Gawain left on Saturday to go and defend his title in Torquay. This year’s line up include 12 Grandmasters including just 2 former champions – Can you guess which ones? Also this year we see 9 other countries represented in the Championship! I’m not including the 4 nations (England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland) or Guernsey.
The current rule state:
Only players who fulfil one of the following criteria shall have the right of entry to the Championship sections of the Annual Congresses:
(a) British Citizenship, or
(b) British Overseas Territories Citizenship, or
(c) Citizenship of Ireland, or
(d) not less than one years continuous ordinary residence in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland ending on the 30th June in the calendar year of the Championship in question, or
(e) not less than one years continuous ordinary residence in Ireland ending on the 30th June in the calendar year of the Championship in question, or
(f) not less than one years continuous ordinary residence in the Channel Islands ending on the 30th June in the calendar year of the Championship in question, or
(g) not less than one years continuous ordinary residence in the Isle of Man ending on the 30th June in the calendar year of the Championship in question
Here are the list of countries and the people that are playing.
Australia – IM Gary Lane – Born in the UK and I’m guessing he has Dual Citizenship.
Croatia – GM Bogdan Lalic – Resident in the UK or if not owns a home here.
France – GM Tony Kosten – British Citizen
Germany – IM Dietmar Kolbus – Lives on the Isle of Man – must check.
Hungary – IM Gyula Meszaros – Plays a lot of the Hampstead Congresses and Blitz in London.
Israel – Guy Moss – A junior who I assume is British and lives and studies here.
South Africa – Laurence Ball – Has played in the UK since 2009.
Singapore – IM Daniel Fernandez – Born in Singapore but studies in the UK or may have British Citizenship.
Trinidad and Tobago – Shawn Tavares – From what I see born in West Indies and has been in the UK since doing his post graduation studies I’m guessing 30years?
Why do I point this out? Well don’t you think a national championship should be filled of players that represent only that country or in the case England, Wales, Scotland and the territories and Ireland for historical reasons? I switched from representing NZ to England earlier on in the year and yes, I was eligible last year to play due to qualifying via residency but if Gawain and I moved overseas I would then become ineligible to play in my federation’s national championship as WIM Ingrid Lauterbach is ineligible to play under the current rules as she does not hold residency in the UK or have a British passport. She has played for England in the 2008 and 2010 Olympiads (and I’m not sure if there are more) and also has represented England at the European Teams. Now this seems a ridiculous rule that she can play for England but can’t participate in a National Championship. Some people point out that she she not even be playing under the English flag but that is an issue that the Federation should deal with not the individual themselves. I applied to transfer and England accepted. In some countries they have a Championship and then an Open Championship for example the Netherlands. In Australia every year they alternate with an Open and a Closed Championship. To now play in the NZ Championship I must be “invited” – I’m not sure how difficult it would be to play but I don’t think it would be so hard but nevertheless it’s not a give in.
One positive point to note is that the arbiters have not used acceleration which must be the first time that I can recall. Perhaps Gawain’s post on it was read or maybe they started listening to the players but it’s definitely a plus point.
You can check out all information related to the tournament here. Rounds start at 2.30pm local time. Gawain started off with a win today and faces FM Dave Ledger tomorrow.
I won’t be in Torquay until next weekend (I’m looking very much to visiting and taking lots of photos)and I won’t be posting frequent updates about the tournament but I’m sure Gawain will do a end of tournament report. If you want great updates check out the Yorkshire Chess, you can try out your skills at the Predictions Competition if you dare.