Gawain Jones wins the 99th British Championship

8/6/2012 – A number of top GMs were missing, but the extraordinary fighting spirit made up for that. In the final, eleventh round GM Gawain Jones needed to win with black, which he did in a highly combative Sicilian Dragon. This meant he faced Stephen Gordon in a playoff, which he won in spite of losing his queen in the first game. We bring you round-by-round game commentary and video reports.

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99th Championships of British Isles

Sun 22nd July – Sat 4th August, 2012

The British Chess Championships took place in take place in North Shields, a town on the north bank of the River Tyne. Its name derives from Middle English "schele" meaning temporary sheds or huts (used by fishermen), and still today, the area is synonymous with fishing and other trades associated with seafaring.

The Championship was excellently covered by the web site of the Yorkshire Chess Association, which provided round-by-round reports and game analysis. It is well worth visiting to go through these reports. Here is some material from the final round and the playoff.

The British Championships went into the final round with three potential winners, although David Howell would have needed a minor miracle to gain a playoff. David and Danny Gormally finished their tournaments in fine style with quick tactical wins over their opponents, although neither player was able to challenge for the title when it was all said and done. In typical style, Keith Arkell was the last player in the tournament to finish as he tried to grind out a win with an extra pawn in a rook and pawn ending against the unbeaten Stuart Conquest, but on this occasion, the maxim “all rook and pawn endings are drawn” held true and Conquest remained unbeaten.

On paper, Stephen Gordon had the much tougher opponent than Gawain Jones and Gawain would be looking to capitalise on this to at least force a playoff. Stephen faced a Gruenfeld against Jonathan Hawkins, whom he needed to beat to win the tournament outright, or draw to guarantee at least a playoff. Gordon quickly realised that he could not really expect to gain any advantage from the opening and a draw was agreed after only 18 moves.

This result meant Gawain had to win to force a playoff. He set his stall out early with the black pieces by choosing the highly combative Sicilian Dragon, and Dave Ledger obliged to a complicated struggle by choosing to castle on opposite wings. Like in his Round 8 game against Jonathan Hawkins, Gawain produced another tactical brilliancy to force the playoff.


Gawain Jones in front of the ruins of the Tynemouth Priory and Castle, which was
once one of the largest fortified areas in England. Overlooking the North Sea and
the River Tyne, it dominates the headland. It is a English Heritage site.

Congratulations to Jovanka Houska who became the British Women’s Champion for the fifth consecutive year!

The playoff

This consisted of two 20 minute + 10 sec per move games, followed by an Armageddon (4 v 3 mins with 3 seconds from move 1). GMs Gawain Jones and Stephen Gordon tied for first, with 9.0/11 points and 2600+ performances. In the playoff between the two Gawain Jones lost his queen, but managed to draw. In the second game he outplayed Gordon to become the 99th British Champion. The two games, full of drama, excitement and amazing chess, have been annotated on the Yorkshire Chess web site.


The 99th British Champion GM Gawain Jones

Final results (after eleven rounds of play)

# Name
Pts
Rtng
Perf
1 GM Jones, Gawain C
9.0
2655
2687
2 GM Gordon, Stephen
9.0
2539
2655
3 GM Howell, David W
8.5
2620
2621
4 GM Gormally, Daniel
7.5
2505
2472
5 IM Hawkins, Jonathan
7.5
2499
2456
6 GM Arkell, Keith C
7.5
2441
2462
7 GM Turner, Matthew
7.0
2508
2468
8 GM Conquest, Stuart
7.0
2501
2388
9 IM Palliser, Richard
7.0
2482
2274
10 IM Hanley, Craig A
6.5
2419
2302
11 IM Houska, Jovanka
6.5
2406
2332
12 FM Eggleston, David
6.5
2323
2245
13 Roe, Simon J
6.5
2275
2219
14 Adair, James R
6.5
2262
2318
15 FM Ledger, Dave J
6.5
2246
2328
16 Osborne, Marcus
6.5
2245
2415
17 Harvey, Marcus R
6.5
2134
2368
18 Foo, William J
6.5
2009
2323
19 IM Kolbus, Dietmar
6.0
2321
2190
20 IM Rudd, Jack
6.0
2295
2237
21 FM Walker, David J
6.0
2276
2197
22 Townsend, M Paul
6.0
2252
2185
23 Hanley, James L
6.0
2244
2221
24 Brown, Martin
6.0
2224
2027
25 Holland, James P
6.0
2200
2466
26 Burnett, Jim
6.0
2174
2230
27 Mackle, Dominic
6.0
2130
2377
28 Jackson, James P
6.0
2126
2336
29 Chapman, Terry P
5.5
2290
2242
30 FM Storey, Charles
5.5
2247
2242
31 Mason, Donald J
5.5
2244
2126
33 Sugden, John N
5.5
2142
2130
32 FM Shaw, Robert
5.5
2220
2132
34 Weller, Jean-Luc
5.5
2115
2264
35 Waters, Clive L
5.5
2106
2212
36 Batchelor, Peter
5.5
2103
2277
37 Varnam, Liam D
5.5
2070
2216
38 WIM Maroroa, Sue
5.5
2035
2141
39 Murphy, Hugh W
5.0
2180
2112
40 Walker, Nicholas
5.0
2179
2147
41 Oswald, Graeme E
5.0
2178
2000
42 Shaw, Peter
5.0
2168
2077
43 Surtees, Mike J
5.0
2113
2045
44 Combie, Alex B
5.0
2039
2110
45 Lenier, Jude A
5.0
2016
2102
46 Grattage, Matthew
5.0
1986
2160
47 Poobalasingam, Peter
4.5
2263
2095
48 Jaunooby, Ali R
4.5
2165
2069
49 Coathup, Roger H
4.5
2136
2082
50 Foster, James M
4.5
2037
2074
51 Whitfield, Craig
4.5
2020
2042
52 Tambini, Jasper
4.5
1958
1975
53 Burke, Mitchell
4.5
1917
2003
54 FM Wall, Tim P
4.0
2347
2003
55 Ledger, Stephen
4.0
2089
2091
56 Wadsworth, Matthew
4.0
2037
2065
57 Jain, Radha
4.0
1868
2070
58 WFM Bhatia, Kanwal
3.5
2103
1944
59 Fabri, Henrik
3.5
2004
1948
60 Elwin, Adrian G
3.5
1985
1983
61 McDonald, Ian
3.5
1876
1820
62 Hall, David E
3.0
2103
1937
63 Dodds, Edward
3.0
1861
1940
64 Hoare, Amy B
1.5
1958
1693
65 Hackner, Oskar A
1.0
2014
1511

Prizes

Player
Points 
Result 
Prize Club
Gawain Jones
9/11
1st=
£3,825.00   4NCL NACCPO
Stephen Gordon
9/11
1st=
£3,675.00 Wood Green, Hilsmark Kingfisher
David Howell
8.5
3rd
£1,500.00 4NCL Pride and Prejudice
Keith Arkell
7.5
4th=
£750.00 4NCL Cheddleton
Daniel Gormally
7.5
4th=
£750.00 4NCL Cheddleton
Jonathan Hawkins  
7.5
4th=
£750.00 Consett/Leam Lane
Stuart Conquest
7
7th=
£83.34 4NCL Guildford
Richard Palliser
7
7th=
£83.34 4NCL White Rose
Matthew Turner
7
7th=
£83.34 4NCL Barbican

Commentary by Andrew Martin


The explosive round eleven game between Dave Ledger and Gawain Jones that ultimately decided the event

You can follow Andrew Martin's round-by-round commentary on his
Yateley Manor Chess Master YouTube channel


Links

The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 11 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.

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