Sunday, 22 May 2022

Kenilworth Invaded by GMs!

After hosting the English Seniors' Championships at the beginning of May, Kenilworth has also been the venue for the English Open and Women's Championships over the last four days. It can safely be said that GM Mark Hebden likes Kenilworth, as after winning the English Over-50's title (and £500) he has now followed up by winning the English Championship (and £2,000) - going undefeated with a 12.5/14 score over the two events.

The loneliness of the long distance Grand Master. Mark Hebden prepares for his Rd 3 game against FM Adam Ashton - 1-0 (30) (Banbury IM James Jackson in the background)

Two other legendary English GMs were also competing in the event. Keith Arkell finished in a tie for 4th with 4.5/7, while Peter Wells scored 4/7 to finish in a tie for 8th.

Before the start of the final round - Mark Hebden v Keith Arkell. Drawn in 12 moves. At left is IM James Jackson who won his final game to finish clear second (£1.200!) with a fantastic 5.5/7 score. 

Peter Wells (right) in play against IM Richard Pert in Rd 3 (Draw in 23 moves)

At the latest weekend, the only Kenilworth participation - inevitably! - was our pocket rocket Jude, who made an eminently respectable 3/7, but missed a couple of opportunities to rack up even more points. Not bad for a 12 year old! Meanwhile, pre-pandemic visitor to The Gauntlet - and another graduate of the CCA - Elis Dicen, finished 5th in the English Women's Championships, playing a decisive role in the final standings by beating tournament leader Alaa Gamal in Rd 7, which saw the title go to WIM Lan Yao. Earlier in the month, there had been more Kenilworth representation, when Ed scored 3.5/7 in the English 65+ Championships. 

Here's hoping the Holiday Inn continues to be a major venue for English chess events. Who knows? I might even play in one of them! Unless I'm away on holiday, again.