More than 800 players to participate in the events
The British Chess Championships expect a massive turnout. More than 800 players will participate in all events and age groups of the 2009 edition.
Top seeded in the main event of the British championship is the young talent GM David Howell (ELO 2614). His main competition will be GM Stuart Conquest (defending champion), GM Gawain Jones, GM Stephen Gordon, GM Simon Williams, GM Keith Arkell, GM Peter Wells, GM Mark Hebden, GM Aaron Summerscale, and GM Daniel Gormally.
Besides, there will be multiple players seeking GM norms, among them the top women British player IM Jovanka Houska, and the international masters James Cobb, Malcolm Pein, Paul Littlewood, etc.
Scroll down for a detailed players presentation by Stewart Reuben.
The British Championship 2009 venue
The British Championship 2009 will take place in the city of Torquay. It is a town in the unitary authority of Torbay and ceremonial county of Devon, England.
It lies 16 miles (26 kilometres) south of Exeter along the A380 on the north of Torbay, 38 miles (61 km) north-east of Plymouth and adjoins the neighbouring town of Paignton on the west of the bay. During the peak summer season the resort’s population swells to around 200,000.
The venue of the championship is the Riviera International Conference Centre. Located just off the seafront, it is a purpose built conference and exhibition centre enjoying a wide range of accommodation within walking distance.
The location and the variety of possibilities that the center offers makes possible the multiple side events of the British chess championship. The players will be able to enjoy side events such as blitz and variants of chess, a cricket match, quiz commentary, and much more.
More information and details at the official site.
Players presentation by Stewart Reuben
DAVID HOWELL GM 2614 – He completed his A Levels in 2008, a year early, and has been playing chess professionally ever since. Modern chess favours players who always seek to win, even if sometimes at the cost of losing, and David has shown a tremendous will to win.
STUART CONQUEST GM 2572 – British Champion and English co-Champion. Stuart currently lives in Spain and also speaks French fluently. It is impossible to prepare against Stuart as he such a very broad opening repertoire. His form can vary enormously.
GAWAIN JONES GM 2554 – Gawain, for one so young has lived in an astonishing variety of countries, including England, Ireland and Italy. Currently he is often to be found in New Zealand together with his girl friend. There is no doubt of his talent, but he needs to improve his technical skills to make the next leap forward.
STEPHEN GORDON GM 2537 – Stephen is our most recent grandmaster. He won the British Under-21 Championship four years in a row. He has not favoured playing back to back tournaments, which is one reason that it took him longer to achieve his final norm after becoming an established 2500+ player.
SIMON WILLIAMS GM 2527 – Simon is a most entertaining player, with something of a cavalier attitude to pieces. Recently he organised the First Big Slick international congress. He is the first of our GMs since David Norwood to get interested in chess organisation.
KEITH ARKELL GM 2521 – English co-Champion. Keith ceased being a professional player for some years, but returned to his first love in 2007. Many people assume that, because he does not try for much in the openings, he isn’t trying to win. But he favours nursing a small advantage. For example, he has an enormous plus score in the theoretically drawn endgame of rook and bishop against rook.
PETER WELLS GM 2498 – Peter is an extremely experienced GM with particular expertise in the openings. His penchant for time trouble is always exciting for the spectators, but means his rating does not fully reflect his ability.
DANNY GORMALLY GM 2490 – Danny has yet to fulfil his potential as a GM. A professional games player must be willing to travel anywhere and Danny finds this difficult.
LAWRENCE TRENT IM 2471 – Lawrence is our most likely next GM, apart from Lorin D’Costa. He is part of a group of young players who have led something on a renaissance of chess in recent years.
MARK HEBDEN GM 2468 – Mark has now been a professional player for many years. He is also an experienced captain/coach. His best games continue to exhibit an apparent effortless strategic logic. Perhaps we will one day see a collection of the 100 Best Games between Keith and Mark.
AARON SUMMERSCALE GM 2454 – Aaron is a professional chess coach and not a professional player. His wife, Claire, is Chairman of the 4NCL and a previous ECF Director of Junior Chess so they are both heavily involved in chess.
ANDREW GREET IM 2443 – Andrew has made steady progressive in chess. He is an active player and also does some coaching.
JAMES COBB IM 2432 (Wales) – James, together with his brother are one of the main effective family teams in Britain.
RICHARD PALLISER IM 2413 – Richard spends much more time these days writing about chess, rather than playing.
GRAEME BUCKLEY IM 2398 – Graeme is married to Susan Lalic who is also playing, as is Peter Lalic in the Major Open. He is mainly a chess teacher. We are expecting their twin daughters shortly to start playing in the age group championships.
JOVANKA HOUSKA IM 2392 – Jovanka is our leading active woman player. Earlier this year she married Arne Hagaesaether (Norway) and is currently residing there. She has a collection of fine scalps to her credit.
MALCOLM PEIN IM 2391 – Malcolm is a somewhat surprising entrant. He seldom plays tournaments, preferring to concentrate on the Chess and Bridge business. Of course, Chess is providing the bookstall again this year and we can expect a huge array of book titles. He also does the Daily Telegraph chess column, the best of its type in Britain.
DIETMAR KOLBUS IM 2383 (Germany) – Dietmar is a long-time resident of the Isle of Man, which explains why he is entitled to play. He did very well last year, although perhaps he wilted a little towards the end.
GARY LANE IM 2379 (Australia) – Gary has been resident in Australia now for a very long time and indeed plays for them. However, he came originally from Paignton and thus is still regarded by some as a local lad.
THOMAS RENDLE IM 2379 – Thomas first came to our attention at Hastings, where he used to live, when he was 6. He is now a chess coach.
PAUL LITTLEWOOD IM 2358 – Paul won the British Championship in 1981. He is playing here together with his father John.
SUSAN LALIC IM 2334 – Susan is mainly a chess coach these days. She led something of a renaissance of women’s chess in England.
JACK RUDD IM 2326 – Jack is one of our most active IMs. He could have played for Trinidad (having been born there) and would have strengthened their team considerably, but there was little interest expressed. He is giving the free simul on Sunday. He can also be found inputting the championship games.