English chess on the rise as European Union Championships approach

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
There has been a fair bit chess played on British Isles during the past few months with English chess making a comeback.

By Manuel Weeks

We have had the strong Staunton Memorial tournament with Michael Adams reminding everyone that he is still very much part of the worlds chess elite cruising to a deserved tournament victory in a round robin event in London. Michael has re-entered the top ten in the world and has proved that he is a match for any young superstar.

David Howell will be the next Englishman to cross the magical 2600 mark since Luke McShane to remind that England has some youth to contend with in the future.

In Liverpool starting on the 8th of September we have the strongest Open tournament in the UK since the Lloyds Bank tournaments many years ago. Strangely enough it should be said that the tournament is not completely an "open" event since in order to participate you must belong to a country within the European Union. This is a relatively "young" tournament but it promises to be one to remember.

The tournament which begins on the 8th of September has an impressive field led by England's Michael Adams followed by the top players from France. Grandmaster Etienne Bacrot needs no introduction but the young man Maxime Vachier-Lagrave is not a name many people will immediately put in the worlds elite but he has a had a incredible rise in the past few months and if the FIDE ratings were published today he would be comfortably above 2700.

Grandmaster Nigel Short is a player who has done everything in chess there is to do. A youthful prodigy, a world top player, a challenger for the World Championship, well-known writer and has even been known to mentor some of the world's up and coming superstars. Soon the title of elder statesman of English chess might be bestowed but since we are similar ages I would prefer not to just yet!

There are too many players to go through individually (over 40 GMs) and many kind words can be written about all of them. The names of such players as Beliavsky, Tiviakov and Kotronias are well known to any chess fan. The British entry is very strong with many local GMs playing and many more local players are expected to enter in the next few days. If your kind editor allows me there will be daily reports on the event here! To see more details you can go to"^Reports^^^1220487237^1314785601^manuel "Bilbao R2: All games drawn"^"Magnus Carlsen is still leading the Grand Slam Final in Bilbao after the second round saw three draws. He played the Dragon Sicilian again and this short but interesting game ended in perpetual check. Video, photos + game comments added.

In Anand-Radjabov the position became dead drawn soon after the opening, when an opposite-coloured bishop ending was reached. Because of the Sofia rule, which is getting on our nerves quite often now, they had to play too many moves before they could call it a day.

anand_radjabov Anand-Radjabov during the opening phase

Topalov-Aronian had a bit more to offer - especially Black's original rook switch - but soon they had to go for a perpetual as well.

topalov_aronian_pc Aronian: "That rook manoeuvre just had to be played."

The game of the day was Ivanchuk-Carlsen, where White adopted the Karpovian 17.Rhe1 - a well-known idea but this time a theoretical novelty. The sharp play that followed lead to a forced draw but the players did receive a warm applause when they left the cabin and entered the small commentary stage.

ivanchuk_carlsen Ivanchuk: "Rhe1 was not original."

Results Round 2 Ivanchuk - Carlsen 1-1 Topalov - Aronian 1-1 Anand - Radjabov 1-1


Pairings Round 3 Radjabov - Ivanchuk Aronian - Anand Carlsen - Topalov


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