SHROPSHIRE PLAYERS AT THE BRITISH CHAMPIONSHIPS 2007
Keith Fowler Reports
(As far as I can tell) four players playing locally in Shropshire took part in the events of the 94th Championships of The British Isles that were held at Great Yarmouth College, Great Yarmouth during the period Sunday 29 th July to Saturday 11 th August.
Great Yarmouth is an old port on the edge of East Anglia which has prospered and slumped as fishing and trading moved elsewhere but prospered again with the discovery and removal of North Sea oil and now relies heavily on holiday makers. Historically, Norfolk born Admiral Lord Nelson was made a freeman of Yarmouth and the Norfolk Pillar or Nelson's Monument was erected in memory of him and has stood in the town since 1819 and Anna Sewell authoress of Black Beauty' was born there. Of the chess playing fraternity Yarmouth is the birthplace of IM Robert Bellin.
The weather was an oasis in this abysmal summer; we had two weeks of almost unbroken sunshine. The chess was played in a large hall that is normally the library at the college. The facilities looked a little utilitarian for the English Chess Federation's premier event but I am assured that they were good for playing. There was plenty of space for parking and food and refreshments were available. What seemed to be missing was an area for active sporting recreation, although there was a recreation ground next door which may have been reachable through a hole in the fence.
The British Championship was won by the Dane (now Scottish) Jacob Aargaard. He had a clear lead at one stage but then lost two games in Rounds 8 and 10 to throw the contest open. Going into the last round eight players had the chance to be in front at the end of the contest. Jonathan Rowson, the defending champion, won quickly and set the mark as the leader. One by one the others fell away and it became a fight between Stephen Gordon and Jacob Aargaard. Gordon could only draw to level with Rowson whereas Aargaard won to take the title.
Simon Fowler took part in the Championship event. After five rounds Simon was on 3 having won one game and drawn the rest. This included a draw against IM Thomas Rendle and against IM Robert Bellin. Simon had got the results but was scrambling to achieve them. In round 6 he came a cropper against IM Simon Knott, but played better!
Sunday was a rest day in the Championship and time for a game of cricket. A team of English Chess players took on a team of Chess players of Asian ancestry in a 40 over match. England batted first and after a stodgy start, very reminiscent of our senior side in the recent Cricket World Cup, amassed about 180. Simon was in at the end and contributed 20-odd. Asia lost early wickets in response but a couple of old stagers almost got them home but they could not quite manage it. England won by 10 or so runs. Simon took a couple of wickets after being asked to slow down by the wicket-keeper as he could not cope with his pace.
The championship resumed on the Monday and in that day's round Fowler beat Adams not Michael Adams, who was plying his trade elsewhere, but David Adams. Round 8 was drawn against Peter Sowray. Round 9 was a draw against IM Dagne Ciutsyke. Round 10 pitted Simon against Danny Gormally and Simon claimed his second GM scalp. (The game is attached together with Simon's analysis). In the last round Simon lost to Ketevan Arakhamia-Grant.
Simon finished 20= with an excellent 6/11 having played 9 players rated higher than him including a GM, 5IMs and an FM.
The most successful player at the Championships was Thomas Pym who entered two events and was placed first in both. He tied first (with four others including Richard Bryant) in the imaginatively named 5 Day Open PM Week 1 event with a score of 4/5 and won the 5 Day Open PM Week 2 event outright with 4.5/5.
Congratulation to Tom and Richard on their wins.
Richard Bryant also wins the prize for most games at the British Championship by a Shropshire player. He played 31! Here is the list:
Rapidplay 29 th July 5/6 (joint second place with Simon and others)
5 Day Open PM Week 1 4/5 (joint first place with Tom and others)
Atkins (Open) 2/5
5 Day Open AM Week 2 3/5
5 Day Open PM Week 2 3/5
The fourth player at the Championships was Newport's young player Athar Mehmood who competed in the Under 10 Championship and scored 3.5/7. This seems to be a very respectable result as he had a hard draw having to play both the eventual joint winners and a couple of others who were in contention. Here is another Shropshire player to keep an eye on.
In addition to the British Championships young Shropshire players have been busy representing their country in other events during the Summer.
Thomas was a member of the England team that won the Glorney Cup in Dublin. The Glorney Cup was originally conceived as an event between teams of Under 18 boys from England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. Over the years it has mutated into an event that involved several other European countries but has latterly reverted to its original format. In the event Thomas scored 2.5/4.
At the Glorney Cup event additional matches were staged between the four countries for the Under 14 and Under 12 age groups. Louis Graham was selected to play in the Under 14 event and rewarded the selectors with a 100% performance 4/4. An excellent result for Louis.
Simon was selected to play for Young England against a Middlesex team to celebrate the centenary of Middlesex County Chess Association. This was a nine round Scheveningen event. Included in the Middlesex team were GMs Bogdan Lalic and Aaron Summerscales and our very own IM John Cox. Simon managed a score of 3.5/9 which was about par for the strength of the opposition. His results included a draw against GM Lalic (which prompted Lalic to remark "He played better than Nogueiras") and a loss in the battle of Shropshire against John Cox. Middlesex won the match.
Finally many congratulations to Tom Pym for his win in the Shropshire Individual Championships.
Gormally,D (2509) - Fowler,S (2204) [C04]
(1) Lalic,B (2509) - Fowler,S (2204) [A84]