British Championships

As I write this I’m on the train (First Class! Having such an organised manager to book all my tickets a long way in advance certainly helps) to Sheffield where the chess starts tomorrow. It’s a very strong British this year, much stronger than any I’ve ever played in before and perhaps the strongest ever. Thanks has to go to CJ de Mooi, the ECF President, who has put so much of his own time and money into the event. Only Luke McShane is missing from the top five and with twelve GMs in the field the winner will have to both play magnificent chess and also have a decent slice of luck.
I’m really looking forward to playing and hoping I can continue where I left off in South Africa. I feel decently prepared for a change but one can never tell the vagaries of chess; one blunder will change the whole tournament dramatically. Mickey Adams as top seed must be favourite but Nigel Short can’t be far behind while David Howell has just come off a solid 2nd in Leiden. Further down the field Pete Wells is always a match for anyone in the world and he seems in good form after winning the South Wales International. Adam Hunt too will be in the running after coming 1st in an Open in Greece last week and I’m sure he’ll be on the hunt for another GM norm.
Sue will be accompanying me for most of the first week before she has to go back to work and I’m sure she’ll keep you updated on my progress while I’ll try and post whenever I get a free moment. Wish me luck!

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