Mon. Jan 24th, 2022

International chess is highly competitive. The top of the world match is dominated by Magnus Carlsen, who starts his long-awaited campaign at Wijk aan Zee this Saturday at 13:00 GMT with his new ambition to reach chess Everest of a 2900 rating.

Carlsen’s big opponents at Wijk and in general are from Russia, China, the USA and France. The best young talents include teenagers from Uzbekistan and India, while the main centers of tournament activity, especially since the pandemic, are in Western and Central Continental Europe.

In contrast, English chess was hit by the Omicron peak, which caused Hastings to be canceled, the national 4NCL postponed and the London Classic moved to much smaller numbers. Despite this negative background, both established and emerging English talents across a wide age group have recently achieved notable and even historic achievements.

Three-time British champion and popular online commentator David Howell became the first English winner of Titled Tuesday, chesscom’s weekly 11-lap speed competition. which is open to all players with a master title. The 31-year-old Sussex finished ahead of world rankings Hikaru Nakamura and Ian Nepomniachtchi, defeating in the final round America’s rising star Jeffery Xiong, who neatly captured the wandering American queen. in the middle.

England’s best player, Nigel Short, who challenged for the world title in 1993, was in intensive care with Covid a few weeks ago, tweeting a selfie from his hospital bed. Meanwhile, his new book, titled Win and a report of the fortunes of eight successful tournaments, was a bestseller placed high in two Book of the Year awards.

Short recovered at home and was worried about brain fog and Long Covid. He decided to test himself at a strong open tournament in Cattolica, Italy, where he played one of his best attacks but lost in the final round in a winning position in time. It was only his second tournament in the last two years, so rust was always a danger.

Harry Grieve, a Cambridge maths student, shared the first prize and achieved his first international masterpiece last weekend at Roquetas, Spain, finishing in style as he chess mat his final opponent.

A few weeks earlier, six-year-old Bodhana Sivanandan was the only English participant in the European girls’ 8-lightning and sprint championships at Novi Sad, Serbia, and won silver medals in both categories. This is a significant result, as many of the best teenage talents made their debut at u.8 level, including the new World Speed ​​Champion Nodirbek Abdusattorov.

Puzzle 2452

Jonathan Rowson v Simon Knott, British Championship 2007. White to move and win. This seems difficult, for although Black is two pawns down, the bishops of opposite colors seem to be preventing the white pawns from advancing.

click here for solution

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