British Championship: Howell and Hebden closing in

by Albert Silver
7/28/2014 – After nine rounds, the venerable British Championship is once more heating up. Jonathan Hawkins started with a 1.5 point lead over everyone else, but three draws later, including those against reigning champion David Howell, and Nicholas Pert, that gap has been reduced to half a point. He still leads with 7.5/9, but breathing down his neck are Howell, and veteran Mark Hebden.

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The 101st British Chess Championships are taking place 19th to 30th July 2014 in Aberystwyth in West Wales. The event is open only to exempted or qualified players. There are a number of sections: Senior Championships; Major Open; Under 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16; Rapidplay Open, Weekenders, etc.

Rounds eight and nine

IM Jonathan Hawkins has led the British Championship from end to end thus far

David Howell had a terrible start as already known, but has since recovered with a 4.5/5 streak, taking him to 7.0/9. 56-year-old Mark Hebden has been enjoying a bit of a rebirth, and has also scored five points in the last six rounds, including back-to-back wins over GM Emms and GM Williams in rounds eight and nine. In round ten, he will get a stab at the leader as he has white against Hawkins, while Howell will have black against Nicholas Pert, who is sole fourth with 6.5/9.

IM Andrew Martin's Game of the Day


IM Yang-Fan Zhou faces IM Daniel Fernandez in a tense Sicilian Najdorf in round eight

Standings after nine rounds

Rank Name Score Rating TPR
1 IM Hawkins, Jonathan 7.5 2516 2665
2 GM Howell, David W L 7.0 2650 2589
3 GM Hebden, Mark L 7.0 2554 2580
4 GM Pert, Nicholas 6.5 2564 2547
5 IM Zhou, Yang-Fan 6.0 2475 2387
6 GM Emms, John M 6.0 2456 2459
7 GM Arkell, Keith C 6.0 2433 2388
8 IM Pert, Richard G 6.0 2430 2461
9 GM Ward, Chris G 6.0 2422 2457
10 IM Fernandez, Daniel Howard 6.0 2396 2523
11 GM Williams, Simon K 5.5 2462 2451
12 FM Tan, Justin 5.5 2375 2338
13 Haria, Ravi 5.5 2202 2208
14 McPhillips, Joseph 5.5 2200 2197
15 Batchelor, Peter J 5.5 2177 2331

Photos courtesy of the official tournament site


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Born in the US, he grew up in Paris, France, where he completed his Baccalaureat, and after college moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He had a peak rating of 2240 FIDE, and was a key designer of Chess Assistant 6. In 2010 he joined the ChessBase family as an editor and writer at ChessBase News. He is also a passionate photographer with work appearing in numerous publications, and the content creator of the YouTube channel, Chess & Tech.


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