Year Book 2018-19 Contents
Calendar of Events – Results/Reports
British Chess Championships, 2018 (Report 3)
Play in the 2018 British Chess Championships in Hull has concluded. Day-by-day results of individual Yorkshire players (odd ones might have been missed) appear in Report 2, which was built up over the week.
After the scheduled 9 rounds, Michael Adams and Luke McShane were left tying on7 points. The play-off was scheduled for Sunday afternoon and was won by Michel Adams, who is just British Champion until next year’s event.
Participants who expressed an opinion when I visited on the Thursday were enjoying themselves. If there was a “complaint” then it was that a seaside venue would be preferable, but you can’t have everything.
There appear to have been 13 place-prize winners amongst Yorkshire players listed in Report 2:
The full prize-list is at https://www.britishchesschampionships.co.uk/prizewinners-2018/ and includes
Hull & District Chess Association
The efforts which the Hull & District Chess Association put into assisting with arrangements, and laying on peripheral social events etc, were acknowledged by the ECF, and were very impressive. H&DCA had a “stand” at which could be purchased, amongst other things, a copy pf a booklet produced for the occasion by Roger K. Noble of Hull, called “Rank & File”, describing the development and personalities of Hull chess from the start to the present (proceeds going to charity).
Playing conditions seemed to be considered satisfactory to players. Air-blowers seemed to adequately keep the temperature tolerable. Room between rows of tables permitted free coming and going during play. The top five boards in the Championship were set aside on individual tables, with seating for spectators. There was plenty of break-out space for parents, players who had finished their games, and visitors. There was a bookstall. Refreshments were available, though there were also plenty of shops and pubs etc in the immediate vicinity. Water had been laid on for players in the main playing area.
Contrast with Yesteryear
Apart from the top five boards of the Championship, the remainder of the Championship games were played in conditions essentially the same as for anyone in an average weekend congress. I have to say this did surprise me somewhat, though perhaps these days it’s normal and accepted, as players are now accustomed to congress conditions. However, this contrasts starkly with far superior conditions for all main Championship players in yesteryear (46 to 49 years ago from direct experience), when main Championship participants numbered in the low to mid-30s as compared with this year’s 65. Then all main Championship players had much greater room and were much more spaced apart, without spectators allowed among the boards.
There is of course serious tension between vastly increasing numbers of participants at various levels, and the availability of suitable and affordable venues. I last played at a “British” in 1972, and between then and 2018 have visited only twice. Presumably the transition from the past to the present has been gradual, and modern-day participants don’t have long memories.
I was reminded of seeing the portly Russian GM Eduard Gufeld seated jovially like a pilchard among the sardines in a sardine tin, in the Challengers at Hastings about 25 or so years ago, where arrangements were similar, contrasting with the more-spacious and protected playing area of the invitation GM event.