2022 British Chess Championships
3) Week 2 Events
British Championship (60 participants, played in the afternoons except for the last round). Saturday 13/08/2022 saw the start of the British Championship proper and Major Open. Unusually, among the competitors in the Championship evidently there were no Yorkshire players, unless you count Peter Wells who plays for 4NCL White Rose.
None of the 5-man Open Olympiad team are playing, which is not surprising as that event had just finished, apart from other considerations. Of the 60 participants, 8 are in the top 24 in the ECF rating, 17 are in the top 60 of that list. Given that not everyone likes playing I such long events, and not everyone can necessarily get the time off work and so on, the turnout seems good.
After round 3, a lone leader emerged in the form of GM Daniel Gormally on 3 out of 3, pursued by 11 players on 2½ out of 3.
In round 4, Gormally lost to Brandon Clarke of Guildford, and the lead became shared by 5 players on 3½ out of 4.
After round 5 there was once again a lone leader, this time Keith Arkell, on 4½.
However, Arkell only drew in round 6, allowing Harry Grieve to catch him up, the two sharing the lead on 5 points.
Arkell and Greave drew in round 7, leaving themselves open to being caught up by three other players others.
In round 8, the penultimate round, Harry Grieve was the only one of the leading group of 5 players on 5½ to score a win, thus pushing himself into the sole lead on 6½ out of 8.
In the final round 9, Grieve won again, scoring an unequalled final total of 7½ out of 9, ahead of 8 GMs and 6 IMs, despite himself being “only” an FM, and so becoming the 2022 British Champion.
Major Open (82 participants, played in the afternoons except for the last round) Yorkshire players in the Major Open were Peter Shaw (Wakefield), Eric D Gardiner (Hull), Paul A Johnson (York), Nick Burton (Ilkley) and James Davidson (Rose Forgrove), whose round-by-round scores were as follows.
Round 8 saw Eric Gardiner (W) playing Paul Johnson, which explains why they did not both win! Peter Shaw’s round-9 win meant he was in with a chance of finishing 1st equal, depending on the top-board result, which turned out in his favour. Thus, Peter Shaw finished 1st-3rd equal in the Major Open with 7 out of 9, which from memory probably qualifies him for the 2023 Championship proper. Eric Gardiner finished 6th equal with about 5 other players.
Over 65 (62 participants, played in the afternoons except for the last round) Yorkshire participants in the Over 65 were Paul A Hutchinson (Scarborough), Jim Burnett (Sheffield), Jim E Vickery (Alwoodley), and Mark I Collinson (Hull), whose round-by-round scores were as follows.
Favourite to win the Over 65 was GM John Nunn. After round 3, the group of joint leaders had been reduced to two: John Nunn and Oliver Jackson. These two met in round 4, whereafter Nunn was in the sole lead with 4 out of 4, and won again in round 5, retaining the sole lead. Nunn won again in round 6, the penultimate round, this time against Jim Burnett who thus missed a chance to make a name for himself by stopping the GM juggernaut, who was now unlikely not to win.
In round 9, Nunn scored a win relatively early on, moving to an unassailable final score of 7 out of 7. Thus John Nunn became 2022 British Under-65 champion with a 100% score; venit, vidit, vicit, to quote Julius Caesar in the third person.
Paul Hutchinson’s final-round win earned him 2nd place. Jim Burnett’s final-round game seemed to be the last to finish, but he eventually chalked up a win, so finishing 3rd-6th equal on 5 out of 7.
Week-day Congress 2 (played in the mornings) In the second week was held a 7-round week-day congress running from Sunday 14th to Saturday 20th with only one round per day. The numbers of entries to all sections were very low, barely making the Swiss pairing system viable with such small numbers. Yorkshire participants’ results were as follows after round 2.
* seemingly a win by default
Thus U-2050 had only 9 entrants of whom 3 were not paired in round one, scoring zero, suggesting some tailored pairing system was being used to meet the problems of only 9 -players in a 7-round Swiss. IN time it became evident half-point byes had been entered initially as zero scores. The U1600, with conveniently only 7 entrants was re-hashed as an all-play-all. After apparent defaults/withdrawals, the U-1450 seemed to shrink from 10 to 8 players, probably necessitating odd-looking pairings in later rounds, as the Swiss principle that players have to play an opponent they have not already met overrides considerations such as score and colour.
2) Weekend Events
Weekend Congress Friday 12/08/2022 saw the start of a more-traditional 5-round weekend congress (with Open. Under 1750 and Under-1500 sections), with a Blitz event sandwiched in on the Saturday evening.
Yorkshire participants’ results were as follows, after 5 rounds.
Weekend Blitz (108 participants) In the weekend Blitz on Saturday evening, the one Yorkshire player’s result was as follows.
The winner was FM Jonah Willow (West Nottingham) on 9 out of 9!
1) Week 1 Events
Over 50 Championship (44 participants) The Over 50 Championship included the following Yorkshire participants, with the following final results.
Paul Townsend went into the final round in 1st to 5th equal place on 4½ out of 6, but sustained his 1st loss in the final round, meaning he could do no better than 4th equal. 1st-3rd place was shared by GM Paul Motwani, FM Chris R Duncan (Watford) and Philip J Crocker (Chester) with 5½ out of 7.
Junior Championships Apart from the Over 50 Championship, which was not due to finish until Sunday the 14th, the main events in the first week were the age-limited junior championships, but there were no Yorkshire participants (seemingly).
Fifty years ago, there were under-21, under-18, under-16, under-14 championships. In 1975, an under-11 category was added. In 1984, the under-12 championship and under 9 championships were added. Then in 1986, under-15 and under-13 championships were added, filling in the gaps. Next, in 1988, under-8 and under-10 were added. The under-15 and under-13 championships were discontinued after 2016. Meanwhile, players the older end of the spectrum seem to have improved in standard to the point where the top under-21 players were able to qualify for the British Championship proper, and so the under-21 championship was absorbed into the British Championship proper, with the highest-placed eligible player winning the title. Later, the under-18 was similarly subsumed into the Major Open, but has since moved into the Championship proper. That left the present system of age-limited championships with dedicated events now being Under 16, Under 14, Under 12, Under 10 and Under 8.
Week-day Congress 1 In the first week also was held a 7-round week-day congress running from Monday to Friday with 2 rounds per day (except the last). Yorkshire participants’ results were as follows.
* An obscure Yorkshire connection is that the Open winner, Totnes-born Gary William Lane, now resident in Australia, is married to Sheffield-born Australian WIM Nancy Louise Jones, the daughter of former Sheffield and Rotherham player Brian Jones who emigrated to Australia in 1987.
Rapidplay On the afternoon of Wednesday 10th August, a 7-round rapidplay event was held with four sections, Yorkshire participants’ being as follows.
Joint 1st-5th in the Open were GM Daniel W Gormally, GM Keith C Arkell, Stanley Badacsonyi (Muswell Hill), Frankie Badacsonyi (Muswell Hill), and Soham Kumar (Maidenhead) with 5½ out of 7.