Sunday, 22 August 2004

Archive: UNCUT! 32

The Sean Marsh Chess Column

Column 32
August 2004

At The British

The great thing about having the British Championships at Scarborough is that it gives us North Easterners a decent chance of getting there to either play or spectate. I was fortunate to be able to pop along and see some of the many games and I enjoyed seeing a good number of our locals in action.

The full story and results can be found on the B.C.F. website, but here’s a few highlights…

The big news from the championship itself is that when Gawain Jones agreed a short draw in the ninth round, he secured his third and final norm towards the title of International Master!

There will be those who remember when Gawain burst on to the local scene as a very young junior, winning the Elmwood U-9 championship when he was six and then taking the local junior U-18 sections by storm, as well as developing into a feared league competitor. He notched up scalps faster than a hyperactive apache warrior. Then he moved to Italy, much to the relief of many locals (especially those who were still nursing ‘plus scores’ against him). He is now living in Ireland, so our local open tournaments may no longer be as safe as they were. There will be more about Gawain in a future UNCUT!

Norman Stephenson went off to defend his British Senior title. This time he was joined by another local player, David Smith, who has been slowly returning to full chess activity following a few quiet years. David has remained a very strong player and was in the thick of the action form start to finish. After the seven rounds, David and Norman shared the title with 5.5/7, both unbeaten. What a fantastic result for local chess!

Norman and Major Open competitor David Wise

Two of our best juniors were also in action. Dominic Leigh was unbeaten in the Under-100 championship but just lost out on the title, finishing half a point off the lead.

Young Thomas Mavin was very close to picking up a title but was half a point off top spot in the Under-8s and a point off it in the Under-9s.

Elmwood’s Andrew Killick had a good tournament and shared first in the Harry Baines Week 1 event.

Durham’s chess killer twins, Thomas and David Eggleston, were also in the thick of the action.

David looked set to take the Under-16 title but missed his way on the critical last round game and ended up losing.

Thomas played in the FIDE World Major section and battled away on the top boards throughout the 11 rounds. He eventually shared third place, just a point off winning the event.

Expect some British games from our heroes in a forthcoming UNCUT!