I can’t figure out what to call the “London Chess Classic”, how about “the Super 16 (though we only knew the names of 14 until a couple of days ago, or simply “the Classic”. The event this year isn’t your “classical time control” but instead obviously a rapidplay. I think that “the Super 16″ is growing on me! That might be as I grew up with “the Super 14″, the rugby competition that NZ, Australia & South Africa participate in.
Yesterday wasn’t a great day for Gawain, I don’t know what there is to say. I think that it’s an incredibly tough tournament (who doesn’t think that) and look at their chess experence; Boris got a chess book when he was 4(!) and Judit’s childhood was filled with studying chess.People are normally so surprised when I say my husband is a professional chess player, I don’t think they can quite get their heads around the idea. Trying to explain, exactly what he does to people who don’t really play is quite funny. More often than not then seem to say “So all he does is play chess??” and I normally nod and say “Something like that”.
Gawain told me yesterday that after he had finished one of his games, someone came up to him and asked for his autograph and also said “Maybe you should play for Wales”. I know in the past there has been confusion as to where Gawain is from, but he’s 100% English. He was born in Yorkshire to a mum from Stafford and a dad from Bury! I know his name Gawain sounds Welsh but it is in fact Old English. Gawain was a knight of the round table and King Arthur’s nephew.
Gawain is known by different names and variants in different languages. The character corresponds to the Welsh Gwalchmei ap Gwyar, and is known in Latin as Walwen, Gualguanus, Waluanus, etc.; in French as Gauvain; and in English as Gawain. The later forms are generally assumed to derive from the Welsh Gwalchmei. The element Gwalch means hawk, and is a typical epithet in medieval Welsh poetry. The meaning of mei is uncertain. It has been suggested that it refers to the month of May (Mai in Modern Welsh), rendering “Hawk of May”, though scholar Rachel Bromwich considers this unlikely. Kenneth Jackson suggested the name evolved from an early Common Brittonic name *Ualcos Magesos, meaning “Hawk of the Plain”.
Let’s see what today brings.