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Luke McShane

Luke McShane

Dec 3, 2010, 4:02 AM 0

Luke James McShane (born 7 January 1984) is an English chess player. A former World Youth Champion and prodigious talent in chess, he has become one of England's leading players and a member of the Olympiad team. He has also been a trader in London's financial sector.

McShane won the World Under-10 Championship in Duisburg at the age of eight. Shortly afterwards he found a sponsor in the form of computer company Psion. At sixteen he became the youngest ever British Grandmaster, gaining the three results required ("grandmaster norms") in tournaments in Germany, Iceland and the Politiken Cup in Copenhagen, Denmark. He held the record until David Howell broke it in January 2007. In January 2004 McShane was ranked second in the world among junior (under-21) players behind Teimour Radjabov.

Among McShane's more notable results are joint first in the 1998 Bunratty Masters in Ireland with John Nunn, winning five of his six games, and joint winner with Stuart Conquest and Bogdan Lalić of the Iona Tech Masters in Kilkenny.

From around 2002, McShane has been facing stiffer opposition, including players from the world's top ten. He played for England in the 2002 Chess Olympiad in Bled, scoring 6.5/11, and won the silver medal at the World Junior Championship in Goa. In 2003 he finished a respectable fifth in the strong Hrokurinn tournament in Reykjavík, finishing ahead of Britain's number one player Michael Adams and drawing games against Viktor Korchnoi and Alexei Shirov. Shortly afterwards, he beat Shirov in a Reykjavík blitz tournament. In the 2003 Siegman tournament in Malmö, he finished third with 5.5/9, drawing his game with the tournament winner, Vasily Ivanchuk. He tied for first with Alexei Dreev and Krishnan Sasikiran in the North Sea Cup played in Esbjerg in Denmark with 6.5/9, finished tied for second in the Politiken Cup in Copenhagen with 8.5/11 and won the Malmö Masters with 7.5/9, a point and a half ahead of his nearest rival. In 2009/10 he tied for 1st-5th with Eduardas Rozentalis, Pavel Ponkratov, Radosław Wojtaszek and Igor Lysyj at the 39th Rilton Cup in Stockholm.

McShane is a strong blitz chess player. He won the 136-player Kuppenheim tournament in 2003 ahead of Vladimir Epishin and former German blitz champion, Robert Rabiega, finishing with a score of 50.5/53. In this tournament he played his games over the Internet, while all other participants were in the playing hall in Germany. In 2003 he won the British Blitz Championship held at Uxbridge with a score of 14.5/16 and the Greenland Open rapid tournament with 8.5/9.

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