Scottish Championship 2019 (Part 1)
Photo credits: GM Nikita Meshkovs

Scottish Championship 2019 (Part 1)

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Hi All,


It's been a couple of months of peace and quite on my blog, but this is not because I have given up on chess just yet - I have been busy playing tournaments, working with Riga Magicians PRO chess League team towards qualifiers, and life in general has been busy.

This series I will walk you through my adventures at the Scottish Championship 2019, which was held in Edinburgh (my current hometown) back in July.

So to set the scene, chess in Scotland is not huge, nevertheless, the Scottish Championship is the central event of chess here, and a relatively strong lineup was expected. In total 66 players participated in the Main section and here comes the list with Top 10 players fighting for the place under the sun (aka win in the tournament).

Starting Ranking list

On top of this, many people believe that in general Scottish players are slightly underrated due to the fact that there are hardly any FIDE rated tournaments in the country, so all in all already at the beginning of the tournament I knew that the upcoming week or so won't be no walk in the park.

Round 1

In the first round my opponent didn't show for the game, but luckily there was another player whose opponent didn't show, so the tournament director kindly paired us together.

Round 1 was a true roller-coaster game, and I was definitely not happy with the result. I did a good job by putting pressure on my opponent thorough the game, but didn't manage to find the key moves when it was really necessary.

Round 2 

After not such a great Round 1, I was paired against a 1900-rated guy from Scotland. I wasn't fooled by the low rating, and knew a serious fight was ahead.



While d5 move certainly wasn't the best move in the position, it did create enough complications, and with me having the initiative I was happy to play the position. Would I play d5 in this position in future? Probably not.

Round 3


Funny thing I was paired again to play more opponent in Round 1, who didn't show up. He's a young Scottish player, rated in mid-1800 and I was playing Black pieces.

By no means was this a smooth win as my opponent had very good chances to complicate matter with Bd4, after which basically I am worse (not lost luckily, but still worse). Afterwards, I managed to convert the advantage and with a couple of precise defensive moves win the game.

At this point 2.5 points out of 3, was an okay result. I was feeling more or less ok about my play, hence feeling optimistic about the remaining games!

Stay tuned as in the next blog of this series as already in Round 4 I am paired against GM Gormally Daniel (2498 FIDE) and analysis of this game is coming in the very next blog post!

Thank you for your attention, as always feel free to leave any comments / ask any questions and I will try my best to answer them!

In the meantime...

I am working hard on promoting our PRO Chess League Team Riga Magicians, and it would mean the world to me and our team if you considered joining our Fan Club here on chess.com. We will be creating Club-members only Arena tournaments, where you have the chance to play some of the well known members of our team and you will be able to follow our successes and failures as we fight with other teams in the Qualifier events!

Many Thanks,
Ritvars