Letter from Llandudno

Fourteen players from the Bristol league participated across all categories in the 2017 British Chess Championships. Jerry Humphreys reports from Llandudno on how the South West faired.

This year’s championships were the first in the new format, truncated to one week and two weekends. So the traditional 11 rounds have been reduced to 9 for the two main events, and the junior, senior and rated events all occur in parallel. Except for the younger age groups which are played over two or three days so competitors can play in two age groups. There are also the traditional morning and weekend tournaments and rapidplay on the second Saturday.

The Championships consist of 21 events, and are played in the exceptionally large Venue Cymru but there were other events going on and we did not have access to all the rooms. The organisers had their work cut out trying to make the main room less cramped as the tournaments got into swing. It all worked out ok in the end and somewhere round 330 people sat happily playing chess in the main hall with junior tournaments and a couple of smaller events moved off into separate rooms.

Fourteen Bristol players took part in the British events this year, up from the pre-tournament count as my fellow traveller Daniel Young of Bristol University fame was delighted to tell me on the train that I was due to receive a phone call from Alex Holowczak. Ravi Haria was playing in another event and turning up two days late so they needed a filler for the Championship. As it turned out Nick Arkell withdrew after Round 2 so in the end it had to be a seven game effort.


Horfield legend Steve Dilleigh in the over 50’s scored 4/7


Clifton’s Gareth Morris scored 50% in the over 50’s

Leading payers at the start of the Championship were David Howell, Luke McShane and Gawain Jones, with another 11 GMs below. Also another grandmaster, John Nunn, playing in the Over 50s along with Gareth Morris and Steve Dilleigh. Nunn drew his first game, against another former Bristol Uni player Alan Punnett, but proved far too strong for the field thereafter.

Emms v McShane

Emms vs. Mcshane on the top boards

Name plates

A tough field of British talent was on display

Llandudno is a 19th century resort developed from a copper mining village and the mines on the headland of the peninsula can be visited by a popular tram which takes visitors up the steep hills in two stages. The narrow neck of land gives the added attraction of two seafronts, with views to Anglesey and Dublin on one side and industrious wind farms providing renewable energy on the other. The town is largely owned by Lord Mostyn who has insisted on the frontages retaining their historic feel and being kept in impeccable order, so the town has a picturesque character highly appealing to visitors.


The tournament attracted 1061 entries from 821 separate competitors, the latter figure being higher than the last two years (797 in Bournemouth and 766 for Coventry) and in fact higher than any year for which I have records. 102 entries for the Championship will not be repeated again as next year’s event will be the first for which new qualifying criteria apply, with the aim of making the Championship largely an over 200s event, as it used to be until more places started being awarded in the last couple of decades.

Arkell v Howell

Arkell vs. Howell in the main Championship

The Bristol winner of the event was Oli Stubbs, who was part of a huge pile-up of players in first place on 4/5 in the Under 140s, with a 154 performance. Here is a full list of all the Bristolian results.  Well done all!


Oli Stubbs on his way to joint first place in the under 140’s


Despite being one of the lowest seeds Kandara Acharya scored 2.5 / 6 in her age category.

Bristol Results Championship

  • Jerry Humphreys, Downend 3½ /7

Over 50s

  • Steve Dilleigh, Horfield 4/7
  • Gareth Morris, Clifton 3½/7

Under 12

  • Toby Kan, Downend 4½/7
  • Yuvraj Kumar, Bath 3/7
  • Samir Khan, Bath 3/7

Under 11

  • Samir Khan, Bath 4/7
  • Toby Kan, Downend 3/7

Under 10

  • Kandara Acharya, North Bristol 2½/7

Under 140

  • Oli Stubbs, Downend 4/5 (1st=)

Weekend Open (Atkins)

  • John Waterfield, Clifton 3/5

Weekend Under 150 (Soanes)

  • Richard Livermore, Downend 2½/5
  • Chirag Hosdurga, 2/5

Weekend Under 120 (Yates)

  • Grant Daly, Downend 3/5
  • Kevin Langmaid, Yate 3/5
  • Shaun Walsh, Downend 2/5


  • Grant Daly, Downend 4/9
  • Oli Stubbs, Downend 4½/9

Featured Games

Finally here are two playable games from the championships featuring fine wins by Bristol Players.

  1. Steve Dilleigh (2075) vs. Kevin Goater (2128)
  2. Michael Ashworth (1946) vs. Jerry Humpreys (2041)




Jerry Humphreys

Jerry plays for Downend and Fishponds Chess Club and is the Treasurer for the Bristol and District Chess League. He is also a regular contributor to the Bristol Chess Times.

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