Top columnists at the Telegraph

by ChessBase
9/3/2003 – If you want news and gossip, on a weekly basis, the British Telegraph newspaper is a good address. It has three correspondents, GMs Nigel Short and David Norwood, as well as IM-journalist Malcolm Pein. In the past weeks the latter told us about the Staunten Memorial (won by Speelman), while the GMs handled more general subjects. Details...

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Malcolm Pein

Staunton remembered (Filed: 03/09/2003)
Gritty defensive display from the twelve year old prodigy David Howell ensured that Jon Speelman established an unassailable in the sixth round of the Staunton Anniversary tournament being held at Simpson's in the Strand. Howell scored his second draw of the tournament as he split the point with Danny King in a hard-fought game. Speelman will take the first prize of pounds 1500.

David Norwood

David Norwood remembers a thoroughly English match (Filed: 30/08/2003)
It sounds as if the British Chess Federation has finally decided to make "the British", British. This doesn't mean that it has merged with the right-wing BNP. It's just that to play in next year's British Chess Championships you will need to be a British citizen -- not such an unreasonable qualification. So maybe next year a British chappie, rather than another talented young Indian might win it. What we really, really want though is an English Championship. In my memory we have only had one. And the final could not have been more dramatic, with Nigel Short, already a World Championship candidate, facing the young Michael Adams. With the score at 1.5-1.5, this was the final game of the match. I was there commentating and the tension was so great you could taste it… [David annotates that game]

David Norwood shows how there is life in an old dog yet (Filed: 23/08/2003)
Perhaps few readers will have heard of 53-year-old Jeff Horner – unless, that is, you have played on the north of England chess circuit, where Jeff has been dominating events since before I was born. I still remember Tony Miles, fresh from his historic victory against World Champion Anatoly Karpov, stopping off at the Blackpool Open. Miles had become a legend overnight but nobody bothered to tell Jeff, who calmly trounced him just as he would us. Two weeks ago David Howell had to play Jeff Horner in Blackpool. Both players needed two wins from their last two games to earn an international master (IM) result. Would it be Britain's youngest new IM or our oldest new IM? [David annotates that game]

Nigel Short

The Sunday chess column (Filed: 31/08/2003)
Howard Staunton was, in the words of the great Bobby Fischer, “the most profound opening analyst of all time”. And yet the English have a strangely reserved attitude to the man who should be regarded as the founder of our national school. Despite his seminal role in the development of the modern game, there lurks a suspicion that Staunton was actually a bit of a coward. The root cause for this perception was his refusal to play the American genius Paul Morphy on his trip to Europe in 1858. Staunton pleaded that he was both out of practice and that he was committed to bringing out his illustrated edition of Shakespeare, which had already started appearing in monthly instalments. By contrast, Adolf Anderssen, although similarly rusty as an old nail, ventured from Breslau to Paris to play Morphy. The German was crushed – just as surely as the Staunton would have been – but at least he showed he had guts. Even if Staunton is not completely exonerated in the public eye for his conduct in this one chapter of his life, he deserves reverence for the rest of it. [Nigel analyses Saint Amant-Staunton, Paris, 1843]

The Sunday chess column (Filed: 24/08/2003)
The writing has been on the wall for many a month, and now the ominous prophecy has finally come to pass: the English chess team will be without a sponsor for the European Team Championship in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, in October. If you are vaguely familiar with the en passant rule and have an approximate idea how to castle, you might wish to apply for an England place yourself. Don't worry though: ignorance of these frightfully difficult rules need not necessarily forestall your acceptance... Moving on: Ukraine was formerly known as the bread- basket of the Soviet Union. Nowadays grandmasters are just as likely to be baked from those hugely productive ovens. The latest star is Kateryna Lahno, a 13-year-old girl from Kramatorsk, coincidentally, or perhaps not, the home of Ruslan Ponomariov, the FIDE World Champion. Conveniently for the cute Miss Lahno, she did not have to travel far for her first (male) GM norm, as the tournament took place in her home city. [Nigel analyses Lahno-Kulicov, Kramatorsk, July 30, 2003]

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