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Glorney-Gilbert International 2015
Glorney: Lennart Koehn, Declan Shafi, Carl Milton, Jamie Underwood, Ben He.
Gilbert: Caitlin Reid, Rachel-Lorna Smith, Stuthi Hegde.
Robinson: Kai Pannwitz, Euan Gray, Callum Smith, Siddharth Berera, Lukah Connolly-Sams, Euan Dawson.
Stokes: Ben Volland, Jake Sanger, Andrew McMillan, James Hartman, John Morrison, Dietah Connolly-Sams.
The accompanying adults are Matthew Turner, Hamish Olson, Alastair Dawson, Alison Smith and Calum MacQueen.
Alastair Dawson, reporting from Meath
Day 3 report:
GLORNEY - GILBERT JUNIOR INTERNATIONAL 2015
Report by Alastair Dawson: Day Three (last)
So the final day started with pairings against England. With aggregate game points deciding the team places, all was to play for. In the Gilbert, Scotland struggled against much higher graded opponents with Stuthi Hegde continuing her good form with a very creditable draw but the team losing 0.5-2.5.
In the Glorney, Scotland also found it tough going with Lennart Koehn and Jamie Underwood being the only two to draw their matches. The scoreline of 1-4 does not reflect the huge effort the boys put in with most matches going down to complex endgames.
In the Robinson, the team excelled with wins from Kai Pannwitz and Lukah Connolly-Sams and draws from Euan Gray, Callum Smith and Siddarth Berera. This resulted in cheers all round with a whopping 3.5-2.5 win over the auld enemy. From the games, special praise goes to Kai Pannwitz for quality power play where two pawns on the 6th rank supported by major and minor pieces decided the game.
In the Stokes, the U-12s found the strength of the England juniors too much on the day with successes limited to a winning kingside attack from John Morrison together with draws from Jake Sanger and Andrew MacMillan leading to a 2-4 loss.
And so to the afternoon and Wales. After lunch and a short interlude out in the fresh air, the players returned to their boards for the final push. In the Gilbert, losses on boards 1 and 2 were compensated for by yet another fine performance by Stuthi Hegde who won the individual board prize with 2.5 points. The result confirmed Scotland in 4th place and England as the winners on board count. Caitlin, Rachel and Stuthi played some sparkling chess throughout the tournament and they deserve every credit for their respective performances against much higher-graded opponents.
In the Glorney, Scotland turned on the style in the afternoon with a whitewash 5-0 victory over Wales. Declan Shafi won the board prize with 3.5 while Ireland and England tied for first place. There was little between the teams but Ireland were awarded winners on a board count of +1. So many congratulations to Ireland as the winners of the 2015 Glorney Cup.
In the Robinson, wins from Kai Pannwitz, Euan Gray together with a win late in the afternoon from Euan Dawson forced a 3-3 draw with Wales. Overall the tournament was won by a very strong Ireland team with Scotland just a single game point behind Wales in 4th place. Euan Gray, Kai Pannwitz and Euan Dawson were top scorers each with 3 with Kai Pannwitz deservedly being awarded the individual board medal.
In the Stokes, Scotland also drew 3-3 with Wales with wins from Ben Volland, Jake Sanger and James Hartman. Ben Volland was Scotland's top scorer in all competitions with 4 points and won the individual board medal. Scotland finished in 4th place while England edged out Wales by half a point for 1st place.
To conclude, sincere thanks goes to the Irish Chess Union for putting on such a fantastic tournament enjoyed by all. Special thanks should also go to Calum MacQueen for the huge effort in the management of the Scotland teams - he is an inspiration to all of us. Thanks should also be expressed to the coaches, Hamish Olson, Calum and GM Matthew Turner. In particular Matthew's coaching continues to be inspirational for the children. Finally thank you to the parents, especially to Liz Connolly-Sams, Billy Reid and Alison Smith whose efforts behind the scenes held everything together.
Day 2 report: Scotland were paired in the morning against Wales and in the afternoon against Ireland. The coaches and parents were noticing that some of the players who had played 9 days of gruelling chess previously in the Scottish Championship were starting to show signs of fatigue. Nevertheless, the standard of play in the morning was very high and there were again some notable successes. With the sum of game points being aggregated for the final match scores, every point was the subject of fierce competition.
In the Gilbert, the Scottish girls competed hard against Wales with Stuthi Hedge gaining a creditable draw. One of the star performances of the morning was a beautiful win by Rachel-Lorna Smith with a decisive queenside attack and the trapping of her opponents bishop in the corner of the board. This match ended in a 1.5-1.5 draw.
In the Glorney, Scotland proved too strong for Wales with nice wins for Ben He, Jamie Underwood and Carl Milton. Lennart Koehn added a draw to win the match 3.5-1.5.
In the Robinson, Wales proved to be too strong for the U-14 team with only Euan Dawson and Siddarth Berera being able to secure draws. Although the match ended 1-5, the scoreline does not tell the story of some battling performances some of which were not concluded until deep in the endgame.
In the Stokes, there was also some disappointment with a 2-4 loss with sparkling wins from Jake Sanger and John Morrison. One of striking features of the squad is that they support each other. So with support from the coaches and parents, the squad rallied round after lunch with all determined to put in strong performances in the afternoon.
Ireland, the afternoon opponents, are developing a formidable array of strong junior players. In the Gilbert, they proved to be too strong for the Scotland team and went down 0-3.
In the Glorney, there were draws for Declan Shafi and Carl Milton. A win for Ben He was insufficient however to win the match with the final result being 2-3.
In the Robinson, Euan Dawson was first to finish. Down a piece in the opening and with the consensus being that a quick resignation was inevitable, he sacrificed the second knight for a forced mate in 4 in front of a shell-shocked opponent. This seemed to spur on the others and after a win for Euan Gray and draws for Callum Smith and Kai Pannwitz a 3-3 draw was achieved.
In the Stokes, Ben Volland produced a truly spectacular knight sacrifice on f2 in the opening of what Hamish Olson described as a sort of reversed Fried Liver Attack, and following a devastating sequence of attacking moves which saw the white king wander across the board, mate quickly followed. Ben's win was followed by a nice win for Andrew MacMillan but it was not enough and the team went down 2-4.
So tomorrow it is the auld enemy England in the morning and then the final match against Wales in the afternoon. The squad is in good spirit and ready for the challenges that tomorrow will bring.
Day 1 report: Scotland’s top juniors started competition in this year’s Glorney Gilbert International. The event is being held at Johnstown House Hotel, Enfield, Co. Meath, Ireland and approximately 40 km north of Dublin. The competition is divided into the Premier Glorney Cup (open) where the nations of Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland compete at U-18 level in teams of 5. The corresponding Gilbert Cup (female) is being contested at U-18 level in teams of 3. In addition, the four nations are competing for the U-14 Robinson Cup and U-12 Stokes Cup (teams of 6 respectively). Each player plays 2 games against their respective opponents from each nation over three days.
On Day 1 we witnessed some quality chess from the Juniors in the different teams. Scotland’s opponent in the morning was England. In the afternoon they played Ireland.
In the Gilbert Cup, team Scotland, represented by Caitlin Reid, Rachel-Lorna Smith and Stuthi Hedge, fought bravely against England in some very long matches but went down 0-3 in the end. In the Glorney Cup, Scotland went down 1.5-3.5 to England in a series of very close games. The star performance was a thumping win by Declan Shafi, our recently crowned Scottish Junior Champion. He was closely followed by a solid draw from Lennart Koehn.
In the Robinson Cup, we also suffered at the hands of England with a 2-4 scoreline. Here, Kai Pannwitz and Euan Gray earned solid draws on Boards 1 and 2. Callum Smith provided the win on Board 3 with strong ending play in a 2 x B vs B + N ending.
The Stokes Cup was a much tighter affair with Scotland succumbing in the end 2.5-3.5. The U-12 players displayed plenty of talent with terrific wins on Boards 1 by Ben Volland and on Board 3 by Andrew MacMillan. A nice draw on Board 6 by Dietah Connolly-Sams made the final half point- so very close to scoring a big upset against the much higher graded England team.
In the afternoon, Scotland were paired against the much fancied Ireland team. In the Gilbert Cup the girls found it hard going with Stuthi Hedge making a very solid draw. The final score of 0.5-2.5 did not reflect the quality of the girls’ play overall.
In the Glorney Cup, Scotland battled incredibly hard with the last 2 games to finish in the tournament hall being those of Carl Milton and Jamie Underwood. Declan Shafi again showed his enormous talent by effortlessly demolishing Scott Mulligan with an impressive queenside attack. A very long match saw Carl Milton also earn a very solid draw. A loss of 1.5-3.5 is not a reflection of the huge effort that the Scottish boys put in here.
The strength of the Ireland teams was also reflected in their play in the Robinson Cup. Here, solid draws from Euan Dawson and and Callum Smith were not enough to prevent a 1-5 defeat. But late on Monday afternoon, it was our valiant U-12s that secured the first team victory with a 3.5-2.5 win over the Ireland team. Three nice wins from Ben Volland, Jake Sanger and James Hartman supplemented by a draw from Dietah Connolly-Sams secured a well-earned victory.
Special mention should go to Ben Volland for a lovely win on the white side of a Caro Kann involving a beautiful knight sacrifice on g6 plus a rook sac to secure mate. This game, that hopefully will appear in the Chess Scotland magazine in the near future, showed that the future of chess in Scotland is in good hands.