GM slayer at the Staunton Memorial

by ChessBase
7/8/2003 – To celebrate it's 175th anniversary as the home of chess the famous London restaurant Simpsons in the Strand is staging a double round robin in memory of its famous patron: Howard Staunton, strongest chess player in the world in his day. In August it will be a 12-year-old boy billed as a "GM slayer" who will uphold the tradition.

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The Staunton Memorial

Howard Staunton (1810-1874) was a chess player and Shakespearean scholar. Little is know about the life of Staunton before his appearance on the chess scene, although it is said that he claimed to have been an actor. Following Staunton's defeat of St. Amant of France in 1843, he was recognized as the world's strongest chess player (although this was before the establishment of a World Chess championship in 1886).

Staunton went on to write a chess column in the Illustrated London News before founding the world's first chess magazine, the Chess Player's Chronicle. He was also responsible for the first international chess tournament, held in 1851. A chess set designed by Nathaniel Cook and named after Staunton has become the standard set for both professional and ametuer chess players. [Source: Wikipedia]

The classical Staunton chess pieces

12-year-old slayer challenges the grandmasters

To mark Simpsons in the Strand's 175th anniversary as the home of chess
Supported by the Staunton Society and the Savoy Hotel.

Organised by: Ray Keene and Barry Martin
Venue: Simpsons in the Strand, London WC2
Dates: August 24 – September 1st, 2003
Format: Classical chess, four players double round robin, 6 playing days, 1 rest day

  • GM Jon Speelman, World Championship Semi-Finalist 1989
  • GM Luke Mcshane, English Olympiad Team
  • GM John Emms, Captain English Olympiad Team
  • David Howell, 12 year-old Grandmaster slayer, TV Special Talent award prize fund £4000.00 sterling.

Playing times and time control: 3-8 pm; all moves in 2.5 hrs each. Those members of the public taking advantage of the Simpsons Special ticket offer: "Dinner with the Grandmasters" sit down at reserved tables at 8:15 pm prompt on playing days.

Games analyst Bob Wade OBE giving daily commentary. Website first games transmission will be offered exclusively to the BCM. The BCM have been invited to provide a bookstore, specialising in Staunton related books and books by or about the players and officials.

The book of the event
Staunton's Legacy: Chess in London, Simpsons and the Savoy, by Ray Keene, with artwork and a contribution by Barry Martin on the Staunton Chess Pieces. Also a foreword by Richard Eales, former head of history at the University of Kent, Canterbury, curator of the national chess library. Richard Eales will give the keynote address at the Staunton dinner on chess life in London before Staunton.

Additional Attraction
The Art of Chess Exhibition at Somerset House, The Strand, a three minute walk from Simpsons in the Strand, continues throughout the tournament. Chess sets and chess art by Barry Martin, Damien Hirst , Jake and Dinos Chapman as well as Yoko Ono are on display.

  • Sunday August 24: press conference followed by Simpsons lunch
  • Monday August 25: Round 1
  • Tuesday August 26: Round 2
  • Wednesday August 27: Round 3
  • Thursday August 28: Free
  • Friday August 29: Round 4
  • Saturday August 30: Round 5
  • Sunday August 31: Round 6
  • Monday September 1: Prize giving and Staunton dinner

For further information please contact:
Barry Martin: +44-208 742 2311
The Savoy Press Office: +44-207 836 4343
The BCM web site:
Hardinge Simpole Publishing, books by Staunton
"Dinner with the Grandmasters" reservations to Simpsons in the Strand: +44-207 836 9112

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