100th British Chess Championship started

by ChessBase
7/30/2013 – The British Championships started on Monday and will continue to mid-August, on the sunny south coast of England. To really appreciate how far the event has come in its 100 years, one needs to take the opportunity to look back at some of the milestones on the way – IM Andrew Martin and local chess history writer Bob Jones provide us with portraits of past champions and their key games.

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A record-breaking number of over 1000 players will be entering the 2013 British Championships, attracted by a combination of the beautiful venue and the fact that it’s the 100th in a series stretching right back to 1904. There are 23 different sections catering for all ages and abilities, as well as a number of extra events, some traditional and others never tried before.

The venue is the Riviera International Centre, Chestnut Avenue, Torquay

But the main focus of interest will be on the Championship itself. There will be at least 100 players taking part, of whom 33 are titled players, including twelve grandmasters so far. The defending Champion is Gawain Jones, and former champions Chris Ward and David Howell will be testing him to the full, not to mention the other nine GMs Arkell, Emms, Flear, Gordon, Gormally, Hebden, Kosten, Lalic, and Wells, all wanting to claim their first championship.

Top ranking after Round 1

Rnk Name Score Fed. Rating
1 GM Jones, Gawain C B 1.0 ENG 2643
2 GM Howell, David W L 1.0 ENG 2639
3 GM Hebden, Mark L 1.0 ENG 2555
4 GM Gordon, Stephen J 1.0 ENG 2521
5 IM Hawkins, Jonathan 1.0 ENG 2517
6 GM Gormally, Daniel W 1.0 ENG 2496
7 GM Lalic, Bogdan 1.0 CRO 2489
8 GM Williams, Simon K 1.0 ENG 2481
9 GM Wells, Peter K 1.0 ENG 2479
10 GM Emms, John M 1.0 ENG 2469
11 IM Zhou, Yang-Fan 1.0 ENG 2469
12 IM Ghasi, Ameet K 1.0 ENG 2459
13 GM Kosten, Anthony C. 1.0 FRA 2458
14 GM Arkell, Keith C 1.0 ENG 2444
15 GM Ward, Chris G 1.0 ENG 2432
16 IM Lane, Gary W. 1.0 AUS 2401
17 FM Eggleston, David J 1.0 ENG 2363
18 IM Fernandez, Daniel 1.0 SIN 2346
19 IM Knott, Simon J B 1.0 ENG 2318
20 FM Chapman, Terry 1.0 ENG 2308

Full pairings, results and rankings of 106 players

Andrew Martin's GB CH 2013 Game of the Day Rd 1

To really appreciate how far the event has come in its 100 years, one needs to take the opportunity to look back at some of the milestones on the way – the great characters, the champions and their games. To do this, IM Andrew Martin is using his computer skills to pick out some key games from the past and run his expert eye over them.

Andrew Martin: British Chess Championship 2013 Preview

Similarly, Bob Jones, local chess history writer, is compiling a set of ten pages, each on a past champion and one of his/her games. These will appear, one at a time, in the daily championship bulletins. Here is the first of them.

Historic BCF Championship Games - No. 1.

1904 - Hastings

William Napier was born in Dulwich in 1881 but moved to the US at the age of 5. At 15 he won the Brooklyn Club Championship beating Marshall en route, and shortly after beating him again in a head-to-head match 7-3. The following year he beat Steinitz in a level game. He came over to enter at Hastings, not with everyone’s agreement apparently, and drew with Atkins on 8/11 pts, both receiving £45. The tie was broken the following January in a match of 4 games in which Napier won one, the rest being drawn. He retired from tournament chess almost immediately, something his great friend Harry Pillsbury was also hoping to do. Napier married Pillsbury’s sister-in-law’s daughter, Florence Gillespie and concentrated on a successful career in life insurance. He died in Washington DC in 1952. His biography, Napier – The Forgotten Chessmaster was written by John Hilbert and published by Caissa Editions in 1997.

His opponent here, Capt. Chepmell, was born in Paris in 1869, son of a prominent London physician. Commissioned into the Royal Artillery, he played many friendly games against Churchill's father, Lord Randolph. He died in Bristol in 1930. Although not in Napier’s class (few were) he enjoyed a life-long chess career, his BCM obituary filling a whole page.

[Event "BCF-ch 1st"] [Site "Hastings"] [Date "1904.??.??"] [Round "6"] [White "Napier, William Ewart"] [Black "Chepmell, Claude Herries"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D26"] [Annotator "Napier in BCM"] [PlyCount "43"] [EventDate "1904.08.22"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "11"] [EventCountry "ENG"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2004.11.15"] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 dxc4 3. Nf3 c5 4. e3 cxd4 5. Bxc4 e6 6. exd4 Nf6 7. Nc3 a6 {It is obviously opposed to every principle of chess to neglect the development of 3 pieces, because one has no immediate outlook.} 8. O-O b5 9. Bb3 Bb7 {Black's game is assailable in so many ways that I very nearly lost in my anxiety to come at the Black king.} 10. Re1 Be7 11. Ne5 Nbd7 ({No better is} 11... O-O { on account of} 12. Qe2 {and it is difficult to see how 13.Nxf7 can be prevented, e.g.} Nd5 13. Nxf7 (13. Qg4) 13... Rxf7 (13... Qb6 14. Nh6+ {etc.}) 14. Qxe6 {and Black is helpless.}) 12. Nxf7 {Not to be resisted by flesh and blood! Neither at the time nor subsequently was I able to find a valid defence for Black, though it is possible one exists.} Kxf7 13. Rxe6 Kf8 14. Bf4 Rc8 ({ The alternative was} 14... Nb6 15. d5 Nbxd5 16. Nxd5 Bxd5 17. Rxf6+ Bxf6 18. Bxd5 Ra7 19. Qh5 g5 20. Qh6+ {and wins.}) 15. Qe2 Rxc3 {of no awail} 16. bxc3 Nd5 17. Bd6 N7f6 ({If} 17... Bxd6 18. Rxd6 Qg5 19. Rxd7 {wins.}) 18. Bxd5 Nxd5 19. Bxe7+ Nxe7 20. Re1 Qd5 21. f3 h6 22. Rxe7 1-0


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 12 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.

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