British Championships: Howell continues to lead

by ChessBase
8/6/2013 – Round seven saw a 57-move struggle between David Howell and Mark Hebden. It ended in a draw, while GM Stephen Gordon got mated by Simon Williams in 30 moves. This means that Howell still leads, with 6.0/7 points and a 2734 performance. Four players follow half a point behind. In our historical review of past champions we look back at York 1959, where Rowena Bruce won the first of eleven titles.

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A record-breaking number of over 1000 players are taking part in 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. This year it is taking place in the Riviera International Centre in Torquay. There are 23 different sections at the 2013 British Championships, catering for all ages and abilities, but the main focus of interest is on the Championship itself. There are 106 players taking part, of whom 33 are titled players, including thirteen grandmasters. The Championship runs from 29th July to 10th August 2013.

Round seven was a black day for the top boards – not a white win to be seen anywhere. Howell maintained his half-point lead, but Williams, Ghasi and Arkell hauled themselves into equal second on 5.5. Defending champion, Gawain Jones, made progress with a win over Chapman to reach five points.

Top results of round seven

No. White
1 GM Howell, David W L 2639 GM Hebden, Mark L 2555
2 GM Gordon, Stephen J 2521 GM Williams, Simon 2481
3 IM Hawkins, Jonathan 2517 IM Ghasi, Ameet K 2459
4 GM Lalic, Bogdan 2489 GM Kosten, Anthony 2458
5 GM Wells, Peter K 2479 GM Arkell, Keith C 2444
6 IM Zhou, Yang-Fan 2469 Mackle, Dominic 2216
7 GM Jones, Gawain C B 2643 FM Chapman, Terry 2308
8 IM Rudd, Jack 2280 GM Gormally, Daniel 2496
9 IM Meszaros, Gyula 2255 GM Flear, Glenn C 2456
10 IM Palliser, Richard J D 2453 FM Ledger, Dave J 2305
11 GM Ward, Chris G 2432 IM Kolbus, Dietmar 2288
12 IM Fernandez, Daniel 2346 FM Eames, Robert S 2244
13 Haria, Ravi 2133 IM Knott, Simon J B 2318
14 Wadsworth, Matthew J 2136 GM Emms, John M 2469
15 IM Lane, Gary W. 2401 Yeo, Michael J 2170
16 IM Bates, Richard A 2375 Duff, Rufus 2157
17 Reid, John 2151 FM Carr, Neil L 2290
18 Mercs, Peter J 2109 Longson, Alexander 2279
19 Osborne, Marcus E 2269 Anderson, John 2189
20 Brown, Martin 2203 Hackner, Oskar A 2063
21 Scott, Gordon W 2039 Weaving, Richard 2196

Top rankings after round seven

This round leaves David Howell in a clear lead, a half point ahead of Hebden and Gordon followed by nine players on 4.5. By this stage the cream has risen to the top, with nine of the top ten players having GM titles or norms, and most of the chasing pack having titles. Outstanding in this respect is the exception: local player and current Devon Champion (his only title), Dominic Mackle, riding high among the GMs with a score of 4.5.

Rnk Name
1 GM Howell, David W L 6.0 2639 2734 +0.70
2 GM Hebden, Mark L 5.5 2555 2618 +0.67
3 GM Williams, Simon K 5.5 2481 2542 +0.60
4 IM Ghasi, Ameet K 5.5 2459 2557 +0.90
5 GM Arkell, Keith C 5.5 2444 2502 +0.56
6 GM Jones, Gawain C B 5.0 2643 2435 -1.29
7 GM Gordon, Stephen J 5.0 2521 2554 +0.49
8 GM Gormally, Daniel W 5.0 2496 2437 -0.33
9 GM Lalic, Bogdan 5.0 2489 2412 -0.47
10 IM Zhou, Yang-Fan 5.0 2469 2437 -0.10
11 GM Kosten, Anthony C. 5.0 2458 2461 +0.25
12 IM Palliser, Richard J D 5.0 2453 2437 +0.09
13 GM Ward, Chris G 5.0 2432 2426 +0.12
14 IM Fernandez, Daniel 5.0 2346 2495 +1.47
15 Mackle, Dominic 5.0 2216 2466 +2.25
16 IM Hawkins, Jonathan 4.5 2517 2418 -0.70
17 GM Wells, Peter K 4.5 2479 2431 -0.23
18 GM Flear, Glenn C 4.5 2456 2246 -1.51
19 IM Knott, Simon J B 4.5 2318 2317 +0.11
20 FM Carr, Neil L 4.5 2290 2172 -0.89
21 Longson, Alexander 4.5 2279 2390 +0.99
22 IM Meszaros, Gyula 4.5 2255 2286 +0.40
23 Weaving, Richard 4.5 2196 2356 +1.46
24 Anderson, John 4.5 2189 2230 +0.43
25 Yeo, Michael J 4.5 2170 2345 +1.56
26 Haria, Ravi 4.5 2133 2377 +2.21
27 Hackner, Oskar A 4.5 2063 2328 +2.46

David Howell vs Mark Hebden was drawn in 57 moves

Stephen Gordon got mated by Simon Williams in 30 moves

The playing hall, with Rudd v Gormally and Meszaros v Flear in the foreground

Selection of games from round seven

Select games from the dropdown menu above the board

Game of the day by Andrew Martin

Rd 7 Game of the Day GB Ch 2013

Photos provided by Brendan O'Gorman and Keverel Chess

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. 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.

British Champions & Their Games - No. 7

1959 – York

Let’s not forget the ladies, although the printed media rarely give them any special mention, and actual game scores are as rare as hen’s teeth.

The most consistent competitor was Rowena Bruce, winning the first of her eleven titles (two shared) in 1936 at the age of 17, competing every year for half a century thereafter, her last title coming in 1969. It was a remarkable achievement considering women’s chess at this time was dominated by the quartet of Anne Sunnucks, Elaine Pritchard, Eileen Tranmer and herself.

Rowena played in the FIDE Inter-Zonal in Venice 1952, thus qualifying for the Moscow Candidates. Twenty years later, she was playing in the E. European Zonal when she collapsed with a major cerebral haemorrhage during her round two game. Eventually she regained most of her faculties and continued to enter the Ladies Championship, but was never the same again at the board. In any case, a new generation was coming along in the shape of Jana Hartston-Miles, who won the title eight times in the decade after Rowena’s last victory.

Anne Sunnucks was 32 at this time and a captain in the W.R.A.C. She didn’t come to the game till she was 21 when she joined the same club as Imre König who took her on as a pupil. She had some international experience but was not free to pick and choose.

This game is taken from the book of the York Congress 1959.

[Event "British Championship 1959"] [Site "?"] [Date "1959.07.21"] [Round "?"] [White "Bruce, Rowena"] [Black "Sunnucks, Anne"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A07"] [Annotator "Jones,Bob"] [PlyCount "81"] [EventDate "2013.07.15"] [SourceDate "2013.07.17"] 1. Nf3 Nf6 2. g3 g6 3. Bg2 Bg7 4. O-O O-O 5. d3 d5 6. Nbd2 Nc6 7. e4 e5 8. exd5 Nxd5 9. Nc4 Nb6 10. Nxb6 {Weakening Black's Q-side pawn structure, which looks insignificant at this point. But White exploits it well.} axb6 11. Bg5 f6 12. Be3 Be6 13. c3 Qd7 14. Qc2 Bh3 15. Bxh3 {Luring the queen over to the K-side where it can do no harm on its own.} Qxh3 16. Rfd1 Qg4 17. Kg2 Rae8 18. Qb3+ Kh8 19. h3 Qe6 20. Qxe6 Rxe6 21. d4 exd4 22. Nxd4 Re7 23. Nxc6 bxc6 {Now White's long-term plan kicks in to action.} 24. a4 c5 $2 {The black rooks need better squares to counter the advancing pawn.} 25. a5 Rfe8 ({Black cannot take the a-pawn because of} 25... bxa5 26. Bxc5 {so it pushes on.}) 26. a6 Kg8 27. Rd5 Ra8 28. b4 f5 29. Ra3 cxb4 30. cxb4 Re6 31. Bg5 {Threatening to swap rooks, winning the c-pawn and advance the a-pawn.} Bf6 32. Bf4 c5 33. b5 {Releasing a rook for other duties. Black is now finished.} c4 34. Bd2 Re4 35. Bc3 Bxc3 36. Rxc3 f4 37. Rd6 fxg3 38. Kxg3 h5 39. Rxb6 Rd8 40. a7 Rd3+ 41. Rxd3 {The threat is that the a-pawn queens with check.} 1-0


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