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British Chess Magazine - News Archive for 2009

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World Junior Championship, Puerto Madryn (ARG) 22 Oct - 4 Nov [04/11/09]

David Howell, seconded by Nigel Short, represented England in this prestigious but gruelling 13-round Swiss system event which was held in Argentina. The official website was not great but the admirable chess-results.com site kept us up to date with the round-by-round results. Final: 1-2 Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (FRA 2718g, gold medal on tie-break), Sergei Zhigalko (BLR 2646g) 10½/13, 3-5 Michal Olszewski (POL 2544g, bornze medal on tie-break), Ivan Popov (RUS 2582g), Alex Lenderman (USA 2542m) 9. David Howell (ENG 2624g) won his final two games to finish 10th= on 8/13. The girls championship was won by Swaminathan Soumya (IND 2297wg) on tie-break from Deysi Cori Tello (PER 2361wm) and Betul Cemre Yildiz (TUR 2224wm), all with 9½/13.

European Team Championship, Novi Sad, 22-30 Oct [31/10/09]

The 17th European Team Championships were held in Novi Sad, Serbia. England, Scotland and Wales have entered teams in the open competition, and England also has a team in the women's competition. Official Website: http://www.eurons2009.comdetailed resultsEnglandScotlandWalesEngland Women. Final Scores: 1 Azerbaijan 15/18, 2 Russia 14, 3 Ukraine 13, 4 Armenia 13... in the final round, an endgame blunder by Dutchman Daniel Stellwagen allowed Vugar Gashimov to win and snatch the gold from the Russians...
12 England 10 (3-1 win against Monaco, 1½-2½ loss to Azerbaijan, 2½-1½ victory over the fourth seeds Bulgaria (including Delchev's mobile phone loss to Stuart Conquest), 1-3 loss to France, 2-2 draw with Romania, 2½-1½ win v Austria, 1½-2½ loss to Switzerland, 2-2 draw with Norway, and a last-round 3½-½ win against FYR Macedonia allowed England to move up to a respectable place in the table)...
35 Wales 6 (Wales's team performed well above expectation though only finishing where they might have expected; in round 2 Wales did well to score 1½-2½ against an all-GM Bulgarian team, including Alan Bennett (2108) beating Dejan Bojkov (2528g); in round five they beat Scotland 2½-1½, round six 2-2 draw with Montenegro, including Richard Jones' win against a GM, in round eight an excellent 3-1 win against Iceland who fielded four IMs, with Richard Jones winning for the third time in four games; disappointing 0-4 loss to Belgium in the final round)...
37 Scotland 2 (scored 2-2 draws against Belgium and Monaco. Scored a creditable 1½-2½ versus Bosnia - incidentally, Jim Stevenson didn't miss an easy win in his game - the inputters got the score wrong - his opponent played 41...Re7, not 41...Rc7)...
Women's Competition final: 1 Russia 16/18, 2 Georgia 16, 3 Ukraine 12, 4 Azerbaijan 12...
17 England women 8 (lost 1½-2½ to Bulgaria, drew 2-2 Finland, lost 1-3 to Greece, drew 2-2 with Montenegro, won 3½-½ versus Norway, lost 1½-2½ to Croatia, lost 1½-2½ to Italy, beat FYR Macedonia 3-1 and a 3-1 win against Turkey gave the team a respectable final position).


Here's the round three Delchev phone incident, courtesy of a Europe Echecs video. It's about 2:40 into the video. Topalov and Cheparinov look daggers at their careless team mate.


4NCL, Sunningdale, 24-25 Oct [24/10/09]

The 2009/10 4NCL (British Team League) season started on 24 October. There is live coverage here. Official website: http://www.4ncl.co.uk/

Guernsey Festival, 18-24 Oct [24/10/09]

The 35th Guernsey Festival finished on 24 October. At the official home page - www.guernseychessclub.org.gg/festival - you can follow the round-by-round results. In fact, you can follow the results for the entire 35 years of the event using the website's superb online database - a statistician's delight. This year three GMs - Tiger Hillarp Persson (SWE 2577), Oleg Korneev (RUS 2554) and Bojan Kurajica (BIH 2517) - and one IM - Robert Bellin (ENG 2388) - took part. Final: Tiger Hillarp Persson (SWE) was first by a clear point, scoring 6½/7 - exactly as he did in 2008. It was his third consecutive victory in Guernsey and his fifth in all. 1 Hillarp Persson 6½/7 (draw with Samuel Franklin in the final round), 2-5 Bojan Kurajica (BIH), Oleg Korneev (RUS), Samuel Franklin (aged 15, ENG 2131), Jan Havenaar (NED) 5½. Round three featured two shocks, as German player Wolfgang Mack beat GM Korneev and Samuel Franklin beat IM Bellin. No game downloads available as yet - no doubt these will appear shortly after the tournament.

ECF Book of the Year Award 2009 [21/10/09]

Kasparov vs Karpov 1975-85 Garry Kasparov (Everyman) pp424Once again, Kasparov has won the English Chess Federations's Book of the Year award. Here is the judges' citation (Ray Edwards, Julian Farrand and David Friedgood):
"Kasparov vs Karpov 1975-85 Garry Kasparov (Everyman) pp424
"Excellent though the other books on the short list were, the judges had no difficulty in selecting the winner this year. This volume is the second in the series Kasparov is writing on the development of chess since the 1970s. The first, Revolution in the 70s (Everyman) concentrated on developments in opening theory during that time. The second and third volumes concentrate on Kasparov’s five(!) epic matches with Karpov for the world title. The volume under consideration covers the first two, the first of which involved no fewer than 48 games and was unfinished, the second a mere 24,which finally established Kasparov as world champion.
   "Kasparov has written earlier in the 1980s about some of these matches. But here, he writes in the preface “I now see many situations more deeply, through the prism of my life experience... My commentaries have become more frank, and far more accurate. But the evaluation of individual moves will take into account the psychology of the struggle!” All this is reflected in the book, plus lengthy descriptions of the background to the matches and in particular Kasparov’s views of the controversial first match termination.
   " The book can be read on several levels - as a dramatic story, or as providing insights into opening theory, or as great games enhanced by deep analytical annotations. Kasparov succeeds triumphantly in illuminating every aspect of this historic struggle. He is establishing as formidable a reputation as an author, as he did as a player.
    "Finally, Everyman have produced the book to the same high standards they have used throughout the series."

World Memory Championship, 12-14 Nov [21/10/09]

The World Memory Championship takes place 12-14 November at the Strand Palace Hotel, London. The tournament requires voluntary staff as 'arbiters' from 11am-5pm (training) on 11 November and 9am-6pm on 12-14 November. Skills required: reading, writing and recognising playing cards. Recompense: £125 total including own refreshments. Further details: http://www.worldmemorychampionships.com • contact

Uxbridge Congress, 18-20 Sept [19/10/09]

Last month's Uxbridge Congress was organised by Sean Hewitt (see his www.e2e4.org.uk website) at the Denham Grove Hotel. The Open attracted 66 players and was won jointly by FM Alexei Slavin and James Adair of Reading with 4½/5 ahead of GM Keith Arkell, GM Alexander Cherniaev and IM John Cox on 4. Major: 1 Matthew Ward (Guildford) 4½/5. Minor: 1 Barry Sandercock (Bucks, aged 78!) 4½/5. View/Download Uxbridge Open Games (from britbase.co.uk). My thanks to Sean Hewitt for the games.

Isle of Man Congress, 25-27 Sep [13/10/09]

The Isle of Man Congress took place at the Cherry Orchard ApartHotel in Port Erin from 25-27 September. Open: 1 Piotr Bobras (POL) 4/5, 2-3 Stewart Haslinger (ENG), Jovica Radovanovic (SRB) 3½. Full results may be found at http://www.iomchess.com/View/Download Isle of Man Open/Major/Minor Games (my thanks to Glenn Cross for supplying the games).

Paignton Congress, 6-12 Sept [25/09/09, *02/10/09]

Keith Arkell won the 'Ron Bruce' Premier at the 59th Paignton Congress (held in the same room in the same venue - Oldway Mansion - as at every congress since 1951). Next year the Paignton Congress celebrates its 60th instalment and local chess historian Bob Jones is planning to publish a book on the subject. He is always on the look-out for information relating to the congress's history - Arkell victories are almost as traditional as the congress itself! Scores: 1 Keith Arkell 6/7, 2 Richard Almond 5½, 3 Steve Berry 5. Challengers: 1 P Isherwood 6/7. Intermediate: 1-2 P Smith, D Rogers 5½/7. Minor: 1 A Billings 6/7. American: 1 NW Dennis 5½. Morning: 1-2 P Isherwood, E Key 4½/5. View/Download Paignton Premier Games (Britbase - *game scores corrected 02/10/09) • Chess Devon website report.

Kasparov beats Karpov: Valencia, Spain, 21-24 Sept [25/09/09]

Old rivals Garry Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov met again in a rapidplay/blitz match in Valencia, Spain, to commemorate their first major matchplay contest in 1984, when they played for five months, only for the match to be declared null and void by the president of the World Chess Federation. The event, which was subtitled 'Valencia: Cradle of Modern Chess' (Valencia was where it is claimed the modern rules of the game were established), consisted of four rapidplay games followed by eight blitz games.
    The match generated a huge amount of press coverage in the UK. The Channel Four TV clip below features BCM's editor (at 1:24 and 2:36) expressing the (slightly ignoble) desire to see, once again, grandmasters behaving badly. GM Ray Keene's comments start at 3:27.
   Official website: http://www.matchkarpovkasparov.com/View/Download Games (Britbase) • The GuardianDaily TelegraphBBCGuardian (Leonard Barden)Guardian (Live). There are many other reports to be found online - publicity for the match was huge and took the chess world rather by surprise. News: Kasparov won the match by 9-3 overall, taking the rapidplay match 3-1 and the blitz series 6-2. At least the out of form Karpov avoided a whitewash; he won the third game of the rapidplay series and led the blitz series 1½-½ before Kasparov hit back to score four wins on the bounce.


Uxbridge Congress, 18-20 Sept [20/09/09]

The Uxbridge Congress is in progress this weekend. The Open has a strong line-up including GMs Arkell and Cherniaev. Follow progress via this link.

†John Littlewood (1931-2009) [16/09/09]

John Littlewood (1931-2009)English FIDE Master John Littlewood has died aged 78. He was one of the finest British chessplayers of the 1950s and 1960s who, though never titled higher than FIDE Master, was a strong enough amateur player to impress at least two legends of the game. At the 1961/62 Hastings Congress he launched a dangerous attack against Mikhail Botvinnik’s Sicilian Dragon which posed the reigning world champion considerable problems (Botvinnik thought enough of the encounter to include it in his book of best games). Some of his published analysis drew approving comments from Bobby Fischer in My Sixty Memorable Games... [more... funeral arrangements added 18/09/09]


Short vs Efimenko, 20-26 September 2009 [14/09/09]

Nigel Short, newly restored as England no.1 with a rating of 2706, is due to meet 24-year-old Ukrainian GM Zahar Efimenko (rated 2654) in a six-game match in Mukachevo, Ukraine, from 20-26 September. The match is being supported by Universal Event Promotion GmbH. Live coverage: http://live.uep-chess.com/live.htm • Website Universal Event Promotion: http://www.uep-chess.com/cms_english/ • Chess Club Mukachevo 32x64: http://www.chess32x64.org/


Chess in Trafalgar Square, 19-23 September 2009 [09/09/09]

Chess in Trafalgar Square, 19-23 September 2009Chess plays the centrepiece of this year's London Design Festival from 19-23 September in Trafalgar Square. 'The Tournament', an art installation created by Spanish designer, Jaime Hayón will consist of a gigantic chess set, with 2m high ceramic chess pieces designed by Hayón on a specially created mosaic glass chessboard. The installation, set between the two fountains in Trafalgar Square, will be in situ from Saturday 19 – Wednesday 23 September... [more]


2nd Jessie Gilbert Celebration International, 22-30 Aug [30/08/09]

The second Jessie Gilbert Celebration International took place at the Coulsdon Chess Fellowship, 84-90 Chipstead Valley Road, Coulsdon CR5 3BA. The main event was a ten-player all-play-all with IM norms available, headed by Keith Arkell (ENG, 2521g) and Colin McNab (SCO, 2474g). Scores: 1 Alexei Slavin (RUS) 6½/9 (IM norm), 2-3 Keith Arkell (ENG) Colin McNab (SCO) 6, 4-5 Peter Poobalasingam (ENG), Peter Vas (ENG) 5½, etc. Challengers: 1 John Hodgson (ENG) 7½/9. Official WebsiteView/Download Games (Britbase) • View/Download Games (official site, with photos).

Big Slick Open, 26-28 Jun [19/08/09]

The game scores of the 1st Big Slick Open, played at the Big Slick Poker Club in Purley, 26-28 June, and won by Jonathan Rowson, are now available at Britbase. Click here for details: http://www.saund.co.uk/britbase/

7th Staunton Memorial Tournament, Simpsons in the Strand, 8-17 Aug [17/08/09]

The 7th Staunton Memorial Tournament takes place from 8- 17 August at Simpsons in the Strand. There are two events this year: a a double-cycle Scheveningen System match-tournament between five players representing the UK and the Netherlands, plus, new this year, a category 9 ten-player all-play-all. The UK team in the Scheveningen event is Michael Adams, Nigel Short, Luke McShane, David Howell and Gawain Jones while the Netherlands are represented by Ivan Sokolov, Loek van Wely, Jan Smeets, Erwin L'Ami and Jan Werle. Amongst the all-play-all line-up are Viktor Korchnoi and Jan Timman. Official website: http://howardstaunton.com/hsmt2009/Home.htmlLatest: The UK beat the Netherlands by 26½-23½. Nigel Short finished on 8/10 (a 2900+ TPR), Adams, Howell 5, McShane 4½, Jones 4. For the Netherlands the scores were Smeets 6/10, Sokolov 5½, Van Wely 5, L'Ami 4½, Werle 2½. In the all-play-all Jan Timman won with 7/9 ahead of Alex Cherniaev 6½, Viktor Korchnoi 6, Davies 5, Hendriks, Wiersma, Williams 4½, Wells 4, Trent 2, Chapman 1. View/Download all GB-NED games View/Download all GM event games (BritBase)

Uxbridge Internationals, 12-16 Aug [17/08/09]

Six all-play-all (and similar) tournaments were held at the De Veres Denham Grove Hotel from 12-16 August, organised by Sean Hewitt. Group A: 1 I Rausis (CZE) 7½/9, 2 MC Panchanathan (IND) 7, 3 V Tiruchirapalli (IND) 6½ (IM norm achieved). Group B: 1 Arun Prasad (IND) 7½/9, 2-3 B Lalic (CRO), V Doncea (ROU) 7, 4 Peter Poobalasingam (ENG) 6½ (IM norm achieved). Group C: 1 D Gormally (ENG) 8/9, 2 K Arkell (ENG) 7, Alan Byron (ENG) 6. Group D: 1 Akash Jain (ENG) 7½/9. Group E: 1 David Turner (ENG) 6/9. Group F: 1 Philip Makepeace (ENG) 7½/9. View/Download all games (BritBase).

London Chess Classic, 7-16 Dec [11/08/09]

Malcolm Pein reports (press release 21 July 2009): The London Chess Classic 2009, which takes place from 8-16 December 2009 at the Olympia Conference Centre, will be the highest level tournament in London for 25 years and will be the first in a series of events designed to increase enthusiasm for chess in the UK and promote the game and its undoubted educational benefits in schools and communities. It is also our objective to bring the world championship to London in the Olympic year 2012. Olympia will provide excellent facilities including a 400 seat soundproof auditorium, two commentary rooms and multimedia presentation. There will be ample space for Open, weekend and speed chess tournaments plus junior training which will run alongside the main event from December 8th-15th inclusive.

    England's four leading grandmasters; Michael Adams, Nigel Short, Luke McShane and David Howell will be pitched against a world-class field that includes a former world champion Vladimir Kramnik and 18-year-old Magnus Carlsen ranked world number three and widely seen a future holder of the world crown. One of China's finest players; Ni Hua and the US Champion Hikaru Nakamura, complete the field.

    Spectators will be treated to live commentary on the games from grandmasters and will be able to play tournament or informal games all day. Ticket information will be available in September. For those who cannot attend there be will live coverage and commentary on the games on the internet. All communications to Malcolm Pein IM at London Chess Centre: 020 7388 2404. E-Mail: info@chess.co.uk. Website: www.chess.co.uk

British Championships, Torquay, 26 July - 8 August [08/08/09]

David Howell: British ChampionThe 96th British Chess Championships took place at the Riviera Centre, Torquay, from 26 July to 8 August. Official websitelive gamesList of British Champions 1904-2008 (BritBase) • English Chess ForumBritish Championship Blog (Bob Jones) • View/Download all games (BritBase). Latest: David Howell (pictured left) won the championship with 9/11. At 18, he is the second youngest ever British Champion (after Michael Adams). He also won the British Under 21, British Under 18 and English Championship titles. Second equal wereSimon Williams and Mark Hebden on 8½. Jovanka Houska retained her British Women's Championship title.

Photo © 2009 John Saunders

Gibtelecom Festival 2010 [09/07/09]

A quick plug for the 2010 Gibtelecom Chess Festival (Tuesday 26 January 2010 to Thursday 4 February 2010)... the brochure is now out and a list of the star names who will be playing there can be found at http://www.gibraltarchesscongress.com/gib2009/index.html

1st Big Slick Chess Tournament [05/07/09]

Big Slick Tournament

This new tournament, organised by GM Simon Williams, is called the 1st Big Slick Tournament and is a five-round FIDE Open, held at the Big Slick Poker Club (Unit 10, Royal Oak Centre, Brighton Road, Purley, Surrey CR8 2BG). The web address is http://www.gingergm.com/big-slick-chess/. The international invitation tournament is a category 6 ten-player all-play-all (Keith Arkell 2517g, Danny Gormally 2487g, Luis Galego 2454g, Alex Cherniaev 2423g, Simon Ansell 2394m, Gudmundur Kjartansson 2388f, Jack Rudd 2357m, Bob Eames 2312f, Alexei Slavin 2308, Peter Poobalasingam 2240), running 27 June - 5 July • View/Download games from the 1st Big Slick GM Tournament (all games) • Final Scores: 1-2 Cherniaev, Arkell 6½, 3 Slavin 5½, 4-5 Poobalasingam, Galego 5, 6 Gormally 4½, 7 Rudd 4, 8 Ansell 3½, 9 Kjartansson 2½, 10 Eames 2. Keith Arkell won his final two games by default (against Ansell and Galego).
   In the FIDE-rated open (27-28 June), GM Jonathan Rowson headed the open tournament entrant's list ahead of IM Gavin Wall. Latest: Jonathan Rowson and Mark Rich both finished on 4½/5 in the Open, with Rowson winning the blitz play-off (but only after his opponent missed mate in one!).

BCM Links Updated [14/05/09 and also 19/05/09]

BCM's links page provides you with links to 90+ quality chess websites, with a focus on news, games downloads, history and UK clubs and associations but not restricted to these areas of interest. I update the links regularly, getting rid of ones where content has not been renewed for some time and adding good new links that come along. I use it myself when scanning for chess news and content for the magazine. One new feature, added today, is Leonard Barden's daily column in the London Evening Standard which is now available online at http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/chess. Leonard has been writing it for around half a century* and is within a year or so of becoming the world record-holder for a daily chess feature in a newspaper. Another relatively new website is GM Simon Williams' new blog (called GingerGM! - http://www.gingergm.com/) where he annotates some of his games. Well worth a look as he is one of the most entertaining players around. JS.

LATER (1): Re Leonard Barden's Evening Standard column: when I wrote the above, I hadn't fully appreciated what was planned for it. It seems that, though the column does indeed now appear online on a daily basis, it is now to appear in print only once a week (on Fridays). This is a retrograde step for a column that is enjoyed by thousands of Londoners in the print version of the newspaper, typically when commuting home from work. Although it may or may not reach a bigger audience online, it will probably only be regular competition chessplayers who will seek out the online version. Thus, casual or occasional chessplayers will miss out on this daily treat which must have introduced countless thousands of players to the pleasures of competition chess in the past five decades.

LATER (2): (19/05/09) Good news! Leonard Barden's Evening Standard column has been restored to its rightful place in the printed newspaper. Credit to the newspaper bosses who have evidently listened to readers' reactions (and/or perhaps a few people in high places). *Incidentally, we now think it has been going for rather more than half a century - probably started in 1956...

Frome Open, 8-10 May [12/05/09]

The 20th Frome Open, held over the weekend of 8-10 May, saw good performances from two notable veterans. There was a four-way tie for first place, with two of the winners being 75-year-old James Sherwin and 78-year-old Michael Franklin. Scores: 1-4 James Sherwin (Bath), Michael Franklin (Richmond), Alex Galliano (Wellington), Ieuan Ward (Salisbury) 4/5. Further results may be found at the congress website. My thanks to Jack Rudd for supplying the games. View/Download 76 games from the Frome Open.

4NCL Final Weekend, 2-4 May, Staverton Park [06/05/09]

Link to my short video of the last round of this year's 4NCL

The final weekend of the 4NCL (British Team League) took place over the Bank Holiday weekend of 2-4 May. Live coverage and team scores at http://www.bcfservices.org.uk/livechess/4ncl/0809/index.htm while the 4NCL website itself is http://www.4ncl.co.uk/. Most of the interest centred on the showdown between leaders Wood Green Hilsmark Kingfisher (WGHK) 1 and reigning champions Guildford-A&DC 1 in the final round on Monday. WGHK 1 had a two-point lead going into the last round but a minimal Guildford win would have given them the championship. In a nail-biting conclusion, Ketevan Arakhamia-Grant beat British champion Stuart Conquest to secure WGHK 1 at least a 4-4 draw that they needed to wrest the title from Guildford-A&DC 1, regardless of the result of the last two games to finish (on boards one and three). Stephen Gordon completed the requirement for his final GM norm.

Coulsdon Easter International [20/04/09]

The Coulsdon Easter GM/IM Norm International was played from 13-19 April at the Coulsdon Chess Fellowship, 84-90 Chipstead Valley Road, Coulsdon CR5 3BA. The category 6 14-player GM/IM norm tournament was a clear win for Scottish GM Colin McNab. Two IM norms were achieved, by Jan Lundin (SWE) and Jovica Radovanovic (SRB). Scores: 1 C McNab (SCO) 9/13, 2-4 J Cox (ENG), A Cherniaev (RUS), A Madan (ROU), 5-6 J Lundin (SWE), J Radovanovic (SRB) 7½, 7-9 A Berelovich (GER), E Ermenkov (PLE), C Baker (ENG) 7, 10 P Sowray (ENG) 6, 11 D Eggleston (ENG) 5, 12-13 J Rudd (ENG), B Savage (ENG) 4½, 14 R Allicock (ENG) 2. The subsidiary Challengers event was won by D Ian Calvert. Official Home pageView/download Coulsdon games.

Bolton Easter Congress, 10-12 Apr [18/04/09]

Further to the headline listed below (under 'Easter Congresses', Rod Middleton has kindly sent me a full report of this event, with three* games (Haslinger 1-0 Goodger, Mason 0-1 Surtees and Haslinger 0-1 Surtees * 3rd game added on 20/04/09). Click here.

BCM Email Address [17/04/09]

Please note that BCM's former email address of bcmchess@compuserve.com will cease to function as from 30 June 2009. It has long since been replaced by - there is a complete guide to BCM email addresses here.

West of England Open, Exmouth, 10-13 Apr [16/04/09]

The West of England Open, held at the Royal Beacon Hotel in Exmouth over the Easter weekend, was won by David Cutmore. Open: 1 D Cutmore 5½/7, 2-3 J Menadue, G Taylor 5. Major: 1-2 M Abbott, R Thompson 5½/7. Minor: 1-2 G Lingard, A Richards 6/7. Women's Championship: 1-2 H Welch, M Cox 3/7. View/download games from the WECU OpenWECU website.

4th Spectrum Guernsey Open, 3-5 Apr [15/04/09]

The 4th Spectrum Guernsey Open, held at the Peninsula Hotel, Guernsey, was won by Peter Kirby of Guernsey. 1 Peter Kirby (Guernsey) 5/6, 2 Christian Tandy (Jersey) 4½, U165 Grading: Graham Mooney (Jersey) and David Sedgwick (England) 3½, U125 Grading: Matt Kirk and Jonathan O'Connor (both Guernsey) 3, U100 Grading: Heinz Herschmann (England) 3. View/download Spectrum Guernsey games.

2009 Welsh Championships, Cardiff [15/04/09]

The 2009 Welsh Championship, held in Cardiff over the Easter weekend, was won jointly by FMs Ioan Rees and Richard S Jones. Rees beat Jones in their individual game in round four but conceded half points to Tim Kett and Sven Zeidler in the last two rounds to allow Jones to catch up with him again. Scores: 1-2 I Rees, RS Jones 6/7, 3-5 S Zeidler, P Bennett, A Spice 5, 6-7 T Kett, D James 4½, etc. Tom Weston Major Open: 1 Richard Hanscombe 6/7, 2 Stephen Curtis 5½. John Bishop Minor: 1 Jon E Blackburn 6/7, 2 Ashley Davis 5½. View/download 2009 Welsh Championship games (including Major and Minor tournaments) - my thanks to John Thornton for the games and report.

East Devon Open [15/04/09]

Bob Eames came first in the strong East Devon Open, held in Exeter over the weekend of 6-8 March. Scores: 1 R Eames 4½/5, 2-3 Jack Rudd, Dominic Mackle 4, etc. View/download East Devon Open games (my thanks to Bill Frost for sending the games).

Easter Congresses [updated 16/04/09]

Round-up of Easter congress news... Southend - Jack Speigel Memorial: 1-2 S Williams, J Emms 4½/7, 3-5 K Arkell, G Flear, P Wells 4, 6-7 N McDonald, C Ward 3, 8 M Hebden 1. Adam Ashton won the Open - View/download Speigel Memorial games - web page... Surrey Congress - 16-year-old James Adair from Reading won the Surrey Open with 6/7 ahead of IM Graeme Buckley and Rafal Tymrakiewicz (POL) 5½ - full results... Coulsdon Easter Congress - Alex Galliano and Christopher Brookes shared 1st place - full results... Bolton Congress - 1-3 Stewart Haslinger, Martin Mitchell, Mike Surtees 4/5.

Oxford-Cambridge Match, 14 March 2009 [15/03/09]

The 127th Varsity Chess Match between Oxford University and Cambridge University was held at the RAC Club, Pall Mall, London on 14 March 2009 and generously sponsored by Henry Mutkin. Despite being significantly outrated on most of the boards, Oxford scored a surprising but emphatic 5-3 victory, to make the score in the 127-match series Cambridge 56 wins to Oxford's 52, with 19 matches drawn. Full reportView/download 2009 Varsity Oxford-Cambridge match games

Super-Tournament in London in December 2009 [10/03/09]

Malcolm Pein has announced a super-tournament to be held in London from 11-17 December. The following is the press release:

9 March 2009 - Cream of World Chess to play in New London Tournament


London Chess Centre is proud to announce the hosting of a world-class  chess tournament to be held in London in December, 2009. The event  will be an elite eight-player all-play-all in the most prestigious tournament in the capital since former world champion Anatoly Karpov won the Phillips and Drew Masters in 1984.

Since then, despite London hosting three world title contests, there has not been a tournament in which England’s leading players could lock horns with the world’s best on home soil. The December 2009 tournament will be the first in a series of events designed  to reinvigorate UK chess and promote the game and its undoubted educational benefits in schools and communities.

The tournament will be FIDE Category 19 with an average FIDE rating of 2700 and a minimum prize fund of €100,000. The eight players will comprise of three English and five world-class grandmasters from abroad. Included in the prize fund will be a €10,000 Brilliant Game award along with prizes for each victory with the White and Black pieces. Matches will be covered live online where fans will be able to vote for Game of the Day.

The tournament has applied for membership of the prestigious annual Grand Slam of Chess which culminates in Bilbao and boasts a €400,000 prize fund.

The games will be under Classical Chess time control; 40 moves in two hours, 20 in the subsequent hour then an additional 15 minutes plus an increment of 30 seconds a move until the end of the game.  The tournament will further benefit from the use of Sofia Rules which disallow early draws. Players will receive three points for a win and one for a draw.

The opening ceremony will take place on Thursday, December 10 and will include a blindfold chess display and charity simultaneous. Play will take place daily from Friday, December 11 to Thursday, December 17 inclusive.

The list of players and venue will be announced in April.

Malcolm Pein (IM), Director, London Chess Centre

Major Events: Wijk and Gibraltar [23/01/09]

Two major events are upon us: Corus Wijk aan Zee (16 Jan - 1 Feb) is already well under way - official website: http://www.coruschess.com/ - and next Tuesday there starts the 7th Gibtelecom Festival in Gibraltar (27 Jan - 5 Feb) - official website: http://www.gibraltarchesscongress.com. Both have considerable British interest as well as super-GM participants. Michael Adams, Nigel Short and David Howell are playing in Corus A, B and C tournaments respectively. In Gibraltar, the super-GM competitors are Peter Svidler, Vugar Gashimov, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Viktor Bologan, while the list of UK competitors is headed by Jon Speelman, Stephen Gordon and Ketevan Arakhamia-Grant.

Hastings Congress, 28 Dec - 5 Jan [02/01/09]

logoThe world's longest running congress began its 84th annual congress on 28 December 2008 at Horntye Park Leisure Centre, Hastings, on 28 December. Valery Neverov returns to seek a fourth successive masters title, having won outright in 2005/6, jointly with Gagunashvili in 2006/7 and jointly with Malakhatko and Mamedov in 2007/8. Neverov is fourth seed based on rating. The other leading contenders, in rating order, are Emanuel Berg (Sweden), Igor Kurnosov (Russia), David Howell (England), Gawain Jones (England), Stuart Conquest (England), Milos Pavlovic (Serbia), Stephen Gordon (England), Mark Hebden (England), Danny Gormally (England) and Stewart Haslinger (England). Latest: after round five - 1 Igor Kurnosov (RUS) 4½/5, 2-8 David Howell, Stephen Gordon, Simon Ansell ENG), Emanuel Berg (SWE), Milos Pavlovic (SRB), Valeriy Neverov (UKR), Didier LeRoy (FRA) 4, etc. Click here for a page of photographs from day one of the congressOfficial websiteView/download games (rounds 1-5)