Howell beats Grandelius in England versus Sweden match

by André Schulz
3/15/2022 – In London, a match facing David Howell and Nils Grandelius was held at the residence of the Swedish Ambassador. The occasion was the 30th anniversary of Chess & Bridge. The 10-game confrontation was won by Howell. Three games ended decisively, and all of them had plenty to offer chess-wise. | Photo: Chess & Bridge

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Evenly matched

On the occasion of its 30th anniversary, the London Chess Centre organized a match between two top grandmasters from England and Sweden, David Howell and Nils Grandelius. The competition took place on March 2-12 and was held at the Swedish Ambassador’s residence in London. No spectators were allowed.

Ten games were played, five of them with a classical “slow” time control — 40 moves in 120 minutes with 30-second increments per move — and five games with the slightly shorter FIDE time control of 90 minutes for 40 moves and 30-second increments per move. Draw offers before move 30 were prohibited.

  • David Howell, born in 1990, currently occupies fourth place in the English rankings behind Michael Adams, Gawain Jones and Luke McShane with a 2646 Elo rating. At 16, he was the youngest Briton to get the grandmaster title. Three times, in 2009, 2013 and 2014, Howell won the British Championship.
  • Nils Grandelius, born in 1993, has been the highest-ranked player in Sweden without interruption since 2015. He currently has a 2663 rating. In 2015, he won the Swedish Individual Championship.

In the 10-game confrontation, the two grandmasters proved to be equally matched opponents.

After three draws, Howell grabbed the lead after winning a marathon 86-move encounter with the white pieces.


Nils Grandelius, David Howell

Some more chess in the beautiful hall | Photo: John Saunders

That win gave David Howell the lead, but Nils Grandelius equalized in the second game that was played with a FIDE time control. The Swedish’s remarkable win was analysed in depth by Daniel King in his Power Play show


In game 8, Howell immediately restored his previous advantage.


35.Re1 [35.Re1 Qd8 (35...Qf8 36.Ra8) 36.Qxd8 Nxd8 37.Rxe8+] 1–0

During the competition, 10,000 euros were collected to aid Ukraine.

All games



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


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