British On-Line Championships 2021
The 2021 on-line British Chess Championships are underway, with standard-play, rapidplay and blitz events. They started on 24th July with qualifier events which ran from 24th to 28th July, and some relatively minor events. Thereafter, the main final events got going on 29th July. A full list of events appears below, with links to the events on Chess-Results.com. Yorkshire players are far and few between: two spotted so far!
Thursday 29th July saw the one-day 9-round Blitz Championship which included Leo Keely of Huddersfield, who scored 4 out of 9. (Full results table here.) Entrants with ratings had an average (arithmetic mean) rating of 2084, or 184 as an old grade. Leo Keely’s strongest opponent was GM Jonathan Speelman, who he played in round 4. (Click here to play through Speelman 1-0 Keely on screen. Here are two of Leo’s wins: Keely 1-0 Cawdery from round 5, and Keely 1-0 Badacsonyi from round 7.)
On the same day, the one-day 9-round Over-50 (Seniors) Blitz was played, though no Yorkshire players seem evident. (Full results table here.)
The 7-round British On-Line Rapidplay Championship was played in the earlier part of the day on Friday 30th July, ahead of the first round of the (standardplay) Championship proper, which started at 19.00 in the evening. Some doughty characters like Keith Arkell and Yichen Han played in both. (Full results table here.)
Friday 30th July saw the start of the adult standardplay championships.
Yorkshire players in the British On-Line Championship qualifier were Robert Starley (Leeds University) who scored 3½ out of 5, which earned him a place in the final event, and Leo Keely (Huddersfield) who managed a laudable 3 out of 5, which sadly was not quite enough to qualify. (Full results table here.)
The 9-round British On-Line Championship proper got going on 30/07/2021, with Robert Starley as the only Yorkshire participant. It runs through to 07/082021, with Sunday 08/08/2021 reserved for any necessary play-offs. Apart from Michael Adams, the very top English players are not participating, but with GMs Arkell, Hebden and Lalic, not to mention an IM and 4 FMs, the competition is strong. Robert Starley won in round 1, against an opponent with a rating of 1493 (or grade 106). For some reason (possibly taking a nil-point bye) he was not paired in round 2, though he appeared in the round-3 pairings. (To play though his first-round game on screen click here.)
The organisers of this whole event have to be complemented on the massive amount of work put into it, but the entry to the British On-Line Chess Championship is woefully weak overall for such an event. There are 36 listed participants, 2 without ratings. The average (arithmetic mean) rating of the 34 rated participants is 2051, equating to a 180 grade. Organisers of the Open section of a random weekend over-the-board congress would be happy to have 4 GMs, but the overall standard of this superficially prestigious event could be disappointing to stronger untitled entrants hoping for a testing battle.
Friday 30/07/2021 also saw the start of the three 3-day Weekend events: Open, Under-1800 and Under-1500. No Yorkshire players seem to have been participating.
Saturday 31/07/2021 saw the one-day 9-round Women’s Blitz Championship, with no evident Yorkshire players participating.
The following is a timetable of events (excluding qualifier events) with links to each event on Chess-Results.com
(Xs denote days on which a given event is scheduled.)