Grandmasters Gordon and Jones, having tied in the championship proper, played two rapidplay games this morning to decide the fate of the title. In an amazing turn-around in game one, Jones fought back – he had counterplay, cheek and little material compensation – from a queen down to finish in fine style. Probably demoralised, Stephen Gordon lost the second game, a Sicilian, without much of a fight.
The new champion is therefore twenty-four year old Gawain Jones, the ECF Player of the Year, a tall Grandmaster noted for his attacking flair. This is his first win of the title (soothsayers kindly note that he won the British Under 8s in 1996) and, as top seed, his victory should come as no surprise. He was undefeated throughout the fortnight and might have won even if the championship had been at full strength.
BCM salutes a great player.
1st= G Jones & S Gordon both 9/11;
3rd DWL Howell 8.5;
4th= DW Gormally, J Hawkins & K Arkell all 7.5;
7th= S Conquest, M Turner (SCO) and R Palliser 7;
10th= C Hanley, J Houska (British and English Women’s Champion), D Eggleston, SJ Roe, JR Adair (British U21 Champ), DJ Ledger, M Osborne & M Harvey all 6.5 … 65 players, 64 of whom finished.
Hugh Alexander Best Game Prize: Gawain Jones for his win against Jonathan Hawkins.
And so we say farewell – as they used to say on travel programmes in the 1950s – to North Shields. Your Aged Editor enjoyed following on line especially the live commentary which was excellent this year!