Chess - The Scotsman 11/07/13

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WHICH Scottish champion has a big plus score over Bobby Fischer? Step forward Dr Max Pavey, Scottish champion in 1939, who first beat a seven-year-old Fischer on January 17, 1951 in a simultaneous game at the Brooklyn Library – the game lasted 15 minutes, and Fischer is said to have cried at the end.

Pavey was born in Boston and won the Scottish title as a 21-year-old studying medicine at Glasgow University. He maintained his unbeaten record against a much-improved Fischer with a draw in New York in the Rosenwald tournament in 1956 and defeated the future world champion again that year in the Manhattan Club Championship.

The Pavey story is part of a superb ongoing archive of Scotland’s chess history by the former Cathcart player Alan McGowan, now resident in Canada. The Champion’s page at contains the continually updated history. And also there, you will find a direct link to the ongoing 120th Scottish Championship and International Open at the Victoria Hall, Helensburgh.

The all-Cathcart encounter between IM Roddy McKay and Alan Grant is our star game today, as seven-times champion McKay finds a superb finish. England’s GM Danny Gormally currently leads the International Open by half a point on 4.5/5 The highest-placed Scot is GM Colin McNab, on 4/5.

R McKay – A Grant

Scottish Int. Open, (5)

Bird’s Opening

1 f4 Nf6 2 Nf3 g6 3 g3 Bg7 4 Bg2 0–0 5 0–0 c5 6 d3 Nc6 7 e4 d6 8 Nh4 Bg4 9 Qd2 Bd7 10 Nc3 Rb8 11 h3 b5 12 Qf2 Nd4 13 Nd1 b4 14 Ne3 e6 15 a3 a5 16 axb4 axb4 17 g4 Ne8 18 f5 Bc6 19 Nf3 g5 20 Kh1 Nxf3 21 Qxf3 Bf6 22 Nc4 e5 23 Bd2 Nc7 24 Be3 Nb5 25 b3 Qc7 26 Qf2 Kg7 27 Ra6 Ra8 28 Rfa1 Nd4 29 Qd2 h6 30 Bxd4 Rxa6 31 Rxa6 Bb5 32 Bxe5 Bxe5 33 Ra2 Bxc4 34 dxc4 Qb7 35 Qd5 Rb8 36 Bf3 Qxd5 37 cxd5 c4 38 Be2 cxb3 39 cxb3 Rc8 40 Bc4 Bd4 41 Kg2 Rc7 42 Ra6 Bc5 43 e5! dxe5 44 f6+ Kg8 45 Ra8+ Bf8 46 Kf3 1-0