British Championships 2023
This year’s British Championship event is being held at the De Montfort University in Leicester. It started on Thursday 20th of July and runs through to Sunday 30th July. A number of e-mails to ECF members invited entries, suggesting nervousness on the part of the organisers as to the level of uptake. Numbers seem reasonable, though maybe more entries might have been hoped for.
Full details of events to unfold can be found on the dedicated website here: https://www.britishchesschampionships.co.uk/. As usual there is a diversity of event to suit all strengths, ages, preferred pace and available time as follows. Playing sessions are morning, afternoon or evening, varying from event to event.
Things kicked off on Thursday 20th with the first of three 9-round evening Blitz events, two for all ages (20th & 25th) and one for juniors (27th).
Friday 21st saw the first of three 7-round Rapidplay held over the mornings and afternoons (21st, 24th and 29th).
Friday 21st also saw the more sedate Weekend event which was in the nature of a standard 5-round weekend congress with four sections:
You might at first wonder about the apparent hierarchy of the eponyms, but the answer lies in their being in alphabetical order.
Saturday 22nd saw the start of the serious stuff: the 9-round (used to be 11-round) British Championship played with one round per day (no “rest” days) in the afternoon, except for round 9 in the morning of Sunday 30th with the afternoon reserved for any necessary play-offs.
Long gone is the parallel British Ladies Championship. (Now we have the English Championship and English Women’s Championship run in parallel, last held 26th-30th May in Kenilworth.) Will Michael Adams win the slightly strange “double” this year: British Championship and English Championship?
Saturday 22nd also saw the start of the almost as serious Major Open run in exact parallel, except for there being no play-off as such, with 9 rounds played in the afternoon, except the final one played in the morning of Sunday 30th.
The 7-round “geriatric” championships, Over 50 and Over 65, run from Monday 24th to Sunday 30th, again in synchrony with the Championship proper.
Monday 24th also sees the start of the 6-round AM/PM rating-limited non-championship events played with one round a day, rather like a weekend congress stretched out over a week, with 6 sections, some played in the morning sessions and some in the afternoons, facilitating entry into two sections:
Back in time when the whole event covered two weeks, you could play in two successive week events, as did the writer one year, winning money the first week but none the second week, necessitating borrowing money to pay the accommodation bill!
Tuesday 25th sees the start of the five 7-round age-limited British Junior Championships for Under-16s, Under-14s, Under-12s, Under-10s and Under‑8s. At the writer’s first “British” (Rhyll, 1969) there were only Under-21, Under-18 and Under-16 Championships of this type, the writer being in the last-named. Then there was a separate British Girls’ Under-18 Championship, jointly won in 1969 by Huddersfield’s Genine Fielding who the writer beat in the following season’s Woodhouse Cup. These days, the strongest under-18s are playing in the Championship proper or the Major Open, and an under-18 title would be won by an also-ran in that age category.
Yorkshire-based participants are not always easy to pick out from entrant lists, especially in the junior sections, but the following Yorkshire-based players have been identified in the main sections: