Thursday, 7 January 2010

Save Our Staunton

The Staunton Memorial tournament has been held at Simpson’s in the Strand every year since 2003. Starting as a four-player all-play-all, the event steadily grew in participants and stature to reach peak in 2009, when there were two strong sections featuring no fewer than four World Championship finalists.

Some of England’s finest players - including Nigel Short and Michael Adams - have enjoyed playing at the Staunton and it has provided excellent, high-level experience for our younger generation of stars, such as Gawain Jones and David Howell. The latter has played in more than most; he was a 12 year old FIDE Master when he played in the inaugural event.

The tournament - and in particular, the Anglo-Dutch match aspect - had been boosted over the last four years by generous sponsorship from Jan Mol. A new sponsor is being sought from 2010 onwards.

Given the recent success of the London Chess Classic and the push to try and bring the World Championship to London in 2012, chess in the UK is definitely looking brighter than it has done for many years. It's a good time to get involved.

If anybody out there has a desire to be involved in sponsoring the Staunton Memorial, please contact GM Ray Keene at:

More details about the events from previous years can be found here:

Here’s a reminder of some of the finest moments from 2003-2009...

Daniel King - David Howell


25 Qxf6+! 1-0

Tea Bosboom Lanchava - Erwin L’Ami


14 …Rxe2+! 15 Kxe2 Qf2+ 16 Kd1 Qf1+ 0-1

Jan Timman - Gawain Jones


13 Bxg7 Qg5! and Timman missed the best move (14 Kf2) and could find nothing better than 14 Qxf4 (0-1, 38)

Gawain Jones - Loek van Wely


25 Qxf8+! 1-0

David Howell - Ivan Sokolov


28 Qh8+! Ke7 29 Rxf7+ 1-0

Viktor Korchnoi - Simon Williams


Korchnoi missed 46 Rd4! and played instead 46 Rc8+ but won anyway after many adventures. 1-0 (76)

The following position was reached at the end of a Staunton game in 2004 and might well be the one seen by most people...

Jonathan Levitt - Daniel King



Does it look familiar? It was from the game staged by Daniel King and Ray Keene for BBC4’s recent ‘How to Win at Chess’.

I’m sure we all agree that having chess on the TV can only be of great benefit to our favourite game. If you enjoyed watching the show and would like to see more, why not drop a line here? :

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Chess seems to be on the up at the moment and hats off to the organisers of the recent London Classic for raising the profile of chess in this country. The Staunton is another tournament and tradition worth having. Kevin Winter, Bingley