Fire on board

by André Schulz
12/2/2015 – The 7th London Chess Classic started yesterday with the inaugurual British Knockout Championships. In the quarterfinal the favorites Luke McShane, Gawain Jones and David Howell all won their two-game mini-matches. But Nicholas Pert and Jonathan Hawkins had to play a tie-break. Pert won thanks to a win in the Armageddon-Blitz and in a wild and messy game.

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Part of the 7th  London Classic Chess Festival is the inaugural British Knockout Championship. Eight British players were invited to take part, six top players and two talents. One of the top players was Nigel Short but he fell ill and had to pass. On short notice Nicholas Pert took his place.

In the quarter- and semifinals two games with a classical time-control (90'+30'') are played, both on the same day. The first game of the matches begins at 10.30 local time, the second game in the afternoon, at 15.30 local time. If the mini-match ends in a 1-1 draw, a tie-break with rapid games (15'+5'') is played. If still undecided, an Armageddon game (6 mins vs 5 mins with 3 secs/move from move 61) follows to end the match. The final, however, is a six-game match with a time-control of 90'+30''.

The prize-fund of the Knockout Championship is attractive:

1st: £20,000; 2nd: £10,000; 3rd-4th: £5,000 5th-8th: £2,500.

In the quarterfinals Luke McShane scored a clear 2-0 win against young Daniel Fernandez. David Howell eliminated Yang-Fan Zhou, the second junior. After winning the first game with a lot of luck and considerable help of his opponent Howell only needed a draw in the second game to win the the match 1.5-0.5 and qualify for the semifinals. Gawain Jones eliminated Jonathan Rowson from Scotland with 1.5-0.5.

The match between Nicholas Pert and reigning British Champion Jonathan Hawkins was the only one decided in a tie-break.

Pert lost the first tie-break game but equalized by winning the
second game - a rather wild and messy affair. He then continued
to win the Armageddon game and the match.


Games of the quarterfinal



Tournament page...

Grand Chess Tour...

Tournament page Knockout Championship...


André Schulz started working for ChessBase in 1991 and is an editor of ChessBase News.


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