Club Meetings

How To Improve

Queens Park were delighted to host a special visit from Rob Colston of Bearsden Chess Club this week.

Rob, an experienced 1900+ level classical, rapid and blitz player, whose impressive career highlights are covered here, delivered an interactive workshop focusing on two key areas:

  1. how to form a plan in the middlegame;
  2. how intermediate players can improve long term.
There was a strong turnout for the dual focus workshop

The participatory event took place in The Bungo on Tuesday 21 March, from 7-8pm. Rob shared two games from his career, in which the Queens Park audience was invited to predict plans, moves and ideas throughout. Rob also provided a range of general tips for learning and development, designed to help intermediate players who are stuck on a ratings plateau.

Rob has kindly provided an in-depth PDF document covering his workshop notes, and notations for the two study games. They are available for download in the links below:

Game 1: Colston vs Haeri-Zadeh (King’s Gambit Accepted)

Game 2: Colston vs Brookens (Sicilian: Smith Morra Gambit)

Rob’s key book recommendation is Chess Structures, by Chilean GM Mauricio Flores Rios. The book covers the pawn structures that appear in a wide variety of mainstream openings, from the French and the Benoni to the Caro Kann and the Hedgehog, and what plans both White and Black should look to pursue when they appear on the board.

The 450+ page book by GM Rios has been lauded for its improvement value

The book is published by Glasgow-based Quality Chess in paperback and hardback, and a 16 page excerpt is available on the publisher’s website.

As stated in the advance information, the event is part of a series of collaborations between Bearsden and Queens Park. Bearsden have been a valued mentor Club, supporting Queens Park to establish in 2019 and to grow and develop in the subsequent years. We are indebted to Rob for his time and expertise, and to Bearsden for their continued generosity.

Queens Park will provide another learning workshop in April

The next workshop will be an ‘How to Form an Opening Repertoire’ class by Queens Park’s openings specialist, Graeme McKinnon. It will take place on Tuesday 11 April, also at 7pm in The Bungo. There is no need to register for this event in advance; those interested are invited to turn up on the night.

Club Meetings

Interactive Workshop – 21 March

One of Glasgow’s strongest players, Bearsden’s Rob Colston, pictured above, will visit Queens Park on the evening of Tuesday 21 March to share his wisdom and experience in a special interactive workshop.

The focus of the workshop will be twofold: on middlegame planning, and on how intermediate players can achieve steady improvement. With a number of Queens Park players reporting the middlegame as a particular challenge, and being stuck on a rating plateau, we hope the session will provide a valuable source of learning in two key developmental areas.

The session will begin at 7pm and feature a selection of games from Rob’s career. Rob’s FIDE ratings are 1874 classical, 1992 rapid and 1944 blitz. He is also rated 1916 classical with Chess Scotland.

Rob’s career titles include Staffordshire under-18 champion (“in 19… well a long time ago!”), five time champion of London’s Hampstead Chess Club, and three time champion of Bearsden Chess Club (one shared). Representing Hampstead in the prestigious London Chess League, Rob played alongside some incredible talents, including 10 times British Champion GM Jonathan Penrose, three times British Champion GM Jon Speelman, the former world no.4 GM Mickey Adams, and the second Grandmaster in English history, GM Raymond Keene.

Rob has beaten a number of GMs and IMs in tournaments and league games, and we are delighted he has agreed to share his knowledge and experience. Notably, Rob is not taking a fee for his time; Bearsden Chess Club is a kind and generous friend to Queens Park.

Bearsden's Mel Burt donating chess materials to Queens Park's Julien Papillon
Bearsden’s Mel Burt (left) donated materials to Queens Park founder Julien Papillon in early 2019

The relationship dates back to our formation in 2019, when Bearsden donated chess sets and other materials to help Queens Park, then known as Govanhill Chess Club, get up and running. Since then, Bearsden have invited Queens Park players to take part in their online grand prix, graded friendlies, and simultaneous matches, and their Committee Members also provide regular advice to the Club Secretary.

There is no need to sign up in advance. Those visiting the Club on Tuesday 21st will have the option of joining the workshop at 7pm, or playing some casual games.