Troon Chessblog – Friday, 28th February 2020 – by Len Weir

Chess Blog f4

Golden Tommy makes hay while Phil falls

John Bobs up to make the semis

Junior team match a big success

Cameron Smith organised a team match between his youngsters which he teaches every Wednesday afternoon at the Troon Library and the boys who have been attending the club on a Wednesday evening. This was held in the snooker room downstairs with five players from the library against four from the club. The attitude of all the players was excellent and two games were played with the club players who had really been trained by Clive Baird at the Dundonald Primary and Duncan Malcolm’s grandson Ewan getting the win for the home team. Afterwards Cameron provided ‘lashings’ of juice and biscuits. There was a well behaved audience of mothers who seemed pleased with the evening and thanks must go to Cameron and Jackie who helped for making chess the winner


Tommy Barrett as usual benefited from a narrow advantage of a pawn to press home the win against Duncan Malcolm and maintain his solid defence of the title

Meanwhile Phil Thomas had time trouble in his match with Graeme King and despite a sturdy attempt went down leaving the task of catching Tommy more difficult. Tommy’s final game is against Phil who has four games to play

Coronelli Trophy

The semi-final four was completed after John Calder struggled through against Bob Reid. John averted an upset to move on to face Duncan Malcolm. The other tie is between Tommy Barrett (inevitably!) and myself. If form and grading follows then it looks like a repeat of last year’s final

Motwani Quaich

Here too we reach the semi final stage when Clive Baird had a real contest against Ross Duffy whose tactical awareness surprised but Clive qualified to meet Phil Thomas while Jim Wainwight stormed past Bronze champion Jack Barrett to set up a tasty meeting with Mike Chapman

Next Week’s Games

  • Monday 2nd March  Ardrossan/Largs ‘A’ v Troon ‘A’ (at Largs)
  • Tuesday 3rd March Ardrossan/ Largs ‘B’ v Troon ‘C’ (at Largs)
  • Wednesday 4th March Troon ‘B’ v Irvine

Gold match
Clive Baird v Phil Thomas

Silver match
David Ferguson v Sandy Gibson

All our teams have tough matches ahead so lets see what Troon players are made of!

OFP Salver Update – Thursday, 27th February 2020

OFP Salver Opening for March (2020) – The Ruy Lopez (Spanish Opening) – Exchange Variation

OFP Salver Standings – Friday, 21st February 2020

Troon Chessblog – Thursday, 20th February 2020 – by Len Weir

Chess Blog F3

I wish to take this opportunity to share with all the chess players who kindly enquired about my wife Phyllis since she was diagnosed with Lung cancer last June. Following six courses of chemotherapy ending on 10th January she had a consultation with her oncologist today and it seems the infected lung has responded really well to the treatment. Despite the fact that this type of cancer is inoperable he is surprised and very pleased with her progress

Tommy on the home run while Mike avoids the ‘Big Guns’

A quieter evening than of late and the one ‘Gold ‘ game had Tommy Barrett pitched against his old mate from Irvine, Graeme King. Graeme had been setting a good pace (5 points from 6) but found the Barrett home was not as comfortable as he had hoped. A final crushing attack saw Tommy net his 7th point and retain his 100%. Amazing!

Another big game taking place was the rescheduled Ayrshire Championship game featuring Cameron Smith facing Ali Roy of Carrick. Cameron laid siege to Ali’s defence and just when it looked like he had the breakthrough she contrived a draw by repetition of move. This moves both players to 3.5/5. Other Troon results are Phil Thomas and myself on 3/5; John Calder 2.5/5 with Bob Reid and Mike Chapman on 1.5/5. Leading the pack is Mark Sanger 4.5/5 with champion of last year Jamie Malkin sitting at 4/5

Favourites to clash in Motwani semis

The draw for the semi finals of the Motwani Quaich was performed last evening by Richard McMinn and it is :-

Graeme King v Ross Duffy or Clive Baird
Mike Chapman v Jack Barrett or Jim Wainwright

These ties to be completed by end March

Troon Tyros to face Library Lions

Of late there has been a steady stream of youngsters mainly from Clive Baird’s Dundonald Primary school teaching and this coming week we hope to line them up in a team match against Cameron Smith’s Library class. The plan is to hold the match in the snooker room downstairs so this should not affect any of the important ties in the club competitions

Next Week’s Ties

Duncan Malcolm v Tommy Barrett
Graeme King v Phil Thomas

Coronelli Trophy
Bob Reid v John Calder

Motwani Quaich
Jack Barrett v Jim Wainwright
Ross Duffy v Clive Baird

Troon Chessblog – Saturday, 15th February 2020 – by Len Weir

Chess Blog F2

Phil doubles up

Irvine pair share the challenge

A more modest turn out allowed time for catering for our three youngsters Ben, Callum and Christopher. Thanks to Bob and Tommy for helping out. It is hoped that a team match will take place between the Library Chess Club and our own youngsters on February 26th. It will be either a 4 or a 5 board contest and should whet their chess appetites

The start of the week had the Ayrshire Championships Round five and while Bob, Mike and John unfortunately lost Phil and myself managed wins. Shock of the competition was Elliot Frew losing to Mark Sanger who now takes the lead at 4.5/5. The two Malkins squared their game and Jamie holds second spot on 4/5

In the Gold a hastily arranged game with Phil did not prepare me for the fireworks which were to come and after he had capitalised on my misjudgement of meekly gifting a rook in order to gain position, there was no way back so he bagged his second point of the week and sits 4/4 in the Gold

Another hopeful for the Championship is Graeme King who met his one-time Irvine stable mate John Shankland and although John had been a pawn ahead a draw was agreed. Graeme now has 5/6 behind Tommy who leads at 6/6

The other struggle with the plastic shapes was between Cameron Smith and Mike Chapman and this was to decide who progressed into the semi final of the Motwani Quaich and Mike proved that gradings do not always reflect true ability as he marches on


Tommy Barrett v Graeme King
Cameron Smith v Phil Thomas

Bob Reid v John Calder

Jack Barrett v Jim Wainwright

OFP Salver Standings – Thursday, 13th February 2020

Troon Chessblog – Saturday, 8th February 2020 – by Len Weir

Chess Blog F1

Troon A show no mercy

A packed Railway Club featuring three important games had an atmosphere of tension particularly around the Troon ‘A’ v Ardrossan/ Largs B. The visitors were a much harder nut to crack than their lowly position would imply and the first two games to finish were draws with Clive Baird and Duncan Malcolm chalking up the point this was enhanced when I managed a win at board six. However the top three boards were all closely contested and I thought they might finish in draws. This was substantiated when Phil Thomas accepted a draw proposal leaving John Calder to register a win and Captain Tommy, who had strangely carried a jar of Vicks Chest rub all evening (he was later to explain it was to inspire the team to Vicktory!). The omen paid dividends as he won a difficult end game and we got the result 4.5-1.5

The second division tussle with Troon’B’ and Carrick was an equally tense affair. Leading the race and unbeaten all season Bob Reid led his men against the strength of Maybole and got a draw, Frank Park went one better getting a win John Shankland got a good draw but Cameron Smith was unable to contain Siegrun Macgilchrist. Her beau Atholl Macgilchrist would have had a long drive home when Mike Chapman got the important win making the Bs 2.5-2.5 . This result means they stay at the top of the table but are now joined by Irvine

The C team fielded an interesting side and the first win came from Dean McCusker. Jack Barrett followed his team-mate’s lead and Richard McMinn added to the tally with a draw. Alex Smith was in the hot seat and completed a very good 3.5-0.5 result over Greenwood Gambits. This must keep the C team leading the race for the title

Games for 12th February;

Len Weir v John Shankland
Phil Thomas v John Calder
Tommy Barrett v Graeme King
Spare – Duncan Malcolm

David Ferguson v Sandy Gibson
Ross Duffy v Bob Reid

Motwani Quaich
Cameron Smith v Mike Chapman
Jack Barrett v Jim Wainwright


Mike Chapman, Cameron Smith, Phil Thomas, Bob Reid, Len Weir, John Calder

News Update – Tuesday, 4th February 2020

The fifth event in the Ayrshire Junior Chess Tour will take place on Thursday 27th February at Greenwood Academy

OFP Salver Update – Sunday, 2nd February 2020

OFP Salver Opening for February (2020) – King’s Gambit – Falkbeer Counter Gambit