Chess - The Scotsman 06/08/2012
IN A throwback to the days of Empire, for many years the British Chess Championship was one of the most eagerly anticipated events, allowing not only the Home Nations, but also Commonwealth players to compete.
This was designed with good intentions for our so-called “lesser dominions” to help them compete in strong events. But a chess explosion in India, with the rise of Vishwanathan Anand (who played in the British during the 1980s), meant that nation became a chess superpower.
Grumblings led to an uprising, mainly from the English, after Indians won back-to-back titles in 2002/03. Thereafter only players from the British Isles were able to play. But this didn’t help the English win back the title, because for the next four years the Scots dominated, with Jonathan Rowson winning three-in-a-row from 2004-06 followed by Jacob Aagaard in 2007.
There then followed another dispute, with Scots being discriminated against as only English titled players were being paid “conditions” to play. The Scots unofficially boycotted it, and the venerable old title became the “English Championship” in all but name. This year again the Scots have stayed away, preferring the Scottish Championship, which had more grandmasters taking part than the British managed to attract in North Shields.
Scotland’s best hope is GM Matthew Turner, who recently switched federations from his native England, owing to unpopular policies in the English federation.
M Turner - C Storey
99th British Ch., (1)
1 d4 c5 2 c3 cxd4 3 cxd4 g6 4 Nc3 d5 5 Bg5 Bg7 6 e3 Nf6 7 Bd3 0–0 8 Nf3 Nc6 9 h3 Be6 10 0–0 Nh5 11 Rc1 f5 12 Re1 Bf7 13 Bf1 h6 14 Bf4 Nxf4 15 exf4 Qb6 16 Na4 Qc7 17 Ne5 Qd6 18 Nc5 Nd8 19 Qb3 b6 20 Na6 Ne6 21 Nxf7 Kxf7 22 Rxe6 Qxe6 23 Nc7 Qd6 24 Bb5! Rac8 25 Rc6 Rxc7 26 Rxd6 exd6 27 Qxd5+ Ke7 28 Bc4 Rf6 29 b3 Bf8 30 h4 h5 31 g3 Kd8 32 Qa8+ Ke7 33 Qb8 Rd7 34 Bb5 d5 35 Bxd7 Kxd7 36 Qxa7+ Kc6 37 Qa8+ Kd6 38 Qd8+ 1–0
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