WHICH president of Chess Scotland became British Prime Minister? Andrew Bonar Law, the Scottish-Canadian who became PM in the last year of his life in 1922-23 after leading the Conservative party for a decade.
Bonar Law was a long-standing member of Glasgow Chess Club (now defunct) and was strong enough to merit a place in the 1897 Scottish Championship.
Bonar Law is the only occupant of 10 Downing Street to have come from a British overseas possession. He was born in New Brunswick, Canada, but on the death of his mother, his father – a Church of Scotland minister – returned to the family home in Helensburgh. And at Larchfield School in the seaside town, Bonar Law became a very keen chess player before honing his skills at Glasgow CC.
As one of Helensburgh’s famous residents, Bonar Law would no doubt have approved of the 120th Scottish Championship and International Open taking place in his hometown. The first real shock of the tournament came in round four, as the top seed, GM Gawain Jones, lost to Serbia’s GM Aleksa Strikovic in an exciting tactical tussle.
Leader board: 1-3. GM D Gormally (England), GM A Strikovic (Serbia), IM H Gretersson (Iceland), 3.5/4; 4-12. GM I Farago (Hungary), GM I Hera Jnr. (Hungary), IM S Burns-Mannion (Scotland), GM M Turner (Scotland), IM C Pritchett (Scotland), GM A Hoffman (Argentina), IM V Barnaure (Romania), IM D Bryson (Scotland), GM C McNab (Scotland), 3.
G Jones - A Strikovic
Scottish Int. Open, (4)
1 e4 d6 2 d4 Nf6 3 Nc3 e5 4 Nf3 Nbd7 5 g4 Nxg4 6 Rg1 Ngf6 7 Be3 c6 8 Qd2 b5 9 0–0–0 Bb7 10 dxe5 dxe5 11 Nxb5 Nxe4 12 Qe1 cxb5 13 Bxb5 Bd6 14 Nxe5 Bxe5 15 Rxd7 Qxd7 16 Bxd7+ Kxd7 17 Qa5 Rhe8 18 Rd1+ Kc8 19 Qb5 Nf6 20 Bg5 Re6 21 Qc5+ Bc6 22 f4 Nd7 23 Rxd7 Bxb2+ 24 Kxb2 Kxd7 25 Qd4+ Rd6 26 Qxg7 Bd5 27 Qd4 Rb8+ 28 Kc1 Rb1+! 29 Kxb1 Bxa2+ 30 Kxa2 Rxd4 31 Kb3 Ke6 32 c3 Re4 33 c4 f6 34 Bh4 Rxf4 35 Bg3 Rg4 36 Kb4 f5 37 Bf2 a6 0-1