Sunday, 25 July 2010

British Championship (P)review

And so it begins!

I decided to do a little reconnaissance today in order to become acclimated with the venue and see a few people, some of whom were playing in the rapidplay. I arrived at the business end of round 4 but my attention was immediately diverted to a small gathering of players and arbiters outside.

It transpired that, for the first time in the competition’s history, the Championship titles were actually being awarded prior to Round 1. Apparently, the organisers decided that Michael Adams and Jovanka Houska’s enormous chip leads over their respective fields should be immediately recognised so that they can both make a prompt exit after Round 11. And rightly so – such top people shouldn’t be made to spend another night in Kent. Adams’ minimum expected score of 8.69 and Houska’s 502 point advantage over her nearest rival point to nothing but clear success.

In other news, Alex Holowczak - despite not having entered - won the Boys’ Under 21 title by virtue of having a moustache and I was delighted to be awarded the Girls’ Under 21 prize because I moisturise.

Anyway, I’ve been paired white against George Salimbeni (2164) tomorrow, which I’m pleased about. Not because it’s going to be an easy game – far from it – but because I believe it’s better to get stuck into the higher rated players as soon as possible. In addition, I get to sit next to fellow Drunken Knight Mark Rich and listen to his dirty jokes before we start. And probably during. Should be fun.

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Release The Kraken by Philip Makepeace and Christopher Russell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.