British Chess Championships 2013 Preview – Main Contenders

British Chess Championships 2013 Preview – Main Contenders

BCC 2013 Logo

Torquay is about to play host to the 100th edition of the British Chess Championships 2013 that will be starting on Monday at the Riviera Centre in Torquay. The competition promises to be even tougher than last year, with 13 GMs, 11 IMs and a host of talented juniors looking to create some upsets over the course of the eleven rounds.

Defending Champion Gawain Jones and runner-up Stephen Gordon return to join other top British players David Howell, Mark Hebden, Jonathan Hawkins with 103 players vying to become British Champion.

Here is our preview of the leading competitors hoping to make a mark in the British Championships:

GM Gawain Jones

British Chess Championships 2013

  • Seed: 1
  • FIDE Rating: 2643
  • Last Year: 9/11 (1st=)
  • British Champion (2012), British U8 and U10 Champion (1996), British U21 Champion (2004), British U18 Champion (2006)

Gawain Jones returns as defending champion after surviving an incredibly tense playoff against Stephen Gordon last year. Since then he has not stopped testing himself against the world’s best. He represented England on Board 2 at the 2012 Chess Olympiad and faced the likes of Magnus Carlsen and Vishy Anand at the 2012 London Chess Classic, not at any point shirking away from his attacking style that makes him a fan’s favourite! Gawain comes into the tournament in good form, finishing 1st= at the recent Scottish Championships

Click to read our in-depth interview with Gawain.

Gawain Jones’ Official Website

GM David Howell

British Chess Championships 2013 Preview

  • Seed: 2
  • FIDE Rating: 2639
  • Last Year: 8.5/11 (3rd)
  • British Champion (2009), British U8 Champion (1998), British U10 and U9 Champion (1999), British U18 Champion (2007, 2009), British U21 Champion (2009, 2011)

David Howell finished half a point behind the leaders at last year’s event and is looking to go one better this time round. He won the British Championships in 2009 aged just 18 years old! Like Gawain, he has also featured at the London Chess Classic and represented England at the 2012 Olympiad.

David has not been playing so much chess this season but has been a regular fixture in the 4NCL and Bundesliga. However is talent is abundant and rust will unlikely prove to be too much of a problem for him to overcome!

GM Mark Hebden

British Chess Championships 2013 Preview

  • Seed: 3
  • FIDE Rating: 2555
  • Last Year: N/A

Mark returns to the British Championships for the first time since 2009 where he finished runner-up behind David Howell. Mark has been a fixture of the British weekend chess scene for many years winning many titles along the way and can often be found playing at the ever popular e2e4 events. He has had a mixed season but played well at a recent Norwegian tournament and his experience may prove to be invaluable in a tournament long tournament such as this.

GM Stephen Gordon

British Chess Championships 2013 Preview

  • Seed: 4
  • FIDE Rating: 2521
  • Last Year: 9/11 (1st=)
  • British U10 Champion (1997), British U18 Champion (2005) British U21 Champion (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008)

Stephen Gordon will be looking to avenge last year’s heart-breaking playoff defeat and win the 100th British Chess Championship. Stephen was this year’s only English participant at the European Individual Chess Championships where he scored a creditable 5.5/11; eight of his opponents were graded 2600 or higher. He scored wins against wunder-kind Ilya Nyzhnyk and top German GM Daniel Fridman. Stephen is very good at scoring wins so expect him to be there or there-abouts all the way through the tournament.

IM Jonathan Hawkins

British Chess Championships 2013 Preview

  • Seed: 5
  • FIDE Rating: 2517
  • Last Year: 7.5/11 (4th=)

Jonathan Hawkins’ strength is no longer a secret. He has secured 2 GM norms along with the rating and just needs that final GM norm to become a Grandmaster. He has recently written a book called Amateur to IM that has been popularly received. Jonathan had a solid 4NCL campaign for Cheddleton and recently won the South Wales Open.

IM Richard Palliser

  • Seed: 15
  • FIDE Rating: 2453
  • Last Year: 7/11 (7th=)
  • British U13 Champion (1995), British U21 Champion (2001)

Richard Palliser is a well known International Master and author and with many books bearing his name. He has also recently taken over as editor of Chess Magazine and is a regular contributor to Chess Publishing . Richard was one of the White Rose squad that faced the mighty Wood Green 1 in last season’s 4NCL campaign, securing a comfortable draw with the great Alexei Shirov.

Richard is also still involved in playing local league chess in Yorkshire, recently clinching the Yorkshire Championship Challenge with his club side, Leeds CCCC in addition to winning the Woodhouse Cup with York RI for the third year running.

And the rest…

There are a gaggle of players graded between 2400-2500 that could put together a good run and prove to be tricky opponents for the top seeds.

Danny Gormally and Keith Arkell finished joint 4th with Jonathan Hawkins last year a point behind the leaders. Both are capable of playing a high standard of chess but whether they can challenge over 11 rounds is yet to be seen. The ever-popular Simon Williams AKA Ginger GM also could be dangerous having defeated World Championship finalist Boris Gelfand with the black pieces last October!

An interesting dimension to this year’s tournament is the group of experience GMs such as Glenn Flear, Bogdan Lalic, Anthony Kosten and Chris Ward. Due to the accelerated Swiss system in use at this tournament, these players could play a big role in deciding the winner from as early as Round 2!

With this being the 100th British Championships, there are many other events taking place alongside the main British Championships including the Major Open, grade-limited events, junior tournaments and weekend tournaments. To see the full list of events, including a 1-minute blitz session, a 9-player All-Play-All simultaneous match and much more, visit the Official Website.

The British Championships start on Sunday 28th July 2013 with the first of 11 rounds of the Main Championships and the Major Open on Monday 29th July 2013. The Championships finish on Saturday 10th August 2013.

We will be providing regular updates, latest results and annotated games of this year’s British Championships, so make sure to keep checking the website, or follow us on twitter @YorkshireChess

List of Entrants for British Chess Championships 2013

 NameNat Rtng
1Jones, Gawain CENGGM2643
2Howell, David W LENGGM2639
3Hebden, MarkENGGM2555
4Gordon, StephenENGGM2521
5Hawkins, JonathanENGIM2517
6Gormally, DanielENGGM2496
7Lalic, BogdanCROGM2489
8Williams, Simon KENGGM2481
9Wells, PeterENGGM2479
10Emms, John MENGGM2469
11Zhou, Yang-FanENGIM2469
12Ghasi, Ameet KENGIM2459
13Kosten, Anthony CFRAGM2458
14Flear, Glenn CENGGM2456
15Palliser, Richard JDENGIM2453
16Arkell, Keith CENGGM2444
17Ward, Chris GENGGM2432
18Lane, GaryAUSIM2401
19Bates, RichardENGIM2375
20Eggleston, David JENGFM2363
21Fernandez, DanielSINIM2346
22Knott, Simon J BENGIM2318
23Chapman, Terence PDENGFM2308
24Ledger, DaveENGFM2305
25Carr, Neil LENGFM2290
26Kolbus, DietmarGERIM2288
27Rudd, JackENGIM2280
28Longson, AlexanderENG2279
29Osborne, MarcusENG2269
30Mordue, A TysonENGFM2256
31Meszaros, GyulaHUNIM2255
32Eames, RobertENGFM2244
33Mackle, DominicENG2216
34Storey, CharlesENGFM2214
35Jackson, Oliver AENGFM2207
36Mason, DonENG2204
37Brown, MartinENG2203
38Harvey, Marcus RENG2202
39Weaving, RichardENG2196
40Talbot, Mark AENG2194
41Anderson, JohnENG2189
42Rayner, FrancisWLS2186
43Stephens, JohnENG2178
44Weller, Jean-LucENG2172
45Jaunooby, Ali RENG2170
46Murphy, Hugh WENG2170
47Yeo, Michael JENG2170
48Graham, David BENG2165
49Homer, StephenENG2165
50Shaw, Peter HCENG2164
51Duff, RufusENG2157
52Girdlestone, Paul CENG2155
53Reid, JohnENG2151
54Richardson, AlexENG2149
55Purdon, ColinENG2140
56Wadsworth, Matthew JENG2136
57Haria, RaviENG2133
58Waters, Clive LENG2129
59Hegarty, Sarah NENGWFM2124
60Dilleigh, Stephen PENG2121
61Lenier, JudeENG2119
62Batchelor, Peter JENG2118
63Burnett, JimENG2117
64Smith, Andrew PIRLFM2110
65Mercs, Peter JENG2109
66Ball, Laurence ARSA2108
67Varnam, LiamENG2107
68Surtees, Michael JENG2106
69Friedland, Jon SENGCM2093
70Warman, Simon MENG2093
71Foo, William JENG2090
72Collier, David OENG2086
73Bonafont, PhilipENG2084
74McCullough, Simon LENG2076
75Hackner, Oskar AENG2063
76Howell, ChristopherENG2055
77Henderson, DavidENG2053
78Stewart, AshleyENG2053
79Coates, David HENG2046
80Martin, LewisENG2043
81Scott, Gordon WENG2039
82De Coverly, Roger DENG2036
83Jones, Steven AENG2033
84Horton, AndrewENG2032
85Freeman, Richard CPENG2030
86Brusey, AlanENG2020
87Moss, GuyISR2018
88Armstrong, Malcolm JENG2014
89Greely, Simon MENG2010
90Taylor, Adam CENG2001
91Kirby, Peter J.GCICM1982
92Tambini, JasperENG1979
93Thompson, RobertENG1978
94Walker, SamuelENG1978
95Gill, OliverENG1974
96Burke, MitchellENG1971
97Oyama, AkitoENG1966
98Broadley, HenryENG1953
99Balaji, AnanthanarayananENG1946
100Emery, KeithSCO1906
101Thorpe, Thomas GWLS1875
102Owens, Megan RWLS1852
103Wang, MariaENG1817

Features editor for the Yorkshire Chess website. I collate and write atricles about all the latest chess activities in Yorkshire and beyond. I've also been known to shove some pieces myself from time to time!


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