubitt
Click the event headers for grading information
Released by THE OBAN CHESS CONGRESS COMMITTEE
Iain MacDonald, Duncan Campbell, Alan Murphy, Jonathan Davies.