Bulletin No.32 – The British Chess Championships in 2016 – Part 2

The British Chess Championships is seen by many as the annual highlight of the UK chess calendar and it was a sense of great achievement that it finally returned to Bournemouth in 2016 after 80 years absence.

In Part 1 we covered the background and build up to these Championships, including the Opening Ceremony. Today, in Part 2, we look at how the event unfolded, some excellent results by local players, and a couple of interesting games. We will also cover the Closing Ceremony and our final reflections on how successful we felt these Championships were.  In Part 3, we will focus on games by local players to wrap up these memorable Championships!

And they are off!

A total of nearly 1,200 players took part and it was very pleasing they included over 50 local players of whom many were juniors.

To keep local players informed, having played the previous afternoon, Martin Simons produced daily bulletins at the crack of dawn the following day ready for Mike Jay to publish on this website by mid morning!  This did not help  Martin’s own performance in the Championship although he did manage one win with his beloved Blackmar-Diemer Gambit!  The commentary on two of the games including one local, from Martin’s daily bulletins, are given below.

Results and Games

Of course the all eyes were on the Championship section. Mickey Adams was a runaway victor with a record equalling score of 10/11. David Howell came second on 8.5, whilst Gawain Jones and Justin Tan came joint third on 8. Jovanka Houska on 7 was the top placed female and picked up the Woman’s title.

Here is Mickey’s cruise control win from the last round  (if the game below does not display correctly, please click here).

The leading player with a local connection was Oliver Gill, who used to play for Ringwood, with a score of 5.5, followed by Mike Waddington with 5. Allan Pleasants, Martin Simons and Ian Clark all scored a creditable 4 points.

Oliver Gill. Photo courtesy of Brendan O’Gorman

Below is Olli’s round 9 win against IM Jack Rudd. This game is a great example of level positions not being drawn positions. From an opening that is meant to give white nothing, Olli plays just a little more accurately than Jack and gradually builds a winning grip.

Some notable local results in other sections included:

  • Major Open: Alfonso Llorente Zaro (ex-Poole) came 2nd on a fantastic 10/11, Daniel Gomez came 4th on 6.5 whilst a young James Forster got to 50% with 5.5
  • Over 50’s: Kevin Goater came 2nd with 5/7
  • Over 50’s Under 150 Grade: Peter Wilcock came 2nd with 4/5
  • Under 160 Grade: Steve Pollyn came 3rd with 3.5/5
  • Under 140 Grade: Richard Ursell came 3rd with 4/5
  • Week 1 Afternoon: Kenny Harman came 2nd with 4/5
  • Weekend Under 150: Jørgen Holmstrøm Nielsen came 3rd with 3.5/5
  • Weekend Under 120: David Dixon and Adam Ursell came 3rd with 3.5

An excellent crop of prizes for local players!

The results of all the local players can be found here

Closing Ceremony

This was held on Saturday morning, 6th August at 9.30am.

Kevin Staveley (Congress Manager) was very complimentary on how the Championships went from the organisers’ perspective and the winner, GM Michael Adams, spoke very highly of the event and the playing conditions at the Pavilion. He also enjoyed his seaside walks and the free live bands by Bournemouth pier. Clearly, the double glazing worked during play as the players were not disturbed!

On behalf of the Bournemouth & District Chess League and Dorset County Chess Association, Martin thanked the Control Team especially Kevin Staveley, the local chess fraternity (in particular Ian Clark and Alan Dommett for all their hard work and support in helping to bring these Championships to Bournemouth), BH Live & the Pavilion staff and finally, to everyone who came along to make this a very successful British Championships.

Ian presented a chess board prize for the Best Dorset player in the Championships which was won by FM Mike Waddington for a great tournament performance of 2250. Ian also explained the background behind the chess board which was made by the inmates at Verne prison.

Ian Clark at British Championships

Martin presented the trophy to the 2016 British Championship winner, Mickey Adams.

Michael Adams British Chess Champion (left) pictured with Martin Simons, Bournemouth 2016

Martin also presented the trophy to the 2016 British Woman Champion, Jovanka Houska.

Jovanka Houska Chess

Reflections – Was the Bournemouth British Chess Championship a success?

Based on the number of entrants, as calculated by the ECF, it most certainly was:

For the total number of entrants (i.e. including multiple entries) were close:
1st  –  1,192 entrants  – 2015 Warwick University
2nd –  1,188 entrants  – 2013 Torquay
3rd –  1,187 entrants – 2016 Bournemouth (we missed out by just 5 entrants)

For the total number of individual entrants (i.e. excluding multiple entries) we did break the record!
1st  –  835 entrants – 2016 Bournemouth (we stormed this one)
2nd –  794 entrants   – 2013 Torquay
3rd  –  784 entrants   – 2015 Warwick University

However, as we all know, there are lies, damned lies and statistics!

Informal feedback from the ECF (Kevin Staveley), Mickey Adams and many other players also suggested this was a very friendly, enjoyable tournament.

This was a great occasion for our local chess leagues with many fond memories, and demonstrated the attraction Bournemouth holds for chess players nationally.  We can safely conclude that Bournemouth was placed firmly on the UK chess map in 2016!

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