Ian took up Chess in Primary 3 at Jordanhill School, Glasgow. He won the first tournament he entered: the Scottish Age Championships (Under-8 section), organised by the Scottish Junior Chess Association (SJCA). He has not looked back since.
In Primary 4 he won three Primary 5 competitions and in March 2000 he retained his title of Under-8 Scottish Age Champion. Ian also played Board 1 for his school team, which won the Glasgow Primary South-Side Chess League.
In Primary 5 he came 1st in the Glasgow Congress (Under-10 Category). He won the Paisley "No Wait" Primary Competition and the Under-9 Scottish Age Championship.
Ian joined the Junior Section of Bearsden Chess Club and in 2000/2001 he played for the club in the Junior Division of the Glasgow Chess League. The team was undefeated and came top of the Division.
Ian played his first international games whilst on holiday in Norway at Easter 2001. He spent an enjoyable evening playing a series of "Lightning" games against top Juniors at the Bergen Chess Club. He did so well he was invited to take part in a Norwegian Youth Tournament the following weekend. Unfortunately our travel plans prevented him from taking part.
Since then Ian's chess has gone from strength to strength. He has won numerous tournaments, including six consecutive years as Scottish Champion in his age group.
He has represented Scotland several times in international competition and in the Summer of 2005 played in the World Youth Chess Championships, held in Belfort, France.
Douglas teaches at Glasgow University. He first took up Chess as a child but did not play seriously at that time.
Douglas taught Ian the basic moves of Chess when he was 5 or 6. It was only when Ian displayed a talent for Chess that Douglas began to take the game seriously. In a hopeful attempt to keep one step ahead of his son, Douglas joined the Bearsden Chess Club at the same time as Ian.
At the end of the 1999/2000 season Douglas played a couple of games in the Dunbarton League (Division 2), promptly losing both of them. His first tournament was the Minor section of the Stewarton Allegro, held in June 2000, where he scored 2/5.
In 2000/01 Douglas again played in the Dunbarton League, in the Stewarton Allegro and in the Bearsden Chess Club Championship. This year he actually won a couple of games in each of these competitions!
Rather to his surprise, Douglas was elected Vice President of Bearsden Chess Club in 2001 and became club President in 2004.
Douglas reflects: "Taking up Chess as an Adult is tough. You are generally drawn against players who have been playing for 20 years or more, know every trick in the book, and are keen to try it out on you !"
In his first season (1998/1999) Ian played as an ungraded J6 player. He was awarded his first
official grade (545) in the summer of 1999, as a J7. This increased rapidly over
the following years: 650 as a J8 ; 905 at J9 ; when he was 10 his grade was 1070; rising to 1260,
1337, and 1576 in each of the following summers.
His current playing strength (2011) is 2016.
In contrast, it took Douglas until July 2001 to play enough games to get an official grading! His first grade was 1125. This dipped slightly before recovering and is currently (2011) only 1245!
To begin with Douglas helped Ian with his chess. Now it is the other way round !
(See Grading page for a more detailed discussion of Chess Grading.)