At scottishchesschampionship.com we are going to be looking at everything to do with this unique and enjoyable tournament. Unlike many other tournaments throughout the world, which are run by FIDE, this is a competition that is run by Chess Scotland, which was previously called the Scottish Chess Association.
This is a tournament that goes way back in history and was originally founded in 1884 and is still going as strong as ever. We want to celebrate this unique and historical chess event by looking at what has been, what is happening now and what is yet to come. One thing is for sure, this is a tournament that is going to go on for many years to come.
The Scottish Chess Championship
The Scottish Chess Championship takes the form of a nine-round tournament that is played over the course of two weekends and the week in between. It begins with auxiliary tournaments – such as a senior championship and grading-limited sections that take place over the first seven days. This is followed by a Weekend Congress on the second weekend.
When the tournament first came about, participation was by invitation only. This competition could only be won by a player who would be eligible to compete internationally for Scotland. However, there are times when a titled player from another country has been invited to compete in order to make title norms more likely.
Despite the popularity of the competition as it is, in 2008, the Championship was replaced by an International Open. The way they determined the Scottish Champion was by awarding the title to the highest ranking Scottish player. The year after this came about, the tournament attracted an impressive nine Grand Masters from the higher echelons of the chess world.
The tournament has gone from strength to strength since the introduction of international players. It is now a recognised tournament with some of the top chess names gracing the match list.
The 2017 Championships
The 2017 Scottish Chess Championship and International Open 2017 was held between 15 to 23 July 2017 in Dundee and Angus. This was the 124th Championship which makes it one of the oldest continuously running chess events in the world. Despite the fact that several of Scotland’s titled players took part in the Championship and Open, the tournament still had an impressive four Grand Masters competing. Needless to say, it was a tough competition with some excruciatingly close results.
As the Championship got into the final round, there were several possible winners – this was no one-horse-race. Three players were leading the Scottish Championship and 4 were sharing the lead in the senior division.
However, when the final curtain came down, the crown went to Grand Master from Ukraine, Andrei Maksimenko. Closely following him was FIDE Master Tim Wall and third place was shared by several players: Grand Master Oleg Korneev, Grand Master Mark Hebden, Grand Master Daniel Gormally, FIDE Master Berd Baum and FIDE Master Richard Britton.
There were other competitions in play also, with the seniors being won by Roddy McKay who scraped a win against veteran champion Gerald Bonner. Then there was the Scottish junior title which was won by Murad Abdulla with the girls’ title being scooped by Rachel Smith. Murad Abdulla had a fantastic tournament in all and as a result of this he was awarded a FIDE Master title.
Other subsidiary events that took place were the Schools’ Championship which saw Jonathan McKay sealing his victory. Then there was an exciting three-way tie for the Senior U1850 title between Jim Anderson, William Clinton and Adam Walkiowak. There was also the U1850 which was won by Geoffrey Brown and Robert Clegg. Exciting player Grand Master Keith Markell had a great tournament with wins in both the Blitz and Rapidplay.
Chess Scotland is the governing body of this historical tournament. It was created in its current form in 2001 after a merger of the Scottish Chess Association and the Scottish Junior Chess Association. If you are interested in taking up chess, then this is a body that very much encourages it, providing a large number of chess clubs throughout Scotland. There are over 65 clubs available in the country from Dumfries to Inverness. You can also locate specialised chess coaching to improve your game. This then leads you to the option of joining Chess Scotland.
Joining chess Scotland is a simple and secure process that offers you many benefits as a chess player. You could benefit from discounts from top suppliers such as Chess Direct Ltd. As well as this you can get reduced entry fees to most congresses. If you are a more senior player graded <=2150 you can get entry into Chessbase.com Grand Prix and have access to online-grading information. One of the biggest benefits for the best players is entry to the Scottish Championship. As well as this you will receive 6 magazines a year, depending on the type of your membership and finally you will know that you are supporting Chess Scotland by becoming a member.
By beginning your chess journey with Chess Scotland and becoming a member, you could end up as Scottish Champion. If this doesn’t happen then you could always try becoming the Spens Cup Winner, Richardson Cup Winner, Allegro Champion or Player of the Year. Whether you want to play for fun, or take on the best to become a Grand Master then Chess Scotland has it all.