Hawkins and Howell are British Champions

by Albert Silver
7/31/2014 – It was a true nailbiter until the very last game. IM Jonathan Hawkins finished his brilliant start with a solid final stretch, but drew his last five rounds, which made it possible for him to be caught in the end. Sharing top billing is GM David Howell after a fantastic comeback, including a crucial last-round win. We bring you the final report with video analysis.

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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 ten and eleven

The official tournament poster

GM Simon Williams put a damper on Howell's early favoritism. He himself
had a seesaw tournament, alternating wins with losses, and ending on
6.5/11. One thing must be said, he was the most uncompromising of all
the grandmasters with only one draw in eleven rounds.

David Howell showed great grit with his comeback to share the title

Sharing top billing was the pre-tournament favorite: GM David Howell. After an unexpected slip in round four to GM Simon Williams, while Hawkins seemed to be taking the title by storm, the reigning British Champion never gave up. After 5.0/6 in the final stretch from rounds five to ten, he had finally moved within a half-point of the leader, but needed two things: for Hawkins needed to draw at best, and he himself needed to beat Mark Hebden, none of which was obvious. To his enormous credit, he defeated Hebden and Hawkins failed to win, so he tied with him for first, and they shared the title. This will be a heartwarming result for the upcoming Olympiad days later.

Both IM Jonathan Hawkins (left) and David Howell (right) were delighted with their result

Short video of the prize ceremony 

IM Andrew Martin's Game of the Day

IM Andrew Martin provided live commentary to the spectators and excellent videos of commented
games. He is also the author of many DVDs, from openings to the First Steps series.

 

In round nine, we are shown Williams-Hebden. Andrew Martin describes Simon
Williams as "one of the most exciting and daring grandmasters on the planet"
Watch the video to see more.

 

IM Yang Fan Zhou faces the Sicilian Dragon played by IM Richard Pert in round ten

 

Once the game between Hawkins had ended in a draw, all eyes turned to Howell-Hebden

Final standings

Rk Name Pts Rtg TPR
1 GM Howell, David W L 8.5 2650 2615
2 IM Hawkins, Jonathan 8.5 2516 2621
3 GM Pert, Nicholas 7.5 2564 2544
4 GM Hebden, Mark L 7.5 2554 2533
5 GM Emms, John M 7.5 2456 2476
6 GM Arkell, Keith C 7.5 2433 2448
7 IM Pert, Richard G 7.5 2430 2498
8 Haria, Ravi 7.5 2202 2295
9 IM Fernandez, Daniel Howard 7.0 2396 2507
10 FM Storey, Charles H 7.0 2241 2251
11 IM Zhou, Yang-Fan 6.5 2475 2325
12 GM Williams, Simon K 6.5 2462 2405
13 GM Ward, Chris G 6.5 2422 2412
14 FM Tan, Justin 6.5 2375 2333
15 FM Jackson, James P 6.5 2320 2354

Photos courtesy John Upham, Roger Bennett and the official tournament site


Links

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.



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.
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Jrcasablanca Jrcasablanca 7/31/2014 02:00
vdpandit it is the British championship not the Commonwealth championship. I think McShane is in the forthcoming Olympiad and presumably does not have time for this.

I find it interesting that of the 2 co-champions one was a prodigy GM at 16 while the other was only 145 =1760 Elo at age 18
alnoth alnoth 7/31/2014 10:49
wheres mcshane?
vdpandit vdpandit 7/31/2014 10:39
With ENG 49, WLS 7, AUS 1, IRL 1, SIN 1, the field does not really look 'British'. (Is the sun setting on the empire?) Conspicuous by its absence is SCO. I hear Indian players are barred from entering this Chp because they run away with all prizes. But what is wrong in that if they deserve it?
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