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Well it’s that time of year everyone! The 99th edition of the British Championships will be starting on Monday at the Parks Sports Centre in North Shields and it promises to contain very competitive and high-quality chess! Lots of Yorkshire players will be flocking to the North-East to participate in the many events on offer.
Here is our preview of the Yorkshire competitors hoping to make a mark in the British Championships:
GM Gawain Jones
- Seed: 1
- FIDE Rating: 2655
- Club: White Rose 4NCL
- Last Year: 8/11 (3rd=) (TPR: 2658)
- British U8 and U10 Champion (1996), British U21 Champion (2004), British U18 Champion (2006)
The recently married Gawain Jones will be looking for his maiden British Championship entering as the highest-rated player. Gawain has had another excellent year – highlights include his 7.5/11 in the European Individual Championships earning him a spot in next year’s World Cup in Tromso and breaking into the world’s top 100 in the FIDE ratings. His achievements led to him being voted the ECF’s Player of the Year. It will be a brave man who bets against him having further success this year!
Click to read our in-depth interview with Gawain.
IM Richard Palliser
- Seed: 8
- FIDE Rating: 2482
- Clubs: White Rose 4NCL, York RI, Minster Inn
- Last Year: 7/11 (8th=) (TPR: 2372)
- British U13 Champion (1995), British U21 Champion (Scarborough)
Richard Palliser is going to be one of the dark-horses for this year’s event if his 4NCL form is anything to go by. He achieved a GM norm in this year’s competition playing in Division 1 alongside Gawain for White Rose 1. He still plays actively in the Yorkshire, York and Leeds leagues.
Click to view Richard’s instructive annotations of his victory over Ameet Ghasi in this year’s 4NCL
- Seed: 19
- FIDE Rating: 2262
- Last Year: 6.5/11 (17th=) (TPR: 2408)
- Clubs: White Rose 4NCL, York RI, York University
James is a recent arrival at York University and has certainly impressed in his short time here; he scored 17/21 this season against an average opponent’s rating of 187 ECF! He also scored well in Division 1 of the 4NCL for White Rose, notching up 3/4 for a 2444 rating performance including an impressive win over IM Malcolm Pein. Look for James to be an awkward bump in the road for some of the top guns.
- Seed: 25
- FIDE Rating: 2224
- Club: York University
- Last Year: 5.5/11 (38th=) (TPR: 2323)
- British U16 Champion (2009)
Originally from Warrington, Martin Brown has joined James Adair in furthering his education at York University. Likewise he has impressed, losing only once in the 17 games he has played in Yorkshire. Martin is pictured here with his British U16 Championship trophy.
- Seed: 30
- FIDE Rating: 2168
- Last Year: 5/11 (44th=) (TPR: 2250)
- Clubs: White Rose 4NCL, Wakefield
Peter is no stranger to mixing it with titled players and is always a tough opponent to beat. In last year’s British Championships, he beat two IMs, showing how dangerous a player he can be. He will be looking to shake off some of the poor form from last season and start the season with some solid chess.
- Seed: 32
- FIDE Rating: 2174
- Last Year: 4/11 (71st=) (TPR: 1973)
- Clubs: White Rose 4NCL, Doncaster
Jim Burnett is coming into the British Championships with good form, having recently won the Harrogate Congress. He performed very solidly for White Rose 2 in their excellent campaign in Division 2 of the 4NCL, scoring 6.5/10 with a 2204 rating performance.
- Seed: 44
- FIDE Rating: 2115
- Last Year: (Major Open) 7.5/11 (4th=) (TPR: 2218)
- Clubs: White Rose 4NCL, York RI, Plantagenets
No-one will want to fact Jean-Luc Weller in this year’s Championships as his 2115 FIDE Rating is merely an indicator of the fact that he started with a low FIDE rating. He is not scared of playing anybody as evidenced by the fact that White Rose were willing to pit him against two GMs in the final weekend and he responded with a superb win over GM James Plaskett. Jean-Luc qualified for this year’s championships by his excellent score in last year’s Major Open and will look to put in another good performance in this year’s championships.
Click to view Jean-Luc’s win over James Plaskett.
- Seed: 59
- FIDE Rating: 1917
- Last Year: (Major Open) 5.5/11 (29th=) (TPR: 1986)
- Clubs: Bradford DCA Knights 4NCL, Bradford, Huddersfield
Mitchell qualified for this year’s British Championships from this year’s Bolton Open and will certainly be looking to make the most of his opportunity! Having started his studies at Huddersfield University this year, Mitchell has been very active in the Yorkshire chess scene whilst enjoying his University life, so much so that he even turned up to a Bradford evening league game in fancy dress!
Matty Webb has done a preview of the other favourites for this year’s Championships on his updated blog.
There are many other events taking place alongside the main British Championships including the Major Open, grade-limited events, junior tournaments and weekend tournaments. If you want to visit the championships in person, find out more from the Official Website.
The British Championships start tomorrow on Sunday 22nd July 2012 with the first of 11 rounds of the Main Championships and the Major Open on Monday 23rd July 2012. The Championships finish on Saturday 4th August 2012.
We will be providing regular updates, latest results and annotated games for of all Yorkshire’s players at this year’s British Championships, so make sure to keep checking the website, or follow us on twitter @YorkshireChess