2022 Midweek Report – Week One

After many months of preparation the Chessable British Championships 2022 kicked off on Monday 8th August with Round 1 of the Junior Championships, Senior Championships Over 50, and the Weekday Congress, all starting at 2.30 pm on Monday afternoon. This is the 108th British Championships in an almost unbroken run since the first Championship took place in 1904, with the competition making a welcome return to the Riviera International Conference Centre (RICC) in Torquay (first picture and featured image – Melinda Wilde; all the rest by Brendan O’Gorman)

The organising team, led by Chief Arbiter Adrian Elwin, had set up over 100 liveboards in the Arena at the RICC ready to relay the games from the championship events and the top boards of the weekday congresses via a live internet broadcast.

You can follow the games live via the BCC broadcast web page – https://tinyurl.com/yyrrck9a – with commentary on the main championships scheduled to start from Saturday 13th August, covering the nine rounds of the main Championship and Major Open (which will run from 13th to 21st August).

You can also see the pairings and results to date and standings for all tournaments at the link here: http://chess-results.com/tnr655607.aspx

As ever there was a big turnout with over 180 of the UK’s top juniors taking part across the 5 sections of the Junior Championships – including U8s, U10s, U12s, U14s and U16s. The first four rounds of the juniors are now complete (as at the end of Wednesday). So far the games have gone mostly with seeding. In the Under 8s Scottish junior Supratit Banerjee leads the way with 4 points, followed closely by Ethan Pang on 3.5. George Zhao leads in the Under 10s with 4, followed by Harry Bryant and Luoke Wang on 3.5 each. Sanjit Kumar leads in the Under 12s, also on 4, followed by Emils Steiner and Kameron Grose, both on 3.5. In the Under 14s Kenneth Hobson, Luca Buanne, Stanley Badacsonyi and Caleb Caleshu are all on 3.5. Last but not least, in the Under 16s top seed Mohammed Aayan Ismail leads on 4 points, and is a clear point ahead of the field.

Here is Aayan’s Round 1 game – an English Opening where he controls the c file and develops what proves to be an irresistible attack.

(9348) Ismail, Mohammed Aayan (1919) – Sachdeva, Ronit [A11]
Chessable British Chess Championships, Riviera Centre, Torquay, 08.08.2022

1.c4 c6 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.e4 e5 4.Nf3 d6 5.d4 Qc7 6.Be2 Be7 7.0–0 0–0 8.h3 Nbd7 9.Be3 Rd8 10.Qc2 Nf8 11.Rad1 Ng6 12.Ne1 a6 13.Nd3 b5 14.cxb5 cxb5 15.Rc1 Bb7 16.Qb3 Qc4 17.Qd1 Qe6 18.d5 Qd7 19.Qb3 Re8 20.Nb4 Rec8 21.Rc2 Qd8 22.a4 a5 23.Nc6  

23..Bxc6 24.dxc6 Rxc6 25.axb5 26.b6 Rab8 27.Ba6 Rc6 28.Nd5 Rxc2 29.Nxf6+ gxf6 30.Qxc2 Qd7 31.Qc7 Qd8 32.Rc1 Nf8 33.b7 Qxc7 34.Rxc7 d5 35.Ba7


Seniors 50+  
There has also been a big turnout for the two seniors championships with 44 players in this week’s 50+ and 62 scheduled to play in next week’s 65+.

Top seeds for the 50+ are Scottish GM Paul Motwani (pictured below), CM Mark Josse and FM Chris Townsend. Paul Motwani leads the field after 3 rounds with a perfect 4 points, followed by Yorkshire player Paul Townsend, CM Rob Willmoth, Phil Crocker and Midlands player Bruce Baer all on 2.5 out of 3.

Here is GM Paul Motwani’s Round 3 win against Paul Dargan where Motwani deploys a 4. g3 line against the Sicilian Defense.

(9391) Motwani, Paul (2420) – Dargan, Paul (2056) [B20]
Chessable British Chess Championships, Riviera Centre, Torquay, Unit (10.08.2022)

1.e4 c5 2.g3 Nc6 3.Bg2 g6 4.Ne2 Bg7 5.0–0 d6 6.d3 e6 7.Nbc3 Rb8 8.a3 b5 9.Rb1 Nge7 10.b4 cxb4 11.axb4 a5 12.Na2 d5 13.Bd2 a4 14.exd5 exd5 15.Nac3 0–0 16.Nf4 d4 17.Ne4 Bb7 18.h4 Ne5 19.h5 h6 20.hxg6 fxg6 21.Ne6 Qd5 22.Nxf8 Kxf8 23.f4 Nf7 24.g4 Qd8 25.f5 gxf5 26.gxf5 Nd5 27.Nc5 Kg8 28.f6 Bxf6 29.Qh5


Week 1 Congress – Open Section
The Week 1 Congress had around 140 entrants across the various sections including GM Keith Arkell and IM Gary Lane. Gary Lane is currently out in front on 4 points followed by fast improving teenager Remy Rushbrooke on 3.5 and Keith Arkell currently on 2.5.  Here is Gary’s first round game against Ifan Rathbone-Jones.

(3) Lane, Gary W (2328) – Rathbone-Jones, Ifan (2006) [B07]
Chessable 2022 British Championship, Riviera Centre, Torquay, Unit (1.2), 08.08.2022

1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Be3 a6 5.Qd2 b5 6.f3 Nbd7 7.Nge2 Nb6 8.Ng3 h5 9.Bd3 h4 10.Nge2 h3 11.g4

Ifan tries a speculative sacrifice of a bishop for 2 pawns with Bxg4 looking to create problems for white’s king which is stuck in the centre for a while. Gary defends efficiently before staging a counter attack leading to checkmate.

11…Bxg4 12.fxg4 Nxg4 13.Bg5 Qd7 14.0–0 c5 15.Nd5 Nxd5 16.exd5 Rh5 17.Ng3 Rxg5 18.Qxg5 Bh6 19.Qh4 Be3+ 20.Kh1 0–0–0 21.Nf5 e6 22.Ne7+ Kc7 23.Nc6 Nxh2 24.Rxf7 Bg1 25.Qxd8+ Kb7 26.Qb8#

The rapidplay took place on Wednesday 10th with a big field of around 180 players across four sections – Open, U1750, U1500 and U11.

The Open was won by GM Danny Gormally on tie break with 5 players all on 5.5 out of 7 – Danny, GM Keith Arkell, Stanley and Frankie Badacsonyi and Soham Kumar. The U1750 was won by Joseph Whelan with 6.5 out of 7, and the U1500 by Magnus Borissow. The U11 was won by Luoke Wang with 6.5 out of 7.

Simul, coaching, and a special guest

Week 1 Simul
Outside of the main events GM Keith Arkell (above, standing) took on around 18 players in a simul on Tuesday evening.

BCC Coach Tom Villiers (above) has been available to provide some expert coaching before and after junior rounds. He was also able to run the first of two group sessions on Wednesday evenings.

Special Guest
To support the coaching our sponsors Chessable arranged for a Chessable Classroom session run by Tom and WIM Luciana Morales with a guest appearance from the reigning world champion, GM/WGM Ju Wenjun, who set a puzzle for the audience to consider and took questions and answers from the audience in the commentary room.

We have a further special guest appearance from top Chinese GM Wei Yi on Friday afternoon at 4.00 pm.