Richardson Cup Champions

The Richardson cup final took place on Saturday 14th April 2018 at Grangemouth between Bon Accord and Glasgow Polytechnic.

Bon Accord started as clear favourites because we were able field almost our strongest possible team. Polytechnic were missing a few of their better players, but their team was still formidable, headed by Grandmaster Colin McNab on board 1.

The results were as follows:

Bd Grade Bon Accord   vs   Polytechnic Grade
1  2158 Abdulla, Murad (FM) B  ½  –  ½ W McNab, Colin A (GM)  2426
2  2229 Bremner, Adam (CM) W  ½  –  ½ B Swan, Iain (FM)  2219
3  2159 Olson, Hamish W  1  –  0 B Watt, David A  1853
4  2159 Gordon, Sean B  1  –  0 W Brookens, Lewis  1763
5  2057 Lothian, Robert B  1  –  0 W Shahin, Jallal  1815
6  2080 Maxwell, Daniel W  1  –  0 B Larkin, John  1640
7  1899 Jennings, Richard L W  1  –  0 B Eldridge, John  1565
8  1879 Irving, Neil B  1  –  0 W Breslin, Daniel  1522
  7  –  1

On the top two boards Murad Abdulla and Adam Bremner efficiently neutralised strong opponents and the remainder of the team were able to defeat lower rated opposition. The games were broadcast live, and can be seen at (

This result was particularly pleasing because our previous Richardson final against Glasgow Polytechnic was a disaster (almost the reverse score) (

Congratulations to Murad, Adam, Hamish, Sean, Bob, Daniel, Richard and Neil for securing the Richardson Cup for Bon Accord for only the second time in the club’s history.

Bon Accord Club Allegro

The annual Bon Accord Allegro chess tournament will be held on Tuesday 4th and Tuesday 11th October.

If you wish to play, please arrive promptly and give your name to the tournament organiser, Jeremy Mitchell.

The format will be three matches per night with pairings made between rounds.

Time control is 25 minutes per player for the entire game.

Richardson Cup Final Results

The Richardson cup final between Bon Accord and Edinburgh was played at Grangemouth sports centre on Saturday 23rd April 2016.

Bon Accord were heavily outrated on all boards and although the first two games to finish were both draws the remainder of the games proceeded per rating and we lost 7 – 1. Although the result in the final was disappointing reaching the final was a considerable achievement.

Thanks to Hamish Olson for captaining the team, and congratulations to Edinburgh chess club – winners of the 2016 Richardson cup.

The results were as follows (FIDE ratings in brackets).

Bon Accord Edinburgh
1 B Hamish Olson 2212 (2072) 0 1 FM Clement Sreeves 2340 (2339)
2 W Bob Lothian 2034 (2130) 0 1 FM Neil Berry 2288 (2351)
3 B Murad Abdulla 2027 (2065) 0 1 Calum MacQueen 2259 (2253)
4 W Daniel Maxwell 2056 (2031) ½ ½ Andrew Green 2207 (2153)
5 B Duncan Harwood 1950 (2022) 0 1 Petros Walden 2145 (2176)
6 W Mike Cavanagh 1888 ½ ½ David Oswald 2123 (2088)
7 B Richard Jennings 1878 (1866) 0 1 Daniel McGowan 2113 (2148)
8 W Euan Gray 1656 (1904) 0 1 Hugh Brechin 2078 (2087)
1 7

Richardson Cup Final

The final of the 2016 Richardson Cup between Bon Accord and Edinburgh takes place on 12:00 am Saturday 23rd April at the Grangemouth sports complex.

Edinburgh are likely to be the rating favourites but over the past three years we have been second favourite in most of our Richardson cup matches, and only lost once.

The games are likely to be broadcast live on the Chess Scotland Website

Richardson Cup Semi Final

The semi-final of the 2016 Richardson cup between Bon Accord and Edinburgh West was played at Alison’s bar in Dundee on Saturday the 12th March.

Team captain Hamish Olson described the match on facebook:

“It was a tense match and after four hours of play we found ourselves 3-1 down but it was looking good on the remaining boards and eventually we converted our good positions into full points. With about 10 minutes left, Mike was offered a draw by Alan Bell and after stalling for a nerve wracking five minutes waiting for Euan to find the win in a messy position, Euan played the winning move and Mike took the draw. 5 minutes later the decision was vindicated and we had done it!”

The results were as follows (FIDE ratings in brackets).

Bon Accord Edinburgh West
1 B Hamish Olson 2212 (2076) 0 1 IM Craig Pritchett 2262 (2333)
2 W Adam Bremner 2244 (2200) ½ ½ Jonathan Grant 2132 (2224)
3 B Murad Abdulla 2027 (2060) ½ ½ George Neave 2130 (2144)
4 W Bob Lothian 2034 (2109) 1 0 Walter Buchanan 2124 (2126)
5 B Duncan Harwood 1950 (2029) 0 1 Neil Farrell 2066 (2122)
6 W Mike Cavanagh 1888 ½ ½ Alan Bell 1956 (1968)
7 B Richard Jennings 1878 (1874) 1 0 Duncan Walker 1822 (1934)
8 W Euan Gray 1656 (1881) 1 0 Ian McLean 1775 (1929)

As a result of this match Bon Accord have reached the Richardson cup final for the second time in three years and face Edinburgh chess club in the final. Bon Accord also qualifies for the European Club Cup in Belgrade in November.

Congratulations to Hamish and the team.


Chess Training Weekend

On the weekend of the 6th-7th February Bon Accord chess club hosted a chess training weekend given by FIDE trainer Jonathan Grant at the Castlewood lodges in Strachan. There were approximately 19 participants with ratings ranging from around 1200 – 1900. About ⅓ of the participants were juniors, and the event attracted participants from Newmachar, Stonehaven and elsewhere, even a couple from Dundee.

Jonathan used a mixture of training techniques during the weekend. Mostly he would present interesting games or fragments on a demonstration board, and stop at critical moments to ask the audience questions relevant to the current position. At other times he would give out positions to work on individually or in teams, and then discuss the results with the whole group.

Jonathan at work
Jonathan at work (photo Ross Brennan)

The main things I took away from the session were:

  • Candidate moves – there was a tendency among all of the participants not to consider enough candidate moves when analysing positions. For some positions none of the considered the correct move! For example one of the exercises we worked on individually was the following position
Black to play and win
Kamsky – Svidler World Cup 2011 – Black to play and win

Here most people in the group thought the solution was 26…Qg3, and some saw that 27.Nc6 is met by 27…Re2 but no-one then noticed that after 28.Qc3 white is at least equal. In the game Peter Svidler found the marvellous 26…Re2! which wins after 27.Qxe2 Qg3, and also after 27.Qc3 Rxf2.

  • The principle of two weaknesses – on the second day we looked at the principle of two weaknesses where a player needs to create a second weakness in his opponent’s position in order to make progress. Here is one of the examples:
Botvinnik - Zagoriansky Sverdlovsk 1943 White to play
Botvinnik – Zagoriansky Sverdlovsk 1943
White to play

In this position black has played passively and has a weakness on d5, but white now somehow needs to create a second weakness in order to make progress. There were a lot of different suggestions here 25.b4, 25.e4, 25.Bg4, 25.Kh2, 25.Kh1 before the correct solution 25.g4 seeking to create a second weakness on the king side was suggested (Jonathan also thinks 25.h4 is a good move which no-one suggested).

Special thanks to Jonathan Grant for preparing some excellent training material, and presenting it in a very interesting manner, to Richard Jennings for organising the event and to Alison Smith who very kindly donated the use of the venue free of charge.

Richardson Cup Quarter Final

The quarter final of the Richardson cup between Bon Accord and Wandering Dragons was played in the function room of Alison’s bar in Dundee on Sunday the 10th January.

Bon Accord were able to field close to their strongest team and won convincingly 6-2.

The results were as follows (FIDE ratings in brackets).

Bon Accord Wandering Dragons
1 W Hamish Olson 2212 (2067) 1 0 Mark Orr 2169 (2222)
2 B Adam Bremner 2244 (2188) ½ ½ Alan Minnican 2120 (2131)
3 W Jonathan Edwards 2146 (2129) 1 0 Graham Hamilton 1944 (2006)
4 B Murad Abdulla 2027 (1977) ½ ½ Raj Bhopal 1942 (2002)
5 W Bob Lothian 2034 (2097) 1 0 Jim O’Neil 1846 (1956)
6 B Daniel Maxwell 2056 (2031) 1 0 David Wallace 1842
7 W Richard Jennings 1878 (1874) 0 1 Eoin Campbell 1839 (1810)
8 B Neil Irving 1748 (1910) 1 0 Richard Kynoch 1815 (1954)
6 2

Richardson Cup – Bon Accord vs Edinburgh West

The Richardson cup quarter final between Bon Accord and Edinburgh West was held on January 24th 2015. In a match between two very evenly matched teams Edinburgh West edged out Bon Accord 4.5-3.5.

27/01/15 – The full results were as follows:

Bon Accord Edinburgh West
1 B Adam Bremner 2157 0 1 GM Ketevan Arakhamia-Grant 2400
2 W Hamish Olson 2087 1 0 George Neave 2166
3 B Daniel Maxwell 2081 0 1 Neil Farrell 2085
4 W Murad Abdulla 1983 0.5 0.5 Walter Buchanan 2076
5 B Duncan Harwood 1988 0 1 Alan Bell 1920
6 W Mike Cavanagh 1856 1 0 Ian McLean 1803
7 B Richard Jennings 1820 1 0 John Watkins 1789
8 W Anna Milton 1594 0 1 Alistair Campbell 1695
3.5 4.5