Home Aims Laws of Chess Training Tournaments Hall of Fame Donations Links NECL



As part of Chess Scotland's wish to make major junior events available to all the geographical regions of Scotland the North-East was selected to host the prestigious Scottish Girls Championship for a fifth successive year

Following on the success of the previous years we were fortunate to again obtain Brotherton Castle (home of Lathallan School) as the host venue (see pictures above). This is situated on the coast at Johnshaven, between Montrose and Stonehaven. This would be a 40 min drive from Dundee and about 2.5 h from either Glasgow or Edinburgh. As can be seen at the website (www.lathallan.org.uk) the venue is situated in 62 acres of private grounds and makes a really special setting for any event, but particularly chess.

                If two players have the same score then separation of places will be in the following order:

                1. Result of a game between them in the tournament proper.

                2. If the players did not meet or the individual game was drawn then a reduced-time play-off will take place (ungraded). If the players had drawn their individual encounter then colours will be reversed. If they had not met then colours will be assigned to best equalise the number of Blacks and Whites. Failing that, colour will be decided on the toss of a coin. 

                3. If the first play-off is drawn then a further-reduced time game will take place with colours reversed. This format will continue until a winner is decided.

                 If three (or more) players tie then order will be decided as follows

                1. Individual results between themselves in the event proper (effectively a mini-league).

                2. If this fails to resolve the winner(s) then a reduced-time play-off will take place (ungraded) with colours reversed from their individual encounter in the event proper. Else colours will be decided to best equalise the number of Blacks and Whites. Failing that, colour will be decided on the toss of a coin.

                3. If the first play-off fails to resolve the order of the winner(s)  then a further-reduced time game(s) will take place with colours reversed. This format will continue until a winner(s) is decided.


By car

Directions from the South

Follow A90 to B9120 near Laurencekirk in Aberdeenshire.

Turn right onto B912  

Turn left onto A92 

Continue to follow A92

Turn right at Lathallan School Sign. Follow drive to Castle.                                                   


Directions from North  

Head south on A90

Once South of Stonehaven exit onto A92 toward Montrose/Arbroath

Turn left at Lathallan School Sign. Follow drive to Castle.

By Train

The nearest station from the south is Montrose. From the North, Stonehaven is the nearest station.

Brief details of last year's events:

Last year, both WFM Joy Durno and the U12 National Coach Richard Jennings coached entrants between rounds. As usual the coaching was keenly attended. Support was also provided by John Shovlin.

The event also provided the opportunity for presentation of the Cherie Booth award, for the Scottish girl chess player of the year during the 2015-16 season, to Monica Espinosa. David Congalton summarised Monica’s achievements and presented the award on behalf of Chess Scotland.

The three sections of the Championships (P5 and under, P7 and under and Open) were each played as an all-play-all and were keenly contested by the girls throughout the day. Such was the closeness of the competitions that some results in all three competitions had to be determined by tie-breaks. Exciting stuff!

In the P5 and under, Sophie Heron, from Holy Cross Primary secured the title on a tie-break with a score of 6 out of 7.

The P7 and under section was won by a clear margin by Sorcha Shepherd, with a score of 4.5 out of 5. Second and third positions were taken by Carolina Espinosa Cancino and Jessica Freeman respectively, again determined by a tie-break.

First place in the Open section was keenly contested. Two players scored 4 out of 5 and the eventual winner and Scottish Girls Champion was decided on a tie-break in favour of Rachel Lorna Smith pushing last year’s winner, Monica Espinosa Cancino into a worthy second place.

A hugely enjoyable day of chess, ended with the presentation of trophies and the crowning of three new champions, who all received their awards from WFM Joy Durno.

Thanks to all who participated and for the various helpers.

Thanks once again to Lathallan School for their generous access to their facilities and providing the free coffee, tea and home-bakes.

 The event was held on Saturday 11th March 2017. Once again we lined up some strong coaches for entrants between rounds and discuss how to progress to international selection.

There were 3 main events, the Open (Secondary), played under Allegro rules (Bronstein), Primary 6 & 7 and P5 and Under. Both Primary events were  played under main list grading.

The  same tie-break rules as last year were applied:

For the Scottish Girls Championships there is a single winner in each section. If necessary the following tie-breaks are used to ensure an outright winner.

P5 and Under



 1st  Sophie Heron (Holy Cross Primary) 6/7

 1st Sorcha Shepherd (St. Peter's Primary) 4.5/5

 1st Rachel Lorna Smith (Belmont Academy) 4/5

 2nd Orlaith Shepherd (St. Peter's Primary) 6/7

 2nd Carolina Espinosa


 2nd Monica Espinosa  


 3rd Emma Heron (Holy Cross Primary) 5.5/7

 3rd Jessica Freeman (Albyn School) 3/5

 3rd Oishani Dutta (St Margaret's)  3/5